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Three Mistakes People Make After an Orthopedic Injury

Nobody likes to sustain an orthopedic injury. Whether it’s a strain, sprain, fracture, broken bone or dislocation — or one of many other kinds of injuries — a certain degree of pain and rehabilitation is going to be involved. Movement is often limited for a period of time; athletic performance is affected. Often times, people with orthopedic injuries have to suspend many of their ordinary daily activities for a period of time until they recover.

Somehow, many of us (when we are injured) fail to make a very strong connection between what we do while injured and the rate or quality of healing we experience. In other words, we don’t realize how much our own actions affect the healing process. But in reality, healing can be slow or fast, incomplete or complete, depending on our behavior and habits after the injury.

Here are three common mistakes people make when recovering from an orthopedic injury. By learning about these mistakes and taking care not to repeat them, we can expect healing that is faster, smoother, less painful and more complete.

1. Not getting enough rest

Anytime we’re injured — but especially if our injuries involve bones, joints or tendons — our bodies need plenty of rest. This allows energy to be used for healing purposes as vital tissues and bone are rebuilt. If we skimp on sleep during the recovery period, we deprive our body of valuable healing resources, and inevitably prolong our injuries. Make sleep a priority when recovering from an orthopedic injury.

2. Skipping the hot/cold therapy

Many orthopedic injuries can benefit significantly from hold or cold therapy, depending on the exact nature of the injury. Your orthopedist and/or physical therapist will be able to show you how to use hot/cold therapy to effect greater healing for your injuries. If you skip their advice, you’ll miss out on great benefits. Cold therapy (such as ice packs) in particular are good for bringing down swelling and minimizing pain. They also help the body recover more quickly.

3. Not showing up for PT

In the aftermath of many orthopedic injuries, doctors will refer patients to a physical therapist. There is good science behind this. Physical therapy can significantly speed up the recovery process. By participating in gentle stretches and exercises, the injured part of the body is gradually rehabilitated until full function is once again restored. But if you skip your physical therapy sessions, or fail to do the prescribed exercises at home, you won’t experience these healing benefits.

Healing your injuries faster and more completely

Once you’ve completely healed from any orthopedic injury, it really becomes a question of awareness and prevention! What circumstances led to the injury? Did you participate in a strenuous sport or activity too suddenly or too intensely, without proper stretching and warm ups? Did you fall down due to unsafe conditions in or around the house? All of these are questions worth asking. But first, it’s important to recover completely from our injuries. And to that end, it’s important to learn from common post-injury mistakes.

Once you’ve completely healed from any orthopedic injury, it really becomes a question of awareness and prevention! What circumstances led to the injury? Did you participate in a strenuous sport or activity too suddenly or too intensely, without proper stretching and warm ups? Did you fall down due to unsafe conditions in or around the house? All of these are questions worth asking. But first, it’s important to recover completely from our injuries. And to that end, it’s important to learn from common post-injury mistakes.

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