No matter what we do to avoid them, injuries will always be a fact of life. They can be particularly frustrating if you thrive on being active. Having to sit at home for weeks or months before getting back on your game is never fun.
You might be tempted to reach for some kind of pain-reducing medication or a similar short-term relief – but there could be better options. There are several natural remedies and solutions that can help you ease through recovery by accelerating the healing process and improving the way you feel. Read on to learn more.
It’s easy to start running below your required daily water intake when you’re no longer active. While you might not be losing as much liquid through perspiration, your body is still hard at work mending and building tissue. It needs plenty of hydration for this process to go smoothly.
Try sticking to plain water or the occasional fruit juice. If you’re fighting swelling, it’s a good idea to avoid sports drinks as they contain salt that increases water retention and makes it more difficult for swelling to go down.
Eat more protein
As you probably know, training your muscles involves creating micro-tears that are woven back together after exercise to make stronger tissue. It’s not far off from what happens when you get injured.
Muscles are made of protein, and so is the flesh that has been damaged, which is why you should supply your healing cells with a healthy amount of lean protein during recovery. Be sure to add some fruits and vegetables into the mix so that you have all the necessary nutrients.
Omega-3, which is most prevalent in foods like flaxseed, can also help thanks to the fatty acid’s powerful anti-inflammatory properties. The same is true for herbs like ginger and rosemary.
Make sure to moisturise
Surface wounds like cuts and grazes take longer to heal when they dry out. Your skin requires moisture to knit back together efficiently instead of cracking around the edges, which can add to the pain. Using lotion or ointment can help. Consider picking up a humidifier if the air in your home is usually dry.
Get plenty of rest
Boring as it may be, rest is seriously important when you’re recovering from an injury. Sleep releases growth hormones, which stimulate muscle development and healing. It also keeps your mood in check and reduces stress, which helps to combat inflammation.
Aside from getting adequate shuteye, you also need to ensure that you’re keeping your posture in check while in bed. Having the right mattress for your sleeping position is key to avoiding back and neck pain. If you prefer to sleep on your side, this guide on the best mattress for side sleepers can help you find the right fit.
Hot and cold treatments are a mainstay of many top athlete’s routines. This is partly due to the fact that temperature can help to manage what’s going on under the surface.
For example, applying an ice pack for 10 to 30 minutes around every two hours will go a long way in reducing swelling and pain. Heat, on the other hand, is great for promoting blood flow and relaxing internal tissue. Speaking of relaxing, don’t forget to regularly stretch to prevent discomfort and avoid allowing your muscles to tense up.
At the end of the day, the best you can do is to practice a bit patience and allow your injury to heal while you focus on something else. Rest-assured that in due course, you’ll be back in action feeling and performing better than ever.