5 Post-Car Accident Injury Recovery Tips
If you’re currently in the recovery phase of injuries that resulted from a car accident, you’re probably looking for the fastest path forward. And while time is one of the most important ingredients in a recovery, there are some ways to speed things along.
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Here are a few suggestions:
Listen to Your Doctors and Lawyers
The important thing you can do is listen to your doctors and lawyers. They’re the objective experts in your situation. While you’re running high on emotions, pain, stress, and frustration, they’re giving advice based on their professional experience.
“If you or a loved one gets into a car accident, your first priority will remain to address any injuries and follow-up on medical treatment, as well as work with your insurance company to get the vehicle repaired,” Matthews Injury Law explains.
It’s important that you listen to your doctors for two specific reasons. First and foremost, they know how to help you get better. They aren’t just throwing darts blindfolded and hoping their recommendations help. They’re offering proven treatments for healing the underlying injury so you can return to normal as soon as possible.
Secondly, following your doctor’s orders is a prerequisite for filing a lawsuit or insurance claim. If you don’t follow their treatment plan, the insurance companies will use this against you. They’ll claim that your injuries are worse than they should be because of your decision to take matters into your own hands. You can avoid this by following their suggestions.
Get Plenty of Rest
Sleep isn’t optional when recovering from an injury. You need as much as possible.
When your body sleeps, blood flow increases to muscles and tissue. This ensures the proper nutrients are delivered so that muscle repair and growth can occur. Not only that, but sleep causes stress hormone levels to drop, which lowers internal inflammation and leads to better overall health.
In addition to getting a minimum of eight to nine hours of sleep per night, it’s recommended that you take at least one 60-minute nap during the day. (Preferably, in the late morning or early afternoon.)
Watch Your Diet
The food you put into your body takes a direct impact on your body’s healing “efficiency.” The more you supply it with the right foods, the faster it heals. The “right” foods depend on the type of injury. Take muscle and tissue injuries, for example.
“Muscle and soft tissue wounds can range from sprains to torn ligaments and ruptured tendons. These soft, connective materials are made up of collagen, elastin, and other organic components,” OPAortho explains. “Eating the right foods can promote the manufacture of these natural compounds, which in turn can affect regeneration time.”
To accelerate your recovery, you’ll want foods that contain a high protein count, essential fatty acids, vitamin C, and antioxidants.
For bone fractures, you can still benefit from protein, fatty acids, etc., but the focus is on calcium-rich foods, iron, magnesium, potassium, and vitamin D.
In addition to being mindful of whatever you eat, it’s also important that you fuel your body with plenty of liquids to stay hydrated.
“For people improving from injury or surgery, proper hydration is significant to the success of physical therapy,” Integrated Rehab notes. “Water flushes toxins out of the body, transferences nutrients into the cells and assistances regulate body temperature and pH balance. Water also assistances with muscle soreness and tension.”
If you’re having trouble drinking lots of plain water, consider adding lemon, lime, or flavor packets to make it more appealing. Caffeine-free tea and fruits (like watermelon and apples) are other good options.
Exercise and Stretch
As soon as the doctor clears you to do so, gentle exercises and stretches should be a priority. This will benefit you regain full range of motion and flexibility. It can also increase circulation to specific areas of the body, which speeds up recovery.
You can’t circumvent time. If you shatter your femur, you’re not going to get up and walk next week. And if you experience a concussion, you won’t be driving or returning to normal work duties right away. Time is the biggest determining factor in your recovery.
Having said that, by following the tips outlined above, you can speed up your recovery, within reason. The goal is to be proactive but not reckless. There’s a happy medium somewhere in between those two ideas – find it!