It takes teamwork to recover from your injury—and you are the most important member of that team. Every person is different and every injury is different, so I can’t promise you how long it will take to heal and get back to your normal activity level, but I can promise you this: a lot of it is up to you.
Of course, there are some factors that are out of your control, like age, genetics, and underlying medical conditions. If you have youth on your side, you may heal faster. If you have a chronic medical condition like diabetes, you may heal more slowly. All of that aside, there are some things you can do to optimize your recovery:
- Follow directions: This isn’t a dictatorship, but when we prescribe rest or therapy, it’s because we believe it’s the best course of action for your particular injury at that particular time. We have the benefit of experience on our side. Trust us, follow our guidelines, and we’ll get you back to 100 percent as soon as possible.
- Commit to physical therapy: Physical therapy is an integral component of rehab and healing—and it takes hard work, discipline, and commitment. Your physical therapist can’t do the work for you—you have to be an active participant. Skipping physical therapy will only prolong the process. Be consistent, follow through, and you will see results.
- Be patient: Take your time easing back into exercise. More isn’t always better; sometimes more is just more. Many people reinjure themselves because they pushed too hard too soon. Choose to be like the tortoise—slow and steady wins this race.
- Choose a healthy lifestyle: A healthy lifestyle can play a role in healing. Make nutrition and sleep a priority. Smoking impairs the body’s ability to heal—so now is a great time to quit.
- Stay positive: Attitude is everything. Recovery can sometimes be a process of taking two steps forward and one step back. A positive attitude will help you navigate the process.