The healing process and how it can be incredibly frustrating at times
One of the most common questions we get it at Luck’s Yard Clinic, is how long it will this condition take to get better, or why is it not getting better faster? This is a million dollar question, but it is a little easier to answer when you break it down and understand the processes involved.
Healing and recovery of your injury or condition depends on several things including the length of time that you have suffered, the extent of the injury and the tissues that were involved. Your general state of health, previous injuries and your work situation, and if you are a smoker may also play a role. Your mental state is also very important. It can be a combination of all of these factors too.
Believe it or not, a fast miraculous recovery is never the absolute ideal, as you and your body, will not learn new and better ways of moving, and a re-injury can very easily occur in the initial healing stage. A slower steady recovery allows you and your brain to adapt to new and better patterns of behaviour with the help of our treatment, postural advice and exercises.
The acute, or what we call the active phase.
This is when everything hurts and when we examine the area of the injury, it is excruciating to touch. Your daily life is enormously affected as you are unable to work, turn over in bed, get up from a chair or look after your family very easily. Sleep is often poor at this stage. Many patients are sent in by their other halves as they are more irritable at home and may have a short fuse! All due to pain or lack of sleep.
When you have treatment for an acute injury you may improve faster initially. But it is also important to recognise that each and everyone of us recovers at a different rate.
The passive phase
This is when the mechanics of the joints are improving and the swelling and inflammation is dying down. You can move better and you sometimes even forget the pain for a little while. When you see your chiropractor it does not hurt so often anymore, but the chiropractor can still pin-point where the injury had occurred when examining the joint movement. This means the injury is still there, but it is not sending reminder messages to the brain about it all the time.
We also call this a “critical phase” as this is the prime time for a re-injury to occur. We like to think that we are super men and super women and heal miraculously fast! What happens when you sit down and rest for a week, and stop all normal activities? You notice everything that needs to be done at home and all the cobwebs. So immediately when you “feel” better, you go about like a mad person doing all the chores you have ignored for a little while. Super woman/man to the rescue…maybe not!
The following day, when you go back to see the chiropractor, you are worse and you simply don’t know why, until we unravel the previous day’s activities. We always advocate normal activities when you are healing, we call it active rest, but not overdoing it, nor lying all day on the sofa. Recovery needs adequate movement.
The recovery phase.
This is the slowest phase, as it seems to take so long and patience is important here. But the small microfibres in your muscles, ligaments, connective tissues and nervous system are healing, recovering and getting stronger slowly and surely.
They need good food and nutrition, water, sensible activities and listening to the chiropractor’s advice on posture and stress. This is why we have a rehabilitation programme at Luck’s Yard, both in a group setting and individually tailored from the Luck’s Yard team. We also have patients doing Pilates and Yoga in all the local classes in the community. It does work. Rehabilitation exercises teaches your muscles to support your mechanical frame, but also to be more clever as and when they need to move.
To find out more about the Luck’s Yard Chiropractic team and our philosophy, please see our web site www.lucksyardclinic.om or call our lovely front desk team on 01483 527945 and they will make sure they find the right therapist for you.