By WIN Contributor: Tania Mannella, Doctor of Physiotherapy
Have you ever wondered why that Achilles tendon continues hurt with running? Why that tennis elbow won’t heal up after months? I think it helps to understand a little bit about how we heal and the multiple daily factors that can complicate our healing process….
It Lacks Blood Supply
Our ligaments and tendons play an important role in the stability and function of our muscle movement. Both are made of fibrous connective tissue that is relatively inelastic. Unlike muscle tissue, fibrous connective tissue does not have a significant blood supply to bring necessary fluid and nutrients to an injury site. And we need these nutrients to repair the damage.
You Stop Moving
When injured, you need to continue specific training so you can rehab your current injury and prevent any future injuries from happening, while staying on track for your goals. This training may include mobility and stability work and specialized strengthening exercises. Whether your injury is from a trauma, muscle imbalance, or overuse, specialized training will help speed up your recovery time.
You Don’t Take Time for Recovery
With proper training comes rest. Its important to take time for recovery and regeneration, muscle release, stretching, adequate rest, and increased circulation. Don’t have time for them? Make time.
A proper nutrition plan can speed up the healing process (…cue Dr. Laura!!!), while poor habits can slow your recovery. For example, drinking alcohol impedes muscle development and recovery. It impairs muscle growth, dehydrates the body, and depletes energy.
Lack of Sleep
Sleep is important to regenerate the body following injury. When we sleep, our body is able to secrete the proper hormones to build our immune system, increase muscle mass, bone strength, and energy. Losing sleep means losing time for tissue repair.
You’re Trying to Heal Yourself
Dr. Google doesn’t have all the answers. Injuries aren’t always simple and can involve multiple joints and areas… A team of WIN professionals who can diagnose and treat your injury, while guiding and coaching you on the proper exercises, movements, and steps to get you back to health is your quickest way to health.
Attitude is everything. You have to be more than just willing to get better. You have to want to get better. Be committed to your rehab exercises and be consistent in your therapy. If you see a physiotherapist regularly, the injury likely will get better, but it will take much longer if they are healing you alone.