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What’s Stopping You? Daily Habits That Impede Your Healing
Physical therapy can help your body harness its healing power, but without a lifestyle change, you may actually be hurting your body. Add these three tips to your PT regimen to help your body heal as well — and as quickly — as possible. Too Much Yet Not Enough Rest is necessary for healing, but when you rest too much, you do more harm than good. Nursing an injury by using crutches for too long or favoring a limb encourages unhealthy movement and keeps your body from healing normally. On the other hand, not resting enough can be harmful. So be active but take it easy, and avoid spending hours on the couch or the treadmill. Snuff Your Habit Smoking comes with a long list of health risks, and “inability to heal from an injury” is on that list. Nicotine, the powerful chemical that makes tobacco so addictive, keeps your immune system from doing its job. Smoking also makes exercise more difficult because of the toll it takes on your cardiovascular system.
Painkillers can also inhibit the healing process because they mask pain without treating the source. Use them when necessary, but don’t rely on them for a long-term solution if you can avoid it. Eat for Your Joints You already know that food is fuel for your body, but what you eat can also affect your quality of life. Ingredients that cause inflammation — such as saturated fats, alcohol, and sugars — can increase pain in your joints and put extra strain on them. Instead, stick to a healthy diet of lean proteins, leafy greens, low-sugar fruits, and complex carbohydrates to give your body the boost it needs to heal. Making or breaking a habit can take weeks, so take it slow, understand that change is a process, and ask your physical therapist for advice. It may make your healing process more challenging, but it’ll be worth it in the long run.
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