Healing is hard work and you may not even recognize it.
Some parts of our body heal quicker than others. This usually depends on how complicated they are and how able supplies are to get there, in other words, the blood supply. Parts with more blood supply heal more quickly. This is why a cut in your mouth heals so much faster than one on your hand. This is also why muscle strains heal faster than ligament sprains. Muscles have good blood supply and ligaments have very little.
When you scrape your hand or your elbow you can see part of the healing process and how long it takes. You can see the wound 4-6 weeks later still healing. With even a very mild sprain your body requires 2-4 weeks for you to regain full mobility and for swelling to fully go away. After this time you can return to full activity, but you are still not fully healed. Even though you can’t see the process your body is expending extra energy to heal for months after an injury and it is more vulnerable than usual during this healing time even 6 months after the initial injury.
There are some things that you can do to help your body to heal faster and better no matter the injury.
Things to Avoid
- Medication. NSAIDS in particular like acetaminophen or ibuprofen. While masking your pain, have also been shown to inhibit the healing process of joints and soft tissue (Some of the research here).
Things to do
- Eat right. When you are injured your body has to build a whole new section of you and it needs the proper nutrients to do this. If you are eating healthy things your body will be able to get what it needs faster.
- Get in shape. This is a preventative healing booster. When you are already healthy your body is better able to handle new injuries and doesn’t have to fight with a sluggish system.
- Keep moving. When your body is in the inflammatory phase movement will help in transporting waste and nutrients. When in a repair phase movement will help your brain to know what areas need the most support and how to align the fibers for most effective function. You don’t want to over do it, but you want to keep using your injured part as much as is reasonable.
- Get adjusted. If the communication of your body to and from the brain is inhibited your healing can be poor or slowed
- Have a positive attitude. People with a positive outlook heal faster and are less likely to re-injure.