Injury recovery & Basic Wellness: How to Improve Your Recovery with Simple Strategies

By: Kaitlynn Austin PT, DPT

Are you currently recovering from an injury or surgery and looking to optimize your recovery time? It is
imperative that you understand that tissue healing takes at least 6-8 weeks. This is not a process you
can magically speed up. However, if you are not following the precautions given by your surgeon, doctor,
or physical therapist, you can certainly slow this process down – resulting in delayed healing and
recovery. This inevitably means that your return to your normal level of functioning will take longer.

After injury and/or surgery, you will be given specific activity guidelines in order to allow for proper tissue
healing and recovery. You may be prescribed medication by your surgeon/doctor. You’ll likely be
using some form of ice and compression to manage pain and swelling. Depending on your condition, you
may be wearing some sort of brace to rest the affected body part.

Lately, I’ve come across more questions from patients regarding what else they can do to improve their
recovery. Basic wellness strategies are very effective, but easy to forget. These strategies are not a
“quick fix,” or “magic pill,” so don’t expect miraculous results in a short period of time. Basic wellness
strategies assist us in functioning at our best, and this helps us heal and recover more efficiently. Here
are a few wellness tips to consider:

Nutrition: Inadequate nutrition is very impactful on our body. As an example, processed foods can be
linked to increased inflammation, chronic disease, and negative moods. What we eat impacts us more
than we realize!

The food we eat can either promote or reduce inflammation. What I’m referring to is general inflammation
in our bodies, at the cellular level. I am not referring to foods that cause or reduce swelling located at a
specific body part. Generally speaking, we want to reduce exposure to things, or foods, that cause
general inflammation that negatively impact the way our bodies function.
There are foods that can increase inflammation, such as dairy, processed foods, refined sugar and
refined carbohydrates (white flour), and foods that contain saturated and trans fats. There are also foods
that can decrease inflammation, such as fresh vegetables and fruits, healthy fats (omega 3s), and some

*Before you reconstruct your diet, consult a qualified health care professional to discuss your nutritional
needs in combination with any other medical conditions you may have. *

Hydration: Did you know up to 60% of our body is made up of water? Staying properly hydrated is vital
for proper functioning of every system in our body. It helps to flush our body of toxins, carry nutrients to
our cells, maintain healthy weight and energy levels, keeps our body from overheating, and lubricates
our joints. Water is best when trying to stay hydrated. Avoid caffeinated or alcoholic drinks, as these actually
promote dehydration.  

Sleep: Getting quality sleep is important. During this time, tissue repair and muscle growth occur. This is
very important when recovering from injury or surgery. When you consistently get a full night’s rest (7-9
hours for adults), you have increased energy and alertness, improved mode, and a strengthened
immune system. Consistently getting inadequate sleep can result in weight gain or fatigue that can
increase your risk to injury/accidents. Additionally, we generally don’t feel well when we are sleep

If you’re concerned about your recovery, or want some expert help, Body One Physical Therapy is ready
to help and packed with experts in the musculoskeletal system. We’re locally-owned and operated, with
three locations serving Central Indianapolis: North Indy/Carmel. Fishers, and Zionsville. If you want to
get your recovery on track, call or click today!