Let me tell you a patient story that I’ve seen to be so common in physical therapy these days
Mary, is overweight and has been dealing with right knee pain for quite some time. Mary does not eat healthy at all, nor exercises as part of her lifestyle. Mary just thinks that the nagging right knee pain and ache will miraculously go away if she just keeps on doing what she's doing during the day. Mary believes that the knee pain will magically disappear by praying and hoping, while at the same time not really doing anything specifically to help her right knee out.
And so Mary waits and waits until the knee pain becomes so severe that she can no longer walk because of the excruciating pain. That's about the time when she decides she really needs to look further into the situation and figure out what's going on. Mary goes to the doctor and then gets told she has severe arthritis and will need to get a right knee replacement.
Mary is now in tons of fear because she is afraid of having surgery and does not want to undergo any operation. The doctor recommended her physical therapy and so she decides to start the rehab with the hopes of avoiding surgery altogether.
To Mary's surprise her right knee actually starts to feel better a few weeks into physical therapy, but at this point she still has not changed any of her habits or lifestyle. Despite the right knee getting better, she then starts to notice that her left knee is giving her problems also.
So what does Mary do? She takes painkillers because it's the easiest thing she can do to relieve her pain. The problem is that she starts taking them over and over again every single day. Without realizing it she becomes easily addicted to the painkillers and starts to have other medical issues. She is now depressed because she now has both knees to worry about.
Mary follows up with her doctor and now has been told that she may need two knee replacements, which will result in her having to continue physical therapy even longer. In her best case scenario she continues with physical therapy and goes through with the surgery for both of her knees. That process can take well over a year to recover.
Although she has agreed with the doctor's recommendations, she still has been unable to lose any weight throughout this whole time. The good thing is that now her knees don't bother her anymore, but the bad thing is that she is now starting to feel more pain in her lower back.
This is a vicious cycle and I would not want anyone else to experience what Mary had to go through, but unfortunately it happens all the time.
Mary has been under lots of stress and has been experiencing increased pain throughout her joints due to the amount of extra weight and pressure on her body. Mary is just one example of the type of patients I have seen who have come in for physical therapy.
There are others as well who I've seen with much smaller injuries and others with much more severe injuries. The point is that if you are overweight or obese and have become injured, now is a good time as any to start taking charge of your life and change your habits. You do NOT need to wait for your body to heal in order to exercise to lose weight.
Mary could have AVOIDED a lot of her problems by addressing it early on with a specialist who understands EXACTLY what she’s going through with the RIGHT solutions to offer.
There are several factors that can affect your healing time, either in a positive or negative way. Some are your age, type of injury, severity of injury, medical condition, nutritional status and food intake. We will focus on the last two, which are things that you can control. My goal for is for you to understand the impact nutrition can have on your healing times.
When you are receiving rehab, you are asking the body to help heal itself on an external level. Now with nutrition you are asking your body to help heal itself on an internal level so when you add this into your regimen you have the best of both worlds.
The foods you put into your body can either accelerate or delay the recovery process. When you are injured it becomes even more important to load up on nutrients to really improve healing by eating. Simply put, your goal during this time should be to certainly eliminate junk foods and add super good foods.
Food is fuel for your body and it is needed for healthy repair of body tissues.
The inflammatory phase is a natural process that is needed to undergo healing. The problem occurs when the inflammatory phase last much longer than it is actually supposed to. When eating for recovery during this time you want to add anti-inflammatory foods, decrease proinflammatory foods, increase your healthy fats and add supplement as needed. You must substitute the foods that will cause your body more harm than good with jam packed high nutrient healing foods.
Calories are also very important during the healing process. Your first instinct may be to think that you need to start drastically losing weight after you had an injury to reduce your overall pain, but once again that depends on many factors, one being the severity of your injury.
The right balance of food can help boost your energy about 20%, which is necessary for fueling the healing process. Your goal should be to focus on loading your body with nutrients because good nutrition can shorten your recovery time.