Cautious Rehabilitation Pays Off
When the body has suffered trauma, whether it is from an accident or disease, it takes time and patience to recover. The rehabilitation process is often long and drawn out. During inactivity, muscles, joints and tendons weaken. Due to this inactivity, it takes, on the average, three times longer to heal. Let’s say you broke your arm and it was in a cast for 3 weeks. It will take approximately 9 weeks to regain full strength and range of motion, due to immobility.
Setting goals during the rehabilitation process is good; just make sure they are realistic. Being hospitalized and under the care of occupational and physical therapists is a safeguard against doing further damage. But, for those released from “guarded conditions” it is easy to become too anxious and try to “speed up” the rehabilitation process. In doing so, you put yourself at risk for further damage. Muscles and tendons need to be stretched slowly. Too much exercise or overexertion could actually tear the already damaged and tender affected area. Remember, too, that if the damaged limbs are lower extremities, there is a risk of losing balance and falling. We certainly do not want to go back to “square-one.”
Follow the doctor’s orders and prescribed time for the healing. The end goal is to be back to a condition that is as normal as possible. Be safe, not sorry.
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