Getting an injury is always frustrating. It limits what you can do, prevents progression in training, but it’s usually a sign you’ve overworked your body, particularly with overuse injuries. Whilst I do my best to strengthen and prepare my body in a way that hopefully reduces my risk of injury, they are inevitable in sport. Here I share with you what I typically try and do to speed up injury healing.
What I Do To Speed Up Injury Healing (7 Tips)
#1 – Collagen
Depending on what your injury is collagen can help to speed up the healing process. If it’s bone, tendon or ligament related collagen will probably help since collagen makes is a large component of these structures. By consuming more collagen, your body has more collagen to use for repairing and healing bones, tendons and ligaments. Similarly, increased vitamin D and calcium should help to accelerate bone healing from a fracture or break.
Collagen can be obtained from:
- Collagen powder
- Bone broth
- The white crunchy caps on the end of your chicken bones
For me, I’ll use a scoop of collagen powder. You can add this to a whey shake, mix it into soups or even stir it into coffee.
#2 – Protein
Bones, tendons, ligaments and muscles are largely made up of protein. So it makes sense that in order to help repair these structures you increase your protein intake to recover from these injuries. Particularly with muscle, increased protein intake can help to reduce the loss of muscle mass during weight loss and injury.
#3 – Do Some Light Activity
I feel that even when injured it’s always a good idea to do some light activity. I think it’s beneficial to stimulate blood flow around the body sine the blood carries essential nutrients that we need. Because of that if I can’t do much with my lower body, I will try and do some core and upper body exercise and vice versa. Even getting out for a short 10 minute walk (ideally longer) makes me feel good, not only physically but mentally.
#4 – Rest
This is the most obvious point but sometimes we struggle to adhere to it. When the body is injured it needs enough time to repair itself and this occurs during rest. Sometimes we can get away with little activity and other times we might have to completely restrict movement at a joint for a period of time to help with the healing. It’s difficult, but this is the most important point to adhere to.
If we don’t rest and continue to exercise despite any nagging pains that might be flaring up whilst exercising then it’s likely the injury will only get worse.
#5 – Good Nutrition
“Good” is a subjective term. It can mean anything based on the perspective of the one reading it so I’m going to go into what “good nutrition” is for me. I always try to eat healthily, but during injury, it becomes even more important. This is what I try to focus on eating nutrition-wise:
- Fatty fish (typically sardines, mackerel or salmon)
- High protein foods
- Range of vegetables
- Limit carbohydrates (since physical activity is limited)
- Enjoying my meals
I’ve felt great eating this way and typically just try to cut out other processed foods that I might otherwise eat such as dark chocolate as although it tastes great, its high in calories and I think that my body would better off with the calories and nutrition from other foods such as organ meats or fish.
#6 – Rehabilitation Exercises
In order to prevent injuries from recurring, it’s good practice to start performing rehabilitation exercises to strengthen the muscles, tendons and ligaments around the part of the body which got injured. You may be able to deduce what exercises are the right exercises for you, but it’s always a good idea to see if a physio if you can so they can ensure you’re performing the exercises correctly and not doing anything which could make your injury worse.
#7 – Sleep Health
Sleep is when the body recovers best from exercise and I think the same goes for injuries. Since I have extra time (I’m not training as much or can’t train) then I make an extra effort to prioritise sleep. As a general rule, I go for no less than 7 hours of sleep per night and aim more towards the 8 – 10 hour mark.
There are studies out there linking a chronic lack of sleep with increased risk of sports injury so even as a preventative measure it’s a good idea to prioritise sleep.
Thanks for reading! If you found this post useful I’d greatly appreciate it if you could share it with friends on social media!