Factors Affecting Recovery

June 18th, 2020

This blog will cover recovery from exercise and injury and factors that affect it negatively. Read ahead to learn more.

Any time we have an injury or pain, there are a number of things which affect how quickly and completely we recover from it.

Biological factors including the type of structures involved and how damaged they were can help detertmine the expected time that things will heal up on average, but they aren’t the only thing to consider. There are also a handful of things that often go unconsidered when determining the length of time it is likely to take to turn the corner. We will discuss six of them 

Understanding how these behavioral risk factors impact our recovery can be useful for increasing awareness of our overall health. When we recognize them, we are able to do a couple of things. We can either modify them to improve our recover, or simply understand how they iare impacting our recovery which can reduce anxiety and worry when any condition we suffer from seems to be taking longer to resolve than we would like. 

Let’s begin. 

  1. Smoking – It goes without saying that many people understand that smoking is bad for our heatlh. One major way that it impacts tissue healing though is through its effects on blood flow. Smoking is known to damage smaller arteries and veins which in-turn has a negative impact on your body’s ability to heal. DON’T SMOKE. 
  2. Nutrition – What we eat, and how much or little of it also impacts how our body recovers. If we don’t have the appropriate nutrients or enough of them available, our body will take longer to repair tissues, and the quality of those tissues could be compromised as well. If we are using more calories than we are taking in, our bodies switch into maintenance mode, making it difficult for it to recover from injuries, or adapt to new stressors. EAT REAL FOOD.
  3. Alcohol – Though there is some debate on possible benefical health effects gained from moderate drinking as we age, most scientists agree that excessive drinking is detrimental to our health at any age. Alcohol’s impact on recovery come down to a couple of things. Mainly it makes it difficult to maintain adequate hydration. Additionally, filling up on adult-beverages can end up making you inadvertantly skip eating things which positively influcence recovery like protien, simply because you are full. Long-term chronic alcoholism also negatively impact the nervous system which is crucial when it comes to restoring our bodies. 
  4. Physcal Activity/Inactivity – How much we move, or don’t also impacts how we recover. The unfortunate thing with this one is that it can be hard to dial-in. Too little activity and the body can become frail and unprepared for stressors in the world because it hasn’t been forced to adapt. Too much and we out-pace it’s ability to restore itself. We should aim to find a balance. Consistent, moderate levels of activity are likely best. They allow you to keep pace with your body’s adapatation mechanisms while also allowing you to get more training days in over the long-run. 
  5. Sleep – Our bodies recover most when we are sleeping. If we aren’t getting enough sleep, or it is interrupted, not allowing us to get into deep sleep, recovery will be adversely impacted. If you think about losing one hour of sleep a night, it doesn’t sound all that bad. Extend that one-hour loss out over a week and you’ve missed almost an entire night of sleep! Over a year, that adds up to roughly a month and a half of missed Z’s.
  6. Stress – In a similar way to physical activity, stress can be a double-edged sword. Too little of it and we lose our resiliance, too much and we begin to break down. If we are chronically over-stressed, our bodies get stuck in “fight or flight” mode and drain our reserves in order to survive. While this state is helpful in certain situations, it is not the place we want to be in full time if we want to thrive. Find some balance. 

There you have it, six simple things to consider when we are looking at the big picture of our pain and recovery. The next time you have a nagging injury, or feel an old ache rearing its head, I would encourage you to go through this checklist. You can remember them easily using the pneumonic device SNAPSS.

Addressing these things is just as important as making sure you are foam rolling, voodoo flossing, massage gunning, compression garment wearing, stretching, getting treatment, doing your corrective exercises, etc.Please do not ignore them!

As always, if you have any questions, feel free to reach out. Until next time. 

Be Well. 

If you are looking for a chiropractor in Denver, we provide individualized chiropractic treatment plans for your back pain, neck pain, hip pain, shoulder pain, and more! Click this link to go to our scheduling page, or give us a call at (720)263-0594 to schedule an appointment.