Friday, June 18, 2010

A Time To Build

The body's healing power is amazing. For the first 12 hours after wrecking, I needed a sling to support the weight of my arm as my shoulder muscles were too freaked out to do any work. But since then, my shoulder has improved a lot. The ability to support the weight of my arm has not only returned, but the range of motion has extended inches to feet. Meanwhile, the swelling and general aches and pains are subsiding.

These are all encouraging signs that I was spared serious injury. Of course, only time will tell the extent of the injury.

When I workout, I typically have a goal in mind. That goal is based on a plan that was put together weeks/months before. Workouts tend to have different stages: base, build, peak, etc. The same can be true about your healing plan. When I'm injured, I make a mental switch from a workout plan to a healing plan.

Recovery also takes longer with aging. As you age, it becomes more important to remain focused on giving the body the tools it needs to heal as quickly as possible. My healing plan includes the following: NICE (NSAIDs, Ice, Compression, elevation), good nutrition, therapy and having a positive outlook.

NSAIDS include Ibuprofen (Motrin), naproxen (Aleve) or acetaminophen (Tylenol). I use ibuprofen only because it seems that I tolerate it the best. Choose one and take regularly for 10 days to reduce the inflammation.

10 minutes on multiple times per day. I've found that compressing a drug store ice bag with an Ace bandage is probably the most effective treatment you can do. Ice temporarily restricts the flow of blood in the damage tissue. When removed, the tissue is flushed with fresh blood and nutrients.

Even more so than when working out, recovering from injury requires a diet rich in protein and antioxidants.

I was surprised to find that I had be diligent about meeting daily protein requirements. Research suggests that an active athlete should take 1.2 to 1.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. I achieve this by consuming high protein foods and supplementing with whey protein powder.

Antioxidant flushing is achieve by substituting green tea for coffee, and consuming lots of fresh fruits like berries, cherries, plums and grapes.

I've already met with my PT, Mike Bartels at Edge Physical Therapy. Mike's a terrific local resource for cyclists and athlete in general. An active competitive cyclist, Mike relates well to the motivated weekend warrior. Since our visit, I've begun a series of light exercises to gently begin working on increasing mobility. If for nothing else, a PT will provide a road map toward your recovery. It's either that or following the advice of a typical doctor: rest.

Having a positive mental attitude helps. Certainly, the body will repair itself regardless of the attitude of the person, but I believe that being positive about your recovery does something more.

You don't have to do it all on your own. Let people know when your injured. The encouragement you'll receive in return will help keep you motivated to stay on your plan.

So thanks again for your encouragement. I hope to join you on the road again soon.

1 comment:

  1. Brady, I am flying over from your comments on spotting planes. Good recollection, though you did not mention that odorous waft of jet fuel exhaust that permeated the air seconds after the plane passed over. Little wonder those belly bombers tasted so good. Ol' Dad enjoying ol' Dads day