Although people may be inclined to continue with their everyday lives following an accident, respecting the rest and recovery time prescribed by a doctor is necessary for a lasting return to health. Recovery times are specially chosen based on the type of accident and the individual’s health. The tendency to rush through them is ultimately self-defeating and could cause more damage in the future.
Why Doctors Do Not Always Immediately Recommend Exercise
Some rehabilitation circles assert that exercise, not rest, is the way out of any problem. However, this is a potentially dangerous misconception.
Tissue that has been put under strain becomes “sick,” meaning that it cannot immediately repair itself after an accident. If a person experiences, for instance, a slip and fall injury, it may take days, weeks, months, or even years for tissue to recover from this sickness. Only then should the person return to his or her normal life and begin recovery exercises. If a victim starts too soon, he or she could put undue strain on his or her body and further damage the tissue.
Why People Rush Through Recovery Time
Many people, especially athletes, may feel anxious if they spend too much time resting a part of their body. They may fear the more time they rest, the harder it will be to rebuild the muscle; or the longer they are away from the gym, the more weight they will gain; or that they may be unable to earn a living without ignoring their physical limitations. For these reasons people often disregard their doctor’s advice and return to their habits.
This propensity is dangerous for a number of reasons, including:
It may further injure the body
It may cause problems that were not initially apparent
It may cause an alarming amount of pain that will keep a person away from physical therapy in the future
Furthermore, diet, and not exercise, is the primary determinate of weight gain. If an injured person is concerned about gaining weight while resting, they should make alterations to their diet, not force their body through dangerous exercise.
Resting and recovering from an injury rarely means a person is confined to a bed for an extended duration of time. With the exception of serious injuries, like car crash injuries, most people can undergo a process called “relative resting.”
Relative resting involves finding ways to stay physically active while still recovering from an accident. Mild exercises, like swimming, yoga, or walking are excellent ways to maintain an active lifestyle while still respecting the body’s limitations.
A person should always consult a doctor or medical professional before he or she takes on a relative resting activity. It is not ideal for every injury, but it does provide many people hope for normalcy.