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Healing Takes Time

Rediscover the virtue of patience when it comes to your recovery

We live in a society fueled by instant gratification and around-the-clock access—has this distorted our perceptions about the time it takes to “heal?”

From social media to streaming our favourite shows and ordering whatever we want on Amazon, it seems patience is rapidly becoming an antiquated concept.

Even in healthcare, the goal these days is how to get people out of the hospital and back home faster. There is a valid reason for this—people often do recover better in their own comfortable surroundings, there is less chance of picking up a nasty bug from the hospital ward, and many medical procedures today are not as invasive as they once were.

But how has this perception of speed rubbed off on other aspects of our life?

No one wants to suffer long-term from any injury or illness that limits their ability to enjoy life and their favourite activities. On the other hand, if you rush things and don’t follow through on a prescribed regimen of treatment, you can end up back where you started, or worse.

Healing is a process that takes time

Take, for example, the usual counsel at the pharmacy pick-up counter to always finish a prescription of antibiotics, even if you are feeling better. Why? Because if you don’t, those bugs that still survive might roar back.

No matter how fast life gets, no matter how accustomed we’ve become to having what we want on demand, some things will just take time. Your body is a wonderful organic machine, but none of us have the mutant gene for regeneration like Wolverine in the X-Men, or access to a tissue regenerator like they have on Star Trek.

Instead, all we have is time and access to the appropriate medical care that A) May be able to accelerate your recovery, provided you do what you are supposed to do, and B) May be essential to recovering at all.

Some injuries obviously take a lot longer than others

Take the humble scab for a minor scrap or cut. That can take three to seven days to heal. Do yourself a whopper that requires sutures and you’re looking at up to another week. If you’re looking at any kind of abdominal surgery, recovery time could be anywhere from one to two months.

Or a broken bone. Healing time can be anywhere from four to eight weeks, depending on the location and type of break. Messy ones like spiral fractures may take months of recovery and involve surgery.

Then there is the rotator cuff. This is the group of muscles and tendons that keep the ball (head) of your upper-arm bone (humerus) in your shoulder socket. It also helps you raise your arm over your head and rotate it. This is what people often injure in sports like baseball, or from repetitive motions in trades occupations like painting and carpentry. We even see it happen with middle-aged and elderly people from something as simple as reaching back for a car seatbelt.

Recovery from a rotator cuff injury can take anywhere from a few weeks to six months or more depending on whether it is inflammation or an outright tear. But even to recover from a tear within six months means being careful not to aggravate the injury and sticking with a consistent routine of professional physical therapy. And again, surgery may be required.

Fixing your spine is no different

Chiropractic care to address alignment issues with your spine is no different. It takes time – how much time will be dictated by three things:

  • The severity of your condition and how reversible it is.
  • Whether you still regularly engage in activities that contribute to and/or aggravate your condition.
  • How well you adhere to your prescribed care, including your clinic visits and any exercises we ask you to do at home.

You won’t be painting a ceiling or throwing a baseball next week, likely not even next month, with even a minor tear of a rotator cuff. You may not be skiing the expert slope at all this winter if you’ve got a spiral leg fracture because even once the bone has healed, you still need to rehabilitate atrophied muscles.

We all know these things, or at least, we should. The same goes for that back or neck issue that brought you to our clinic. Time is often the best medicine of all, and when it comes to any kind of rehabilitative care, consistency is key.

If you have any questions please give us a call today!

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