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How to Recover Naturally After an Injury

Shopify API March 29, 2022 No Comments
Learn about the effectiveness of the commonly prescribed RICE and MEAT injury protocols and other techniques to recover from your injury.
 Injury Recovery

March 2022. This article is independently written by Shelby Golding. All opinions given are hers. Shelby has been certified as a personal trainer and nutritional specialist since 2007. In 2008, she found her passion for writing about these topics and hasn't looked back.

 Injury Recovery

Injuries might not always be fatal, but they are still a significant public health problem in the US. More than 3 million non-fatal injuries and approximately 150,000 injury-related deaths are reported in one year. These range in severity from mild sprains and cuts that heal in days to strains, breaks, and tears that last for weeks and turn into chronic pain.
 
The most common injuries include sprains and strains, swollen muscles, shin splints, rotator cuff and knee injuries, fractures, and dislocations. Some people are referred to as being "injury-prone," but the causes of injuries vary widely. Common reasons people get injured include stress, anxiety, age, weight, and profession. However, most injuries can be prevented, especially those that are due to overuse.
 
In the days following an injury – after the pain has subsided a bit and you've spoken with your doctor – you may start wondering about the following steps to a faster, natural recovery. This article will explore the effectiveness of the commonly prescribed RICE and MEAT injury protocols and other techniques to recover naturally from your injury.

Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation

Most modern medicine practitioners advise following the RICE protocol. RICE stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation.
 
The first step is rest. Keeping the injured area still prevents further stress or strain and allows the body to begin the healing process. Next, ice brings down swelling and reduces any pain or inflammation from the injury. Compression instigates healthy circulation and prevents the creation of scar tissue that might prevent smooth movement in the future. Finally, you keep the area elevated to prevent swelling and limit bleeding.
This technique is most effective in the days following an acute injury. However, many physicians debate whether or not RICE works.
While resting after an injury gives your body the time it needs to heal, keeping the area immobile for too long can cause problems with smooth joint movement down the road.
 
Ice, compression, and elevation all focus on reducing swelling. But swelling is helpful to injury recovery. When an area of the body is swollen, it indicates an increased flow of white blood cells and fluid to the site. Over time, swelling can distort and distend the tissues, affecting joint movement. But swelling isn't necessarily the enemy of healing.
 
RICE is based on the idea that in the time directly following the injury, you should keep the injured area immobile while it recovers. However, more studies support movement than rest during recovery.

Movement, Exercise, Analgesics, Treatment


 Movement, Exercise, Analgesics, Treatment

A revised version of acute injury recovery was created to replace RICE. MEAT stands for movement, exercise, analgesics, and treatment. It focuses on maintaining range of motion and movement in the joints.
 
Movement helps the body to recover naturally by encouraging blood flow, instigating lymph movement, and bringing blood and oxygen to the area to help it heal. You should start with gentle movements and try not to cause the area any unnecessary pain or strain.
 
Next, start exercising using careful movements aimed at maintaining mobility and strength. If pain or discomfort is present, analgesics control the pain during healing. A few natural alternatives to over-the-counter painkillers include anti-inflammatory supplements like turmeric and magnesium. And, of course, the Kailo pain patch – a recent clinical study showed that Kailo is more effective than other prescription and over the counter medications, with no side effects!

Prescribed painkillers are not recommended during healing since evidence suggests that they might impair tissue healing. In addition, they mask symptoms making it easier to reinjure the area. You might even think you can begin the activity again before you are ready. To recover naturally, consider adopting the no pills, no pain mentality.

The final stage in the MEAT protocol is treatment. Acute injuries can quickly become chronic if not treated properly. Work with a professional physical therapist to prevent re-injury and ensure a complete recovery.

Modify Your Diet

Both the RICE and MEAT protocols focus on recovery directly after an injury. MEAT looks further into the future, but mostly they are focused on getting rid of the pain quickly. Neither of them looks at the possible long-term repercussions of your injury, which may result in pain becoming chronic.
 
One of the best tools we have against chronic pain is our diet. Our diet can either cause or reverse systemic inflammation.
 
Think of systemic inflammation in the body like pollution in a river. The river might be polluted by runoff from factories, pollution from the surrounding communities, and maybe even a dead animal floating downstream. On their own, each of these factors will make the river more and more polluted. You need to address all of them to restore the river to health.
 
The same is true of your body. Inflammation could be caused by an injury, disease, poor diet, lack of exercise, or poor sleep. But while your injury might be the cause of inflammation in an area, a poor diet will exacerbate it. Over time, inflammation will spread throughout the body the same way pollution spreads in the river.
 
Processed food, sugars, red meat, and refined carbohydrates can cause systemic inflammation that aggravates an injury. Limiting the amount of these foods will help your body recover faster and lessen your chances of developing chronic inflammation in the future.
 
A healthy diet consists of mostly fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and fiber. In addition, try to add in as many anti-inflammatory foods as possible – the Mediterranean Diet is a great diet to reduce system inflammation.

Recover Naturally

Your recovery will be unique to you, but the RICE and MEAT protocols explore a few natural ways that can be used to heal your injury. To recover naturally, you need to listen to your body, and treatments like ice and painkillers impede your ability to feel what is going on in the injured area. You also need to think about the long-term, maintain smooth movement throughout recovery, and reduce inflammation using natural supplements and diet.
 
Be sure to consult with your doctor if you’ve recently been injured or have any questions about your current treatment.
 
And if pain is slowing you down, don’t let it take away from your time with loved ones this spring – just apply your Kailo pain patch and breathe a sigh of relief. A recent clinical study showed that Kailo is more effective than other prescription and over the counter medications, with no side effects!
 
Disclaimer: Kailo should not be used if you have a pacemaker or if you are pregnant. Always consult your doctor or health care professional before using Kailo.

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