“How long will it take for me to feel better?” This is one of the most common questions that a Rochester chiropractor is asked. Anybody seeking pain relief will have this question; it is natural to want to know how long it will be until you are pain-free and are able to go back to your normal life and activities. The answer to this question is almost always “it depends”.
It’s natural to want instant relief for your aches and pains. With the advent of over-the-counter and prescription medications, sometimes the pain can be gone within minutes of taking them. The problem is that most of the time, these drugs are merely fooling the body by blocking the pain signals. At the end of the day, these pain medications don’t fix the underlying issue and are merely masking the symptoms. Real healing doesn’t happen overnight and may take some time and effort to achieve.
It is almost impossible to be certain how long a person’s recovery timeline will be. The bottom line is that every patient is different and there are many factors that go into how long a person’s recovery can take. Let’s talk about what these factors are, how they affect the healing process, and how they can change recovery time.
Age of the injury
The length of time you’ve been dealing with the problem itself has a major impact on how quickly you recover. Acute injuries, injuries that have occurred within the past few days, typically respond quicker to treatment than an older, subacute, or chronic injury. The longer you wait to seek out treatment from an injury, the longer the recovery time can be. Pain from a chronic injury can actually form a positive feedback loop in the body; this happens when the nerve cells in the injury site actually become more sensitive and conditions your brain to experience pain even without an offending cause! Once this happens, it takes time and repetitive treatments for the body to heal and for the nerves to be reconditioned so that they are no longer oversensitive.
Severity of initial injury
Another major factor when it comes to injury recovery is the severity of the injury when it first occurs. Obviously, a simple injury like an ankle sprain can recover much faster than an injury from falling down a flight of stairs. While an ankle sprain can be pretty severe and cause major ligament damage, a fall down the stairs can cause fractures, disc herniations, and neurological deficits. When it comes to recovery time from these problems, the fall down the stairs may take much longer to bounce back from than an ankle sprain.
The healing process is a complex mechanism run by the body. If the body's health is compromised in any way due to either physical or lifestyle factors, those healing mechanisms can slow down. Poor nutrition, smoking, or obesity are all lifestyle factors that affect the rate of tissue healing. Other physical factors, such as age and chronic illnesses, will also slow down the healing process. The sprained ankle of a healthy 21 year old will heal much faster than the ankle of a 65-year-old diabetic.
The mind can be a powerful ally or enemy to the body’s healing processes. While pain can put our minds in a dark place, it is important to believe that a pain-free future is possible. Having the right mindset when starting a new treatment can drastically change the outcome and treatment length required. Individuals with a positive attitude are more likely to adhere to the treatment schedule and follow through with the prescribed exercises and stretches that are necessary to get better.
The worst thing you can do for an injury is to ignore it and hope it goes away. No matter your age, health history, or mindset, your chiropractor in Rochester is here to help. Here at Rush-Henrietta Family Chiropractic your Rochester chiropractor has experience with all types of injuries and helping all people get back to doing the things they love. If you are sick of just treating the symptoms or your condition with over-the-counter or prescription drugs, give our office a call today!