Why Your Injury and Recovery is Like the Stock Market
By: Jesse Lewis, DPT
Do you check your 401K or other retirement accounts every day? Probably not, and It’s likely because you know that the stock market will go up or down on any given day. You’re in it for the long-term, though. So if your balance is a little lower today, you won’t worry as long as it is higher next quarter. If you make steady progress every quarter, you’ll reach your retirement goal. Recovering from an injury is no different. Taking a long-term approach is important. Also realizing that there will be ups and downs along the way is important. As long as you make steady progress, you will reach your goal.
Injuring yourself is never fun. Recovering from an injury can be even less fun. It takes hard work, patience, persistence, and often some help along the way from a healthcare professional. Likely the hardest part of all is the patience required. No matter how much work you put into your recovery, your body can only naturally heal so fast. Depending on the injury, your body may take days, weeks, or even months to fully heal. Taking a long-term outlook for your recovery is extremely important to healing. If you expect an injury to be better in 3 weeks when it may take 2 months, then it is easy to become frustrated and discouraged. Seeking an opinion from an experienced physical therapist can often give you some guidelines for how long your specific injury may take to heal. Once you have realistic expectations, it can be easier to handle the ups and downs along the way.
Very rarely do injuries improve every day. More often, there will be good days and bad days. There are a lot of reasons for this. Your body naturally has ups and downs. Do you have days where you feel better than others? Most likely you do, and that can make an injury feel better or worse. That could be because you didn’t have a great night’s sleep, had a weekend of poor eating, or any other number of reasons. Also, as you are recovering, you will likely start getting back into activities you’ve been avoiding. That’s the goal of getting past your injury, right? As you get back into what you enjoy, it’s possible you over-do it and that temporarily makes the injury feel worse. That’s normal, and not a reason to feel down about your injury. You need to push yourself a little as you recover. So if you have a minor setback, it’s no cause for concern. A day or a week of feeling worse does not mean you aren’t getting better.
As you are recovering from injuries, keep the stock market in mind. Take a long-term approach. Realize that there will be ups and downs along the way. As long as you make steady improvement and the ups and downs trend towards getting better, you’re doing great!