As a former professional soccer player, I have had my fair share of injuries throughout the years. My most recent injury involved my knee – during a fast paced league final. In the last few minutes of the game, I was running full speed and planted to take off in the other direction. I heard a pop in my knee – as a soccer player this is the last noise you ever want to hear. A few months later, my diagnosis was confirmed – a torn ACL and meniscus. After ACL reconstructive surgery and countless hours of rehab I still had pain around my torn meniscus that prevented me from playing the sport I love. I finally decided to try Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) combined with Prolotherapy in a last ditch effort. My knee is now close to 100% and I am slowly making my way back to playing competitively again.
Injuries happen to us all. Here are a few key tips on how to recover from an injury keeping in mind that giving your body rest and time to heal is an essential part of the recovery process.
Drink plenty of water and make sure you are getting enough of the right nutrients.
Water is essential for life and especially when there is an injury. An easy way to calculate how much water you should drink is divide your weight (lbs) in half, and drink that number in ounces. For example, if you weigh 200 lbs, drink 100 ounces a day (equivalent to 12.5 cups/day). Vitamin C is necessary in the formation of collagen, which is abundant in ligaments and tendons. The nutrient maintains integrity of connective tissue. Vitamin C dietary sources include fruits (particularity citrus types) and vegetables. Amino Acids are the building blocks for proteins and essential for muscle health. Antioxidants are essential for scavenging free radicals.
2. Give yourself permission to relax and recover.
Don’t rush into working out again. Listen to your body. Sometimes taking a break is just as important as being active.
3. Cupping & Acupuncture.
Cupping and acupuncture increase blood flow to the injury and loosen up surrounding tissue. Cupping became popular at the 2016 Rio Olympics with many athletes such as Michael Phelps.
4. If the injury becomes chronic and you cannot get over the last hurdle, try Peri-neural injections, Prolotherapy or PRP.
Peri-neural Injections are useful for neurogenic (nerve) pain following an acute or chronic injury. Dextrose is injected into the affected area to decrease inflammation, and initiate a healing response. Prolotherapy is used to strengthen ligaments and tendons. Dextrose and Procaine are injected into the area which stimulates a healing cascade causing more collagen fibers to be deposited. PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) is full of your own healing/growth factors which can be injected into the injury and stimulate healing at a quick rate.
Uncertain on what treatment option is right for you? Book in for a free 15 minute consult with me at the clinic to discuss your recovery plan.
Dr. Kendra Flock is a former professional soccer player and a former member of the Canadian Women’s National Soccer Team. These experiences have led to a passion for working with sports medicine, regenerative medicine, and pain management. She recognizes first hand how pain and limitations can influence one’s quality of life and her goal is to get you back to your best self.