10 Ways I Am Cutting My Healing Time in Half
For those of you that read my blog last week, you will know that I had a brutal ski accident while in Whistler 3 weeks ago and broke my Fibula. Thanks and a huge shout out to so many of you that sent me notes, emails and text wishing me well and a quick recovery. I you missed last week, you can access it here:http://kevinbradyhealth.ca/why-do-bad-things-happen/
I was fortunate enough to see an orthopaedic surgeon 2 days after arriving home home that did some further X rays and analysis. The bad news is that I actually broke my Fibula in 2 different places. He looked at how out of line my break was and it was approximately 1 mm so at that point he did not feel I needed surgery or plates in my ankle. I go back in this Tuesday and as along as it doesn’t shift any more then he said I will not need surgery (keep fingers crossed). He stressed the importance of not putting ANY weight on if for the week as this could cause it to shift further. Unfortunately with the snow and ice this last week I had a fall in our driveway going to the taxi (which was like a skating rink) and put full weight on my bad leg. I hope I didn’t blow it for recovery.
When I saw the orthopaedic surgeon, he indicated my healing time would be 10-12 weeks before I could get back to using that leg in a normal fashion. I am using my own body as an experiment and my goal is to cut my healing time in half. I have done a ton of research on quick healing of bones and I am throwing everything at it in order to heal quickly. The good news is that I already do a lot of things in my life that should assist in healing quickly. The bad news is I am 57 which everyone says will put a delay on my healing time. Well, we will find out if that is a factor or not?
I am hoping that all my attention to health combined with the additional supplements and exercise I am doing now, will help me heal very quickly. Below I have listed what I am doing as part of my journey to cut healing time in half.
In the midst of writing this, I visited the orthopaedic surgeon yesterday morning 1 week after my initial visit. He outlined my break had healed very well in the past week and in the new X Ray it was difficult to tell that it was even broken. After all, I have a ski trip booked 6 weeks from now and need to try to do everything I can so that I am ready for that. In addition I have my Giro Sardegna cycling race in April and then I am into Tri racing season.
I did a ton of research following my accident and below I outline the things I am doing to really try to speed up healing and hopefully cut my healing time in half.
It is interesting but for any bone, muscle or other injury, common practice and the best way to reduce swelling and ease pain is to take Ibuprofen. However when I researched quick fracture healing, I learned very quickly that the worst thing you can do for healing is to take Ibuprofen. When you have an injury, it is important that the blood flows to the injury in order to initiate the healing process. Therefore although I took Ibuprofen the first day of my injury, I only stayed on it for one day and have not taken any since.
For those that read my blog, you know that I am firm believer in taking supplements as part of my everyday life. However after doing research and consulting with my natural nutritionist (Thanks Marina) there were some additional supplements that I felt that I needed to add or increase my dosage to promote bone healing and also act as anti inflammatory. Here is a summary of what I increased and or started taking:
-increased Vitamin C
-increased Vitamin D
-increased Vitamin B
-increased Tumeric and Curcummin 4x per day
-increased Fish Oils
-increased Protein intake
– Arnica 1000 orally 4x per day to reduce swelling
– Symphytum 30ch 4x per day for bone healing
– Calcarea phosphoric 6x – 4 tablets in the morning for Calcium absorption
-Calcarea fluorine 6x – 4 tablets each evening for Calcium absorption
3.Remedy to Reduce Swelling
When you break a bone, you put tremendous stress, impact and pressure on all the ligaments, muscles and tissue all around the bone. In my case, my entire foot, ankle and full leg was swollen and bruised after my fall due to all the stress I put on it during my fall in an attempt to get stopped. Therefore in order to increase movement of the joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments, you need to reduce the swelling as soon as possible. Here are the things I did to reduce swelling;
-Iced my foot, ankle, and leg a minimum of 4X per day/night when able
-I went to a great natural food store in Pemberton B.C.(StayWild Natural Food Market), and picked up homemade Arnica oil that was made in Nelson BC that I applied to ankle, foot, shin and Achilles morning and night. This seemed to work like Magic.
-I also picked up Essential Oils for Fractures that was suggested by the owner of Stay Wild and applied that along with Arnica to my fracture which really seemed to help
The proof was that my swelling went down really quickly and my healthcare professionals have remarked numerous times the last 2 weeks how quickly my swelling went down. In fact, as I look at my two feet together now, my broken leg looks almost the same as my non-injured leg
4.Lots of Healthy Food
I found that since I injured myself I have been crazy hungry the entire time. When I did some research, I found out that when you break or fracture a bone your calorie needs triple. The example that was sighted in one of the medical journals was that if you typically take in 2000 calories per day when nursing a broken bone your body requires 6000 calories per day. So I have been going with my desire to eat more in an effort to increase my bone healing. In addition, I continue to try to eat very healthy every day eating mainly Whole Foods, plant-based diet.
5.Tons of Water
Once again, my research on bone health and healing outlined that you need to ensure you are well hydrated and if anything overdue water intake for improving bone healing. I always consume a lot of water on a daily basis so I have ensured the last few weeks that I have been drinking more than ample water.
I found that I have been sleeping way more than usual since my fracture. In fact, last weekend when Barb and I were home I slept until 11:30 a.m. on Saturday morning which I haven’t done since high school! I also have found that I have been getting more tired than usual likely because my body is using my energy to heal my bones. Therefore I have been aware of this and have been trying to get to bed earlier most nights to ensure I am getting the sleep I need to increase the healing of my fractures.
The week after I broke my Fibula and arrived home, I visited my Sports Chiro friends at ProActive athlete 3x. They used their great treatments to help reduce swelling and also increase movement. I have been to see them 2 – 3 x per week since home in order to speed up my healing and it seems to be working very well.
As most of my readers are aware, exercise is basically a daily thing for me that I love. When I was injured I was very upset as I was in the midst of training for my 6-day bike race in Sardegna Italy in May and of course Triathlon racing season after that. I was concerned as I thought my workouts would have to be put on hold due to my broken Fibula. I believe I did the right thing as I took 4 days off after my accident as I felt it was important to let my body rest and recover. However, after my 4th day, I hobbled down to my regular gym(TheCore) in Whistler and had a great workout. It felt so good to get active and engage my muscles again. They had a room with a circuit of weight training equipment that made it easy to get around and do my weight training in a relatively easy manner.
When I got home, I ventured to our basement to use our universal gym, free weights, and ab workout. Our son Matt has an Air bike in the basement which I have not used before. For those that don’t know what an air bike is, it is essentially an Elliptical however old school meaning everything(arms and legs) are self-propelled. The good news is that I could use the Air Bike with my cast as the bike is more upright and also you use your upper body. So I am able to get my cardio workouts in on the Air bike and also do my weights using our Universal Gym. Although they are not my “regular” cardio workouts that I usually engage in this time of year(biking, swimming and running) I am so grateful that I can still workout and try to maintain my fitness(and feel great)!. In fact, tonight after work I hopped on the Air Bike for a great 1-hour cardio workout.
Once again, my research showed that one of the best things you can do in order to speed up healing is to do exercise in order to get your blood moving and use your muscles.
For those that read my blog regularly, you likely know I am a big fan of the morning “cold shower” for brain power, calorie burning, and overall health. Since I broke my leg, I have been spending even more time than usual having my cold showers every day. Although it is still painful, I have my cold shower every morning and in addition to putting the shower on my head and upper body, I spend time showering my injured leg and fibula which feels great.
In addition to the above, I have also been using a few other tools to reduce healing time. This past week I picked up an Exogen Machine on the suggestion of my Orthopaedic surgeon. Apparently, it can reduce healing time by 2-3 weeks. On the suggestion of my friends at ProActive Athlete I am also using my Compex machine to stimulate muscle growth in my broken leg and to also improve the circulation.
So How Am I Doing?
As you can tell, I am doing everything I can to speed up healing and hope that I can hit or come close to my goal of cutting my bone healing time in half. I actually feel very good and my fracture has been healing daily. I am at the point now where I am putting some weight on my Air Cast and walking with one crutch.
I saw my Orthopaedic surgeon today and he made a point of commenting on how quickly my fracture is healing. In addition, when I went to my sports Chiro/Physio the last few weeks, they again have mentioned how quickly I seem to be healing. The proof will be how I heal however I believe I will be out of crutches next week which will be 3 weeks earlier than the norm so I certainly hope it comes to fruition.
On a closing note, I want to show my appreciation to all those around me during this injury that have really helped me. First and foremost my wife Barb, who has been my personal helper, waiter, cook, cleaner, mental supporter and friend during all of this. I also want to thank my family(Tim, Matt, Lauren) who are always there for me. I also want to thank my employees that have been helping me get around, driving me to appointments and stepping up when needed to help me. Lastly, I would like to thank the medical team that has assisted me in so many ways. I hope I don’t leave anyone out – Dr. Joe Korkis(who is always there to help), Dr. Hanif Jamal and my friends at Advica Health, my Orthopaedic surgeon-Dr. B. Smith, Dave, and Pete at Pro Active Athlete, and Marina for her care and nutritional advice.
My sincerest Thank You to each and every one of you.
Yours in Great Health, Kev