I see this ALL the time, and every time I cringe…someone walks by me in the coffee shop wearing an ankle boot, or I see a child in a cast or sling. I’m tempted to say something PC like “I know there are times when a cast, sling or boot is the only option” but the truth is, I wonder if that’s accurate? I wonder how much faster a child would heal from a broken arm, say, if they were allowed to move it (safely, of course).
So while I remain open minded that there ARE times when it’s absolutely necessary, this video is for those of you who may not need immobilization to heal. And all of the things I talk about here apply even if you HAVE to get that cast, or boot…just think about how QUICKLY can you apply what I’m saying safely? You’ll recover faster if you do.
When you immobilize any area of your body, several things start happening that actually HURT your chances of healing faster:
You’re molding your fascia in whatever shape it’s immobilized in, which means some tissue is getting elongated unnaturally while other tissue is unnaturally contracted.
Blood stops flowing as freely through your body. In order for blood to flow, your fascia needs to be fluid and spacious.
You have MORE blood in your fascia than any other soft tissue! And you MUST have fresh oxygenated blood to heal an injury.
Movement propels blood to tissue, via muscle contraction and expansion. When you can’t move freely, you don’t get as much blood flow.
Your muscles begin to atrophy. Your healing will definitely take longer if you’re losing muscle memory and muscle strength. AND – you’re definitely in danger of majorly compensation with your other arm/leg/foot/hand etc, setting you up for further injury (if not now, down the road).
These are just a few of the reasons I HIGHLY recommend against immobilizing part of your body, and instead suggest that you keep MOVING. Safely and intelligently of course! Don’t be stupid my friend. You can move a sprained ankle, put weight on a “bad” knee, bend and straighten your arm…gently, lightly, build up and in doing so heal faster.
THIS IS NOT MEDICAL ADVICE. This is my research, and this post and accompanying video are for INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY.