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Self-Care Tips Following a Personal Injury

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Self-Care Tips Following a Personal Injury


Recovering from an injury can be difficult. For many people, regaining their health takes a long time and involves many physical and emotional challenges. While some can fully recover from an injury in weeks or months, others are left with permanent issues such as problems with mobility, concentration, or chronic pain that affect how they live their lives. Even people who can fully regain their physical health before an accident are often left with severe emotional issues like anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder.

The recovery process looks different for everybody, but there are some key ways that people can help themselves heal and cope with their trauma. This page contains valuable information for people wondering how to recover from a serious accident injury.

See a Doctor

If you have been injured in an accident, the most important thing you can do is seek care from a medical professional. Often, this will be obvious. However, many people walk away from accidents with trauma that they are unaware of, such as herniated discs, traumatic brain injuries, or damage to the ligaments in their shoulders or knees. Leaving these injuries untreated often makes them worse and even more challenging to recover from.

Get Enough Rest

According to Julie K. Silver, M.D., a nationally recognized doctor in physical medicine and rehabilitation and an affiliate of Harvard Medical School, losing sleep can harm recovery. Typically, people need about seven or eight hours of sleep every night to be healthy. However, the body can require more than regular rest with an illness or severe injury. According to Silver, some critical healing processes require sleep to function. A study at the 5th World Congress on Sleep Medicine in October 2013 shows that sleep deprivation impairs muscle recovery after injuries.

While getting enough rest while recovering is essential, injuries can make it difficult to sleep. Many people have issues with sleeping because of pain from their injuries. Others cannot sleep because they are worried about their condition or have anxiety about the traumatic event that caused their injury. Dealing with these issues can sometimes be as simple as drinking less coffee or adhering to a regular sleep schedule. However, some people need medications to help them get enough rest. Be sure to speak with your doctor before taking any sleep aids, even over-the-counter medications, as they may interfere with your recovery.

In addition to getting enough rest, it’s often essential to move your body around to heal correctly. To learn a little bit more about mobilization during injury recovery, check out this video from St Michael’s Hospital:

Eat Well

While you are recovering, keeping your body healthy and getting all the nutrients you need for general health is essential. However, worrying about getting the exact amount of recommended calories, vitamins, protein, and other nutrients can cause undue stress. This can, in turn, hamper your healing process. People recovering from an injury should do their best to eat well without following extreme diets or causing themselves stress or discomfort. A handy way to see if you are getting the nutrients you need is to look at these healthy eating guidelines from the USDA and see how your habits match. Remember that these guidelines are just a general tool and that you should ask your doctor for specific advice about improving your diet.

In addition to eating for general health, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics advises that people recovering from injuries focus on eating enough protein, Vitamin C, Zinc, Vitamin D, and Calcium. Eating foods with a lot of fiber is also essential for people on pain medications. This can help combat constipation commonly caused by these medicines.

Finally, be aware that many people make claims about the healing properties of different foods. Be careful that you only follow advice from medical professionals and know about the FDA’s review system for food-based health claims.

Take Care of Yourself Emotionally

Being injured can mean dealing with difficult emotions. A 2017 study of injury patients who received hospital care shows a strong link between injury and suffering severe emotional issues like PTSD and depression. However, coping with these emotions can be different for each individual. Some of the best ways to help yourself heal emotionally after being injured in an accident include:

  • Spend time with your loved ones: Injured people often want to isolate themselves to deal with their emotions. While it can help you have time to yourself, spending time with the people who care about you is essential.
  • Manage Stress: As mentioned above, stress makes it more difficult for the body to heal. Learning stress-coping strategies such as relaxation techniques, deep breathing exercises, and meditation may seem cliche, but it helps many people manage their stress levels.
  • Seek Help: People sometimes try to hide their emotional problems. However, being open about your issues is essential, especially when speaking with your doctor. Ensure your doctor knows if you have severe depression, anxiety, or other emotional problems. Your doctor may recommend that you speak with a therapist, take medication, or join a support group.
  • Be Patient: Learning to cope with an injury is a long-term process. Don’t worry if you cannot adjust immediately, and recognize that not all recovery strategies will work for everybody.
Financial Recovery

Recovery is essential, but many people are unsure how they will be able to pay for surgeries, therapy, in-home care, and other necessary costs. This can be especially difficult when injuries leave people unable to work and a source of income is suddenly lost. A large number of accident injuries are caused by negligence. In these circumstances, injured people can often hold negligent parties responsible for paying for the emotional and physical damages the accident caused. These damages can be recovered through personal injury claims.

Personal injury claims seek to provide injured people with the money and resources they need to fully recover. However, not all cases are similar. It is best to make sure you speak with an experienced Fresno personal injury lawyer before taking action. Even if you are unsure whether your claim is viable, most injury attorneys will offer you a free phone consultation where you can get the information you need. If you’d like some advice on finding an excellent personal injury attorney in Fresno, check out this helpful video:

Resources for Injured Individuals in Fresno

Many people need extra help while recovering from an injury, which can sometimes be hard to find. However, resources are available for people in Fresno dealing with the effects of a severe injury. These include:

Fresno City College Disabled Students Program and Services – Students at Fresno City College with brain injuries, mobility issues, audio or visual impairments, or other health conditions can receive assistance through this program.

Fixed Route and Handy Ride Buses – People who need help getting from place to place can use Fresno’s free public transit facilities, including mobility device marking, tethering, and other accommodations. People outside the city can access cost-effective transportation options from the Fresno Rural Transit Agency.

People interested in work programs, travel training, peer support groups, consumer advocacy, and more for people with injury-related disabilities can check out the Resources for Independence Central Valley, a group dedicated to helping people with disabilities live independently.

Fresno Personal Injury Lawyers

If your life has been affected by an accident injury, call our injury attorneys to get free, friendly advice regarding the legal options that may be available to you. We can be reached at (559) 377-7676 or (800) 404-5400. We’ve been helping people in Fresno recover the money they need for serious personal injury claims since 1982.

Editor’s Note: updated 10.24.23 Photo: ab ms cha ds [cs 1291]