Four weeks ago I got hit by a car on my bike. Unlucky I got hit; lucky I wasn’t squashed. The MRI showed an undisplaced fracture of the tibia and some damage around my knee joint. I quickly shifted my goal from mountain climbing to mending. I was on a new mission of fast healing so I didn’t miss out on a trek with Wild Women around one of the most beautiful mountains in the world, Alpamayo, in Peru. But what I learned about how to heal a broken knee can be applied to any healing journey.
“The fastest I’ve ever seen this type of fracture heal is two and a half weeks,” said the radiologist. Right. That’s me. I’m going to be the fastest ever healer.
I Googled “How to heal broken bones fast” and read everything I could find on this. Then, I took my medicine.
I was committed to three things:
1: Listen to my body
2: Listen to the experts
3: Listen to my body.
This is what I learned for fast healing:
- Wake up without the alarm. I learned that your body releases growth hormones just before you wake, so waking up naturally increases your healing capacity. Early to bed allowed me to wake with the birds not the alarm.
- Increase circulation using hot and cold. I did this by alternating hot and cold packs to the break site and joint every day for a week.
- Increase circulation using exercise. I forced myself into swimming, bike riding, and modified vinyasa yoga until I could walk pain free using trekking poles to support the healing bone and joint.
- Cut caffeine and alcohol. Yes, for two weeks I had NO coffee or bubbles, then limited myself to one coffee a day. This helps absorption of vitamins and minerals.
- Eat super healthy. This was hard. Nutritious delicious with no gelato or cakes for a couple of weeks – tough call.
- Increase protein and fish oil. When you first break, your body sucks vital nutrients out of surrounding bone and tissue, so you really need to boost your protein intake to provide your body with the materials for healing fast. I added Blackmores Double Strength Fish Oil.
- Increase vitamins and minerals. Even with a healthy diet, it’s hard to get enough vitamins and minerals for the job at hand. I took Blackmores Women’s Multi-vitamin.
- Chomp on comfrey. I learned that this controversial plant has magic bone healing properties and discovered my osteo had it growing in his back yard. Yum, yum… half a furry leaf daily in my salad. You can also get comfrey as a cream.
- Remedial massage. Like exercise, this increases circulation and helps healing.
- Consult health professionals, listen and learn. Be the boss of your body and take responsibility for healing. I consulted a radiographer, sports doctor, physio, osteo, wellness expert and remedial masseuse. Each one of these experts taught me something different and I combined it all into my own program.
Three weeks after I got hit by that car, I went to the Sports Doc who not only gave me the all clear for my trek, but he said I was healing well ahead of schedule because I was highly motivated. You betcha I was.
But fast healing is a project. It requires passion and discipline. Nature heals naturally, but you can accelerate it with education.
And lessons for life – You need to take responsibility for your health and your healing. In the end, nobody cares like you do, and the answers are all there if you look hard enough.
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Note: This post was originally published in 2018.