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Elizabeth Quinn

How Long Does It Take to Heal?

By March 25, 2012

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Healing from some sports injuries can happen quickly, but in most cases, time is not on your side.  It's important not to rush healing, but to help it along. If you suffer any sports injury, the first step can be the most important. Lean and use proper first aid treatment.

If you have a serious injury, get medical attention. If you have swelling it's important to get it under control. Once the acute sysmptoms of the injury are under control, a good blood supply will speed healing by moving nutrients, oxygen, and infection fighting cells to the damaged area.

Injury healing time can vary from person to person, but athletes tend to have a better blood supply, are in overall better condition,  and tend to heal faster than those who smoke, or have with chronic illness, or a sedentary lifestyles. Keep in mind that you can not force yourself to heal, you can only allow yourself to heal.

Average Healing Times

For someone in reasonable shape, the following are the average length of time to heal for common injuries:

  • Fractured finger or toe: 3 to 5 weeks.
  • Fractured clavicle: 6 to 10 weeks.
  • Sprained ankle: minor - 5 days; severe - 3 to 6 weeks.
  • Mild contusion: 5 days.
  • Muscle pulls: a few days to several weeks. This is very dependent upon the severity and location of the injury.
  • Mild shoulder separation: 7 to 14 days.

Sports Psychology for Injury Healing

You may be able to speed up your recovery with a few tricks from the field of sports psychology. Research support the ides of guided imagery and hypnosis in injury recovery, and with some practice, you may be able to use it to your advantage. Learn more:

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