Not all wounds are synonymous with being bedridden, especially if they don’t limit mobility and the patient is used to regular activity. Unless the doctor says otherwise, physical activity can actually be beneficial for wound healing. Not only does it get blood flowing to the affected area, but it can also increase your overall health to promote faster healing.
While you certainly should be careful and talk to your doctor before doing so, exercise is not out of the question when you’re wounded. Here’s what you should know about exercise and wound healing:
Healing benefits of exercise
While staying active may seem difficult when wounded, overcoming the challenge can be surprisingly beneficial for wound healing. Maintaining an active lifestyle promotes overall health, which is especially critical for wounded patients. According to Wound Source, physical activity can help patients in recovery by:
- Promoting accelerated wound healing
- Reducing inflammation and oxidative damage
- Boosting mental health
- Improving patient outcomes
- Minimizing treatment costs
- Encouraging a healthy lifestyle
Research supports these claims, with one study published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology providing evidence for the anti-inflammatory effects of exercise. These effects are particularly beneficial because inflammation is one of the major causes of increased pain in the affected area and delayed healing.
A recent systematic review of the effects of exercise in patients with ulcers also concluded that while further research with larger sample sizes is necessary, exercise intervention can improve wound healing time and prevent the recurrence of ulcers.
Working out when wounded
Be sure to consult with your doctor about which type of exercise is safe to perform at each wound healing stage. While you may experience some pain, look out for excessive amounts of discomfort and signs of infection or damage.
As your heart rate rises and sweat begins to drip, the salty liquid can reach your wound dressing. This can cause some adhesives to come loose, leaving you at risk of losing the dressing and exposing your wound to the elements. Talk to your doctor about waterproof dressings or covers to prevent this from happening when you’re exercising.
No matter which type of wound care supplies your treatment or workout plan requires, smartPAC by Advanced Tissue can make it easy to manage the dressing changes. Each delivery comes with single-dose units and video tutorials for how to use the wound care products in your package.