Keeping Mentally Fit After Your Foot or Ankle Injury
- A couple weeks ago we wrote about getting back to work after a foot and ankle injury, and this week we want to focus more on the individual and their mental health.
It's hard enough losing the ability to do the things you were doing before, and this can lead to further issues on the mental state.
According to BeyondBlue, "the emotional trauma of incurring physical injury resulting from events such as sports injury, assault, car accident, or accidental fall - can increase the risk of a person developing symptoms and disorders such as, anxiety, depression, panic attacks, anger/frustration, isolation, lack of motivation, insomnia, substance use or abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and post-concussive syndrome." While taking care of your mental health has always been important, only recently has society started recognizing just how important it is.
Even though foot and ankle injuries can heal relatively quickly, losing your independent abilities can have an immediate effect on your mental health, even if it's just temporary.
There are several things you can do to keep up your mental health during recovery. In this article we visit the big ones and discuss how using a knee scooter can actually help your mental health after an injury.
Taking Care of Your Injury
This one might seem like a no-brainer but taking care of your injury ensures that your minimum time off is achieved which means you'll be back to your pre-injured self in less time. This is important for your mental health because the less time you are away from being 100%, the less chance you have at being mentally affected by your injury.
Taking care of your injury can take many forms. Listening to the doctor about your limits, staying off the injured foot (remaining non-weight bearing) and doing only allowed physical therapy are just a few ways to take care of yourself post-injury. While this may seem like you are limited to doing everything, there are many ways to continue your life normally still.
Crutches are the most basic equipment used with foot and ankle injuries. Crutches serve the single purpose of allowing the user to be non-weight bearing. But the potential for re-injury is greater than if you were to upgrade them to a knee walker, or knee scooter. A Mayo Clinic blog states that crutches can sometimes place the patient at an even greater risk of falling or re-injury. This is because they can require the user to have above-average upper-arm strength and can become slippery on wet surfaces. They also give more opportunity to risk weight-bearing activity by keeping the injured leg close to the surface.
By upgrading to a knee scooter and using within the manufacturer guidelines, the user is at much greater risk of accidental reinjury on a daily basis. Ultimately, this ensures the user is taking care of their injury by allowing them more easily to keep their injured foot from the ground and reducing the opportunity for weight-bearing activity.
Getting Out Of The House
Being cooped-up at home, or indoors, is an unhealthy behavior that can be justified when injured. While phones and computers can keep you busy all day, relying on these technologies and staying inside has been linked to higher rates of anxiety and depression.
We have had many customers state how happy they were by being able to do things outside with their knee walkers. Many have given us pictures of walking their dogs, going to the beach, and socializing with friends while in recovery. Getting outside is a great way to keep mentally fit normally, which is no different, if not more important, when recovering from an injury.
Spending Time With Friends and Family
Did you know traveling with a knee scooter is a lot easier than it sounds? Most models fold easily to go into a vehicle for transport, or an airplane when travelling further. They also allow you to keep up - if not go faster - than your peers pace when going from place to place.
Eating Out, shopping, or just hanging out is so much easier to do with a knee walker than crutches - meaning less of a hassle to keep up with your friends and family.
Getting Back to Work
Money and limited social interactions are two factors that patients stress about during recovery. As we mentioned a couple of weeks ago, getting back to work is easier the quicker you return. Knee scooters make this transition much easier - allowing users to engage with their coworkers and return to a regular paycheck.
Read our blog about getting back to work after an injury to find out more about the benefits of knee walkers when going back to work.
Being independent helps nurture your sense of belonging and your ability to be on your own. When this is lost, you risk taking a hit to your mental health.
Getting yourself from point A to point B is a valid worry for someone coming back from an injury. In addition to transporting items, showering, doing basic chores - the list goes on for things that become more difficult when in recovery.
While Crutches make your more reliant on others for help, knee walkers and their accessories do the opposite. Cup holders and baskets free up your hands to carry the most essential items - like your morning coffee or your purse!
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