I just had my (hopefully) last surgery on the wrist I broke two years ago. I have diligently done any physical tasks I was instructed on, whether that was not moving it or cleaning the pin that was sticking out. I have also paid close attention to my mental state
and have worked to get in some form of exercise each day. At the start, this meant walking, but I graduated onto my bike (on a trainer) with a cat tree next to the bike to test my arm on as I am a long way from weight bearing on my wrist.
I was mainly biking for my mental health but I noticed that the bruising and inflammation in my wrist decreased significantly after I started biking. Me being me, I looked up the research to see if this was likely to be a cause and effect relationship or if I just happened to feel up for biking at the same time my wrist started to improve.
The first thing I was struck by when I started my search was that the research focuses on people who are older (or mice that are older). I don’t fit the category but the research is positive. Keylock et al (2007) found that cutaneous wounds in older mice healed faster when the mice exercised and inflammation decreased compared to the no exercise group. Emery et al (2005) found improved wound healing in older adults who participated in an exercise program.
I get why older individuals tend to be the focus of studies like this: they are more likely to have wounds that don’t heal. But, if a simple recommendation of doing some sort of activity can improve healing for people of any age and health status shouldn’t we figure that out?
In the meantime, I will continue to ride my bike because, if nothing else, it does help my mental state.
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