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Trauma and Wound Healing

Trauma is a stressful event caused by either a mechanical or chemical injury. Depending on its level, trauma can have serious short-term and long-term consequences. The role of healthy nutrition, both in promoting healing and avoiding complications associated with trauma, has long been acknowledged in trauma recovery.

Trauma varies in intensity, ranging from serious burns or traffic accidents to the gradual, cumulative trauma that occurs with repetitive overuse of muscles and joints (such as strenuous weight lifting). Minor injuries, often no more than minor irritants, are relatively frequent. However, any traumatic event, even a minor one, affects the body's natural metabolic balance and initiates a cascade of reactions aimed at repair and restoration of function.

Over the past few decades, trauma has become increasingly common (Hall 1995). This may be due in part to newer, more dangerous pastimes and sports. People have also learned a great deal about recovering from trauma, including nutritional approaches to maximize healing.