Athletes & Pain: How Do Athletes Deal With Pain? With Dr Claire Thornton

In some instances, athletes face a lifetime of pain after they retire from their athletic careers. It can lead to other problems such as addiction to painkillers and mental health issues. There were no significant differences in age/experience across the groups. This study provides evidence that adaptation to pain through participation in high-contact sports can enhance both pain tolerance generally and motor performance specifically under increases in pain. The mechanisms behind these differences warrant further exploration. There are several things you should look for when judging how concerned to be about your pain.

athletes in pain

Many available resources are not expensive, and a lot of therapists are progressive. You don’t need to worry that an athlete will feel like they have a problem if they seek treatment; such intervention is often very subtle and not the cliché “lay on the couch and talk” as in the past. Athletes who come from broken homes are not exactly a rare breed, and escaping danger or pain is the reason many athletes drive themselves to be great, says @spikesonly.

The number of indoor sanctuaries I have installed with contractors has increased tenfold. Obviously, I am not a carpenter, but the need for clean air, quiet sound, and green surroundings was overwhelming during the start of the national lockdowns. When the outdoors is taken away or restricted, you need to bring the outside inside. Nature is healing, and what used to be the video game room is now a lush garden where athletes can relax.

Psychology of Sport and Exercise

Pain that begins to affect your sports performance is not normal, and this may be more of a problem early in an injury for a high-caliber, competitive athlete than for the casual athlete who can more easily rest the injured part. Pain that begins to affect your function outside of sports, such as walking or sleeping, is not normal. Pain that is constant or increasing relationship between bone mineral density and alcohol intake over time and does not go away is not normal. Pain that does not improve with treatment may be something to be concerned about. Pain that requires increasing amounts of pain medication over time is not normal, and you should consider seeing a physician. Pain that begins to wake you from your sleep is also a concern, especially if it increases over time.

Accepting the reality that pain is a part of training and competition may be most helpful.You cannot perform at a high level and not experience pain. Prior to exercise, decide how much pain you are willing to experience to achieve your goals. When pain shows up, be willing to feel it fully as part of your experience. You may be surprised to find your pain suffering will be lessened when you allow pain to be a part of sport. I don’t think that you can blanket say this will work for everybody. I do think if we focus on challenge states, positive and direct coping, and building self-efficacy around how people feel able to cope with pain or injury especially during rehab if we’re talking about injury is important.

athletes in pain

If we do a simple basketball free-throw shooting task, for example, under challenge conditions, we tend to perform better than if it’s in the threatening conditions. A lot of the challenge conditioning instructions were many people have been successful at this task before, you should be successful at this task. Those kinds of phrases whereas in the threat condition, it was more getting to people thinking they weren’t able to complete the tasks. When we have done this task before, many people have failed at it.

Participants were instructed to press a button when the sensation changed from warmth to pain. Upon clicking the button, temperature was registered, and the temperature returned to baseline with a fall rate of 8°C/s. The measurement was repeated five times and HPth was calculated as the mean of the five measurements.

In the end, some of the strongest are the weakest as chronic pain will gradually break down even the toughest of us. Those who are brave enough to be vulnerable and admit their pain, and ask for help, will have an advantage. They are more likely to survive their pain and learn how to cope with it.

Another sign that may indicate a more serious problem is the development of weakness. The development of tingling or numbness, which is the feeling you get when your hand goes to sleep or when you hit your funny bone, is also not normal and may indicate nerve problems. If you notice that you are gradually losing motion of the extremity you should also seek treatment. Cartilage is the slippery white tissue on the ends of the bones in the joint that allows the bones to glide and move smoothly over one another.

Shop by Type

If it was a chronic pain situation and you wanted that person to attend to a rehab program, having that challenge mindset, this direct coping style that I keep mentioning seems to be important. There seem to be important factors in not only adherence to the sport but also to adaptive responses to pain or being able to perform well in pain, being able to tolerate pain, report pain as less bothersome. This direct coping does seem to be quite an important thing. Although biomechanical factors can indeed be a relevant nociceptive input for some individuals, it cannot be the main factor to explain pain in athletes. It’s quite a complex design in the sense of how it ends up but it did give back the results that were expected. We took secondary measures like pain tolerance would measure pain intensity, pain bothersomeness.

Social media time is now TV time and getting off the computer or tablet is more important than doing breathing drills. Why spend all this time working on relaxation when you are on the phone doom scrolling? Instead of checking into rehab for drugs and alcohol, we are seeing people detoxing from devices. Working more organically, calling on a landline, and only checking phones when necessary are all a great start.

athletes in pain

In early 2022, a consensus group aimed to establish the best … Coach Jim Wittstrom walks us through a general background on vibration therapy and what the scientific literature has found for its impact on human physiology and athletic performance. Carl Valle has coached for twenty years and has expertise in the speed and power events, along with experience in endurance monitoring. He is a freelance consultant for human performance companies interested in innovation and design. In addition to sport, he is a supporter of environmental protection as well as the arts. Another point is to make sure the athlete isn’t treated like a patient, as the wrong intervention can indeed backfire.

Having honest, realistic conversations with athletes about pain and injury is paramount for their health, both now and in the future. In order to have these conversations one must understand the point of view of the athlete. When conducting a thorough subjective interview, be sure to really listento the athlete. Allow them to tell their full story, including their fears and concerns. Try to go deeper into that story by utilizing motivational interviewing and open-ended questions.

Summiting shoulder injuries: prevention, rehabilitation, and return to sport

However, currently there is limited understanding of Tai Chi from patients’ perspective, including what participation in this mindfulness based movement exercise means to their experiences of living with an advanced, incurable disease. The purpose what should you do after a relapse of this study was to explore outpatients’ lived experiences of hospice-based Tai Chi in relation to mindfulness. This study examined the effect of cold pressor pain on performance in high-contact athletes, low-contact athletes and non-athletes.

  • I alluded to it in the paper that potentially that mindset might still be there in those athletes.
  • Carl Valle has coached for twenty years and has expertise in the speed and power events, along with experience in endurance monitoring.
  • It is often localized to a specific body part and is labeled as threatening.
  • Sometimes this is done sooner rather than later in athletic individuals who have a more pressing need to know the severity of the injury, thereby allowing quicker return to sport.

In short, positive training pain is a good sign of effort and improvement. We have the juvenile pain rehabilitation that doing and then being able to tolerate a lot of pain and be able to put up with a lot of pain. It’s interesting but I don’t think pain tolerance is to be all and end all of whether you be successful athlete and you’ll stick at the sport or not. If it’s true chronic pain then that challenge aspect could be a nice coping mechanism but if it’s an acute injury, it’s different. If I’m an athlete and the narrative I have running in my head and/or the narrative that exists in my sport, so to speak is one where I see pain as a challenge where it’s challenging. As I said, the challenge was chosen mainly because of the sports psychology literature about performance and about how challenge instructions tend to result in better performance.


After all, living with pain can be excruciating and very challenging. It is understandable that a person would start feeling some hopelessness. Chronic pain can make even the most basic daily activities difficult to perform. Driving a car or even taking a shower may become a challenge.

Pain Intensity and Heat Pain Thresholds

It’s useful but it doesn’t seem to be the most important thing. Clearly, this is just a personal journey over the last few years, but I recommend that you work with therapists who are holistic and educated on pain science. Taken as a whole, the mean percentage of athletes experiencing pain is a huge 74.5%. However, as with everything in life, when done in excess, sports can be risky. Professional athletes often sacrifice their health in pursuit of their careers. They face risks of accidents and long-term wear and tear on their bodies.

How long to rest the area depends upon the severity of the pain. For casual athletes this is easier to do than for highly competitive athletes. It is important to maintain aerobic capacity or stamina when resting a body part, so other exercises that do not cause pain are usually acceptable. For example, if your knee hurts, it is usually reasonable to continue exercising your upper extremities or even to do lower extremity exercises like swimming or aqua jogging that do not aggravate the problem. The muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage and bones of the body are living structures that react to the stress of exercise only gradually.

Pain threshold measurements and analyses were performed according to recommendations for QST for pain studies (Rolke et al., 2006). In the last 10 to 15 years, treatment paradigms for pain have shifted from a strictly biomedical model sober living house of care towards a biopsychosocial model of care. The biomedical model of care focuses on purely biological factors as the main cause of disease. This means that there has to be an ‘issue with the tissues’ for pain to be present.

Deja un comentario

Tu dirección de correo electrónico no será publicada. Los campos obligatorios están marcados con *