Injuries from exercising or playing sports can be painful and unfortunately it’s possible that the injury will affect you for the rest of your life. Maybe you needed surgery to deal with your injury, or maybe you’ve just been trying to “work through” the pain of an injury that happened a long time ago. Whether your sports injury was from an accident or from damage to your body over time, pain management can help.
Sports Injuries Can Have Lasting Effects on the Body
Your sports injury may have been chronic or acute. Acute meaning that you experienced a sudden injury that resulting in a dislocation, swelling, fracture, or weakness or numbness of a certain area of your body while exercising or playing sports. Chronic meaning you’ve experienced damage to your body over time. The symptoms of chronic sports injuries include aching or pain when you play sports or exercise, or an aching feeling in parts of your body when resting. You may also experience swelling—whether temporary or constant—with a sports injury.
Regardless of your type of sports injury, it can have lasting effects on your body. The pain or aching you experience can have a detrimental effect on your daily living activities and your work, home, and family life. Chronic pain isn’t something that anyone should have to deal with, and pain management can help you overcome your sports injury.
Pain Management and Sports Injuries
Don’t give up on your favorite sport or form of exercise because of your injury. Pain management clinics are designed to help you overcome your injury and develop healthy living practices. They focus on non-surgical procedures and usually only resort to prescription medication as a last resort. Pain management teams focus on the whole picture of your injury as it relates to your health, body, and life, instead of just trying to relieve your symptoms. Pain management teams usually consist of individuals that have experience in many different fields and specialize in areas such as nutrition, physical and behavioral therapy, physical rehabilitation, and fitness. These physicians can help you overcome your injury through a combination of practices.
Dr. Son D. Le explains how pain management can help sports injuries in the long run. “Pain management can effectively assist in the rehabilitation of the injured patient by allowing them to attend their physical therapy. Aggressive pain management in acute sports injury is also beneficial to prevent chronic pain syndrome state.”
Physical therapy in addition to refining your diet can be important strategies for your pain management. Certain diets (especially the Standard American Diet) can really promote inflammation in your body, especially if you have a food intolerance that you’re unaware of. Your pain management doctor can talk with you about what foods are best to eat to help manage your pain. A diet of lots of fresh vegetables, fruits, protein, and fiber can help keep your inflammation down if you experience chronic inflammation as a result of your injury. Learning best practices when it comes to sports or exercise such as warming up, stretching, and having the right gear and training for your sport or exercise are all important. Your pain management team can help you with all areas of your injury, not just the injury itself. Their multidisciplinary approach can make a huge difference for your chronic pain and improve your quality of life.
According to Damita Bryant, MD, DABPMR, and DABPM at Center for Spine, Joint and Neuromuscular Rehabilitation, pain management doesn’t have to equal “chronic pain” for those with sports injuries. “Pain management can help you develop the skills you need to prevent new injuries and protect your injured areas during the critical healing phase. Pain does not have to limit your potential.”
While preventing further sports injuries is important and can be done, accidents happen to athletes of all skill levels. Don’t just live with the pain of your sports or exercise injury—a pain management team can help you overcome your chronic pain and get you moving again, whether you’ve just recently gotten your injury or if you’ve been dealing with it for years. Don’t let chronic pain from a sports injury impact you further—get the guidance and help you need to recover your injury with pain management.