Pain Management for Athletes

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By Amy Hogan Milligan

Pain can put your life on pause, or at least significantly slow you down, which is a problem for athletes who are often in constant motion. Many athletes feel that they don’t have time for pain, but injuries can happen in high activity situations, and chronic pain conditions can happen to anyone. As an athlete, it’s more important than ever to manage your pain and to know how to take care of yourself so that your body can recover.
Here are some tips when it comes to pain management in athletes:

Take Enough Time Off
For many athletes, it’s not just the injury itself that hurts, but it’s also the time taken from their beloved sport. They might be impatient to get back out to the court or field, but it’s crucial to take a sufficient amount of time to heal before returning to the sport. For a simple sprained ankle, this could be no more than a week. Calf strains can take between two weeks and three months to heal depending on the severity. Neck strains and concussions can take between two and six weeks. Severe injuries like ACL tears can take six months to heal. Trying to return to the game too soon can exacerbate an injury and leave the body vulnerable to other injuries.

Pain Management That Works
Pain affects different athletes in a variety of ways depending on the sport and the person. That said, there are a few tried and true methods that work for most athletes trying to recover from an injury or manage pain. These include:
• Infrared Sauna and Cryotherapy – Elasticity of temperature from 140 degrees to negative 140 degrees pulls inflammation.
• Yoga – particularly for athletes who struggle with chronic pain in the neck or back.
• Massage and Physical Therapy – increases muscle strength and ease of motion for acute and chronic injuries.

How to Prevent Injuries
As an athlete, you want to avoid pain whenever possible. While you can’t wrap yourself in a bubble in the middle of a game to ward off any impact, you can take steps to prepare and protect your body. These include stretching before and after the game to loosen your muscles and range of motion, wearing appropriate protective gear, and sticking to a healthy diet and sleep schedule. As an athlete, you constantly push your body to its limits. Staying in shape is key to ensuring that you don’t snap in doing so.

We know how important it is for athletes to take care of themselves. It’s important to weave in proper recovery to protect the body from injury and the importance of managing chronic pain. At CRYO850, we have a full line up of services for prevention, injury response and overall pain management. Contact CRYO850 at (850) 279-4145 or visit cryo850.com for more information. No appointment necessary. Just stop by!