Athletes are one of the most affected people when it comes to chronic pain, as pain is synonymous with sports. This may be attributed to the fact that most of them continue to push their limits by putting their bodies on the line, even when the effects are detrimental in the long term. This article is a summary of some of the techniques athletes can use to manage chronic pain.
Since time immemorial, meditation practices have played a significant role in managing stress, anxiety, and pain in human beings across Buddhism and other spiritual cultures. Chronic pain, especially in athletes, is associated with declining emotional strength as these people cannot perform their best in competitive world sports. Anxiety and depression are well-known factors that can exacerbate the perception of pain. Mindful meditation comes in handy in such cases. Daily meditation practices are helpful for athletes living with chronic pain. Meditation also serves as a distraction therapy for preventing your mind from wandering back to its perception/experience of pain. The release of endorphins and other natural pain relievers is also aided by meditation. Two forms of meditation practices can be practiced; individual mindfulness meditation and guided meditation. Guided meditation practices are preferred to the individual methods; guiding involves listening to someone (can be a recording) who preps you into the meditative state and guides you through the whole process.
In most cases, meditations are always supplemented with cognitive behavioral therapy for maximum effectiveness. Other interdisciplinary therapies can be incorporated with meditation techniques to generate the best outcomes for athletes. Meditation is one technique that the majority of professional athletes are now integrating into their pain management protocol.
Yoga is a form of mindful movement that is also helpful with different forms of chronic pain such as back pains, migraines, etc. What differentiates yoga from the typical exercises is the emphasis on mental fitness as a form of general physical fitness. Numerous variations of yoga are practiced across the world. Yoga can either be practiced at the convenience of your home or by attending a professional session.
Yoga incorporates breathing exercises, relaxation techniques with a series of seated, standing, and prone yoga postures. These postures are referred to as asanas, and they vary in duration, with some only taking a few seconds while others extend to minutes. One of the advantages of yoga is modifying the body postures to accommodate your body strength, experience, and any other condition. In athletes, yoga will improve mobility and function, prevent cartilage and joint breakage while protecting the spine and improving the body posture. It is also a key ingredient in improving strength, stability, flexibility, and balance in athletes.
There has been a recent surge in demand for CBD as a management regimen for chronic pain in athletes. CBD is now taking over the influence that was previously on opioids as the standard pain-relieving agents. CBD is preferred due to its non-destructive tendency on athletes, plus there are no detrimental health side effects associated with it. Stories of athletes with a history of CBD use in treating chronic pain are now emerging. For instance, Johnson, a renowned NFL player, admitted to smoking CBD in his nine-year career while suffering at least nine concussions during that period.
Research asserts that CBD is a powerful pain reliever without the severe internal effects of most prescription opioids. THC, a chemical component in CBD, is known for its anti-inflammatory effects that mesh well with chronic pain. The public perception of CBD is now changing. People are beginning to acknowledge its efficacy in regular pain treatment, as evidenced by more than thirty states in the US endorsing legal prescriptions. CBD is known for playing a pivotal role in an athlete’s ability to deal with the pain and anxiety of a competitive sports career. We have now witnessed the mushrooming of CBD clinics such as Embarc, a modern cannabis retailer known for championing the safe usage of cannabis as a recreational drug and a medicinal agent. In terms of administration as a pain reliever, one can vape, smoke, consume edibles or use topical CBD creams. If this is something you are interested in and you live in California, look up California dispensaries.
Chronic pain is a common issue with athletes. However, with such remedies as the ones we have discussed, it’s possible to deal with the pain. If you experience any kind of chronic pain, you can consider one of the above practices.