Options and Dangers of Pain Relief In Sports

By Ryan.

Sports can be an important part of many lives. Recreational sports help to keep people fit and happy. Sports as entertainment is a multi-billion dollar worldwide industry. Huge events and private conversations all center around sports. But, with many sports, injuries are common, and that leads to the necessity of different pain relief methods.

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And though many of these options are great and effective, some of them can also lead to dangerous overuse or trouble with legality and ethics. Consider things like addiction, meditation, acupuncture and cupping, drug testing, and long-term potential when you’re thinking about the topic of pain relief, especially with regard to sports.

Addiction Troubles

How many stories have you read about professional athletes getting hooked on prescription drugs after an injury of some sort? And those are just the people who get caught. Realize that there are countless other cases of the same thing happening all around, in every sport, at all times. Prescription painkillers make you feel better, and it’s hard to let go of the feeling of better once you get used to it, and that’s where a potential cycle of abuse occurs.

Meditation as Relief

Especially nowadays, many health professionals are suggesting meditation as pain relief for athletes. A few of the benefits of this include the fact that meditation is free, it’s shown to be highly effective and gets more effective with additional practice, and it can be done anywhere, without any special equipment. Simply knowing a few pain relief mantras is all that some athletes need in order to be at the top of their game at a moment’s notice.

Acupuncture and Cupping

Occasionally an athlete will promote the fact that they use acupuncture or cupping as a form of pain relief as well. This past Olympics, Michael Phelps said that cupping would help him get ready for his swim meets. There isn’t necessarily a lot of super scientific data to back up some of these claims, but even the placebo effect is big enough for some people that it’s worth it to try these things, especially for the athletes that have the money to spend to try more exotic things.

Drug Testing Woes

Professional athletes are always trying to get an edge in their competitions, and that occasionally means taking different kinds of supplements. Unfortunately, there are times when those supplements can run aground of anti-doping legislation, that even they might not know about.

Long-Term Relief Issues

If an athlete is taking pain relief medication continuously over a long period of time, it may be that there is something more serious at play then just what pain medication to take. They may want to reconsider that they could be doing permanent damage to themselves, and might want to adjust their activities unless they want to suffer serious issues later in life.

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Athletics
Published
Dec 20, 2016