Pain Management for Athletes

Pain Management for Athletes

by Yenny (SU)

Pain management is oftentimes using a combination of multiple pain treatments working together to reduce or eliminate pain. For most people, it’s important to manage pain in order to participate in enjoyable activities and to have quality of life.

But managing pain for athletes is a completely different ballgame. Athletes have a lot riding on physical performance, and pain impacts their lives more drastically. Pain can change the outcomes of the games they play in, and it can ultimately put their sports careers on the line. 

For these reasons, effective pain management is critical for athletes. Below are some effective pain management techniques used by athletes today.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is critical for athletes because it helps strengthen and rehabilitate after sports injuries. There are a variety of physical therapies available that offer pain relief, reduce inflammation, promote healing, increase flexibility and range of motion, and strengthen the body.

Some of the types of physical therapy used by athletes include therapeutic exercises, cold and hot therapies, orthotics, and bracing/taping. The best clinics offer sport-specific physical therapy training and conditioning, which help to ensure that athletes get the right type of help and can go back to playing their sports after recovery. 

Massage Therapy

There are several types of massage that are perfect for reducing pain after injuries or surgery, including deep tissue, shiatsu, hot stone, and Swedish. Massage therapy can be effective in reducing pain, relaxing muscles and other soft tissues, and reducing stress in the body – making it an ideal option for athletes who need to heal quickly and go back to their sports.

PRP and Stem Cell Therapy

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy involves using a patient’s own platelets to stimulate the body’s natural healing process and thereby provide pain relief. PRP therapy is performed by a doctor or specialist withdrawing a small amount of blood and isolating the platelets via a centrifuge machine. The platelets and plasma are then injected into the desired area that needs treatment. 

The platelet-rich plasma stimulates healing so the body can heal more quickly. PRP is an effective treatment for athletes’ pain management and healing because it speeds up the healing process, allowing them to return to their sports faster.

Stem cell therapy involves using isolated stem cells from the patient’s own fat or bone marrow to promote faster healing. Similarly to PRP therapy, a doctor or specialist withdraws cells from the person’s body (usually adipose cells, or fat cells) and has it processed in a lab to gather the stem cells.

The concentrated solution is then injected into the site that needs healing. This type of therapy is usually effective after severe injuries.

Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle 

Pain management while the body heals becomes highly dependent on the food and liquids you consume. The body needs the right type of fuel to thrive.

Athletes looking to manage their pain should also make the basic lifestyle choices that are healthy for everyone, such as not smoking, keeping alcohol intake to a minimum, staying hydrated, and eating lots of healthy fruits, vegetables, and lean meats to get key nutrients. By maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle, the body can heal better and more quickly.

Pain Management Doctors in Washington and Oregon

Pain management often requires using multiple treatments together for better and faster results. If you are an athlete looking to make an effective pain management plan, talk to a doctor today about what treatments would work best for you. 

Lynx Healthcare offers a variety of medical care services, including interventional pain medicine, regenerative medicine, chiropractic and massage therapy, and much more. To make an appointment at one of the Lynx Healthcare clinics in Oregon, Yakima, Tri-Cities, or Goldendale, call us at (509) 591-0070, or call (509) 321-4575 for our Spokane clinic. We look forward to helping you achieve your best!