How Do YOU Experience Pain?
Pain is a distressing experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage with sensory, emotional, cognitive, and social components (Williams & Craig, 2016).
Positive pain refers to non-injury pain that is exertional and related to reappraisal, whereas, negative pain is injury and damage-causing pain that is associated with catastrophizing. Catastrophisizing include feelings of hopelessness, inability to cope with situation, or ruminating on pain and injury, all of which may lead to avoidance behaviours that increase the risk of injury. Negative pain is potentially correlated to neuromuscular deficits such as Achilles tendinopathy which reduces muscular endurance or meniscal tears which lower muscle activation. It can delay or prevent return to a sport or possibly lead to chronic pain development (McDougall, 2017).
Elite athletes are able to withstand higher levels of pain and make better use of pain in performing well in their sport.
What can you do to better cope with pain?
1) Education: better knowledge of pain and ways to reduce pain or anxiety
2) Goal Setting: specific, measurable goals that provides direction
3) Imagery: a method used in a rehabilitation setting to reduce stress hormones by anticipating pain
4) Graded Exposure: exposing oneself to fearful situations to show no more harm
5) Social Support: increase support from family, friends, and teammates
6) Relaxation: reduce tension and anxiety with deep breathing and low-intensity activities