Sports injuries are a nightmare in the career of each athlete, and one of the accompanying unpleasant consequences of injury is – pain. Pain prevents the athlete to participate in sports activities, and when he suffers injury, he should know that there are - different types of pain and sports injuries.

  • Types of sports injuries

There are two kinds of sports injuries: acute and chronic. Acute injuries occur suddenly when playing or exercising. Sprained ankles, strained backs, and fractured hands are acute injuries. Signs of an acute injury include:

  • Sudden, severe swelling
  • Not being able to place weight on a leg, knee, ankle, or foot
  • An arm, elbow, wrist, hand, or finger that is very tender
  • Not being able to move a joint as normal
  • Extreme leg or arm weakness
  • A bone or joint that is visibly out of place.

Chronic injuries happen after you play a sport or exercise for a long time. Signs of a chronic injury include:

  • Pain when you play
  • Pain when you exercise
  • A dull ache when you rest
  • Swelling.


  • Pain Categories

Athletes have some degree of discomfort during training which, in general, is not pleasant. For muscle strength to increase, the muscle must see some increase in stress over what it is used to experiencing, and this stress is usually perceived as the “burn” in muscle during activity. This mild burn is what we call good pain. This pain should be short-lived and resolve soon after the activity ends.

The muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and bones of the body are living structures that react to the stress of exercise only gradually. If they see stress too fast, they cannot respond effectively and may begin to fail. The causes of the failure can be too much stress too fast, or it can be the accumulation of excessive stress over time. When this occurs, each one of these tissues responds a little differently. This can result in bad pain.

Performance pain (good pain) tends to be acute, short in duration, and the result of the voluntary action, and therefore, athletes may feel more in control of performance pain. However, it is important to differentiate when performance pain starts to border on injury pain because injury pain is often an indication of tissue damage or injury.

Injury pain (bad pain) signals danger to an athlete’s physical and psychological well-being and can be perceived as a threat to their ability to perform. Injury pain is not subject to the control of the athlete and may be of either an acute, chronic, benign or harmful variety.


  • Acute and Chronic Pain

Firstly, the distinction between acute and chronic pain is indicative of the duration that an athlete experiences pain.

Acute pain is an intense pain that is most often short in duration and is the result of tissue damage and trauma to the body.

Chronic pain, on the other hand, is best conceptualized as the persistence of pain. Therefore, it is longer lasting pain, largely uncontrollable, and continues long after the initial injury. Adaptive changes at all levels of the nervous system for the transmission of pain often last longer than their own usefulness in the protection of injured tissue. Movements and pressures that would otherwise be normal continue to cause pain even after the risk of further injury has ceased and often, even when the tissue is healed. Perception on of chronic pain may impair an athlete’s social and psychological well-being.





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