pain issues for athletes

“Physical activity is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.” – John F. Kennedy

Everyone experiences physical pain occasionally, regardless of their level of physical activity – or lack of it. But it is especially significant and often location-specific with athletes and other highly physically active individuals.

Tell Me Where It Hurts.

While we understand that everyone is unique and that an individual’s physiology is not “exactly like” everyone else, there are commonalities among athletic pain conditions.

For example, some of the most common pain-specific musculoskeletal conditions we come across in athlete patients include:

  • ankle sprains
  • plantar fasciitis
  • ACL injuries (anterior cruciate ligament sprain or tear)
  • shin splints
  • lower back pain
  • shoulder rotator cuff injuries
  • tennis elbow
  • golfer’s elbow

and various spine-related pain conditions, just to mention a few.

Typically, these issues will either be ignored for a while as the individual attempts to “push through” the pain or backs off their workout regimen with the hope of seeing some natural healing take place.

Sometimes this does work, especially if the cause of the pain is truly localized and minor. However, we have found that “where it hurts” is either not the location of the actual cause, or it is an ancillary symptom of another dysfunction or injury.

What far too many athletes (and some healthcare practitioners) fail to realize is that pain experienced is often an indicator of other issues in the body. 

Let’s Find Out Why It Hurts.

At Pain and Performance Solutions, the emphasis truly is on “solutions.” Unlike many physical therapy approaches or the drug-centric approach of many healthcare providers, we understand that the pain you are experiencing – especially chronic pain – must be dealt with using a more holistic, or systemic approach.

Systemic is a term most people don’t hear or use often, and it’s meaning may be unfamiliar. Essentially it can be defined as,

Relating to a system, especially as opposed to a particular part.: “the disease is localized rather than systemic”.

How this shows up with pain issues can be somewhat complicated, but there is an established and well-founded approach for identifying and dealing with these problems.

When you first call us about your pain, we will ask to have a brief consultation over the phone. During this conversation, which we like to think of as a type of discovery call, we’ll ask you a number of questions designed to determine the nature of your pain or discomfort.

Another critical objective of this initial consultation is to determine if our services are suited to treat your pain issue and if we you agree that we will be a “good fit.” If so, we can move forward with developing a treatment plan.

Once that has been decided, we schedule an office consultation and assessment, both of which are far more in-depth than what we did over the phone.

This consultation will involve us asking questions that are related to any surgeries, accidents, broken bones, or other physical trauma you may have experienced. In addition, we will ask about your participation in sports, the type of physical activity you’re currently engaged in, and the type of jobs you have had.

Based on the knowledge we gain from the in-depth consultation, you’ll then be given a series of physical assessments that will determine your range of motion, or muscle tests that might be related to your pain issues.

In addition to these assessments, we will often ask to conduct some brief manual palpation on major muscle groups, which require physical touch. All of this is done so that we can determine, among other things, which muscles are hypertonic (tight), and which are hypotonic (not-tight). 

Then, based on the results of the consultation and assessments, we will then proceed to a proposed treatment plan.

Your personalized treatment plan, or what we like to call the “Onramp,” is based on a number of factors and can take from four weeks to eight weeks in length. Once this has been determined and agreed upon, we’ll work with you to set up and schedule the necessary appointments during your treatment plan. 

Take the Right Steps to Pain Relief

The first step in pain relief is letting us get to know you.

When you arrive for your first appointment, we will learn about your present pain experience as well as any history of discomfort. Experiencing relief from chronic pain can only begin when we understand where your pain started.

Your trust in us is key, as is your honesty. Ultimately, getting your body working properly and healthy is the only way to achieve total recovery, and that is our goal for you. We are here to help and will answer any, and all questions that you may have, so don’t hesitate to reach out. You can contact us at (707) 636-4404 or by filling out our online contact form.