Physical Therapy How It Can Help Former Athletes

Physical therapy options

If you’re an athlete — whether on a professional level or simply a former high school athlete — chances are that you’ve sustained some kind of injury due to your sport. The fact is that sports injuries can be impossible to avoid. However, you should not have to avoid your sport due to this injury. Many sports injuries can be treated immediately, with the individual suffering the injury recovering and moving on with their life. Even if the injury results in a long recovery period, it’s not chronic. A chronic condition is an entirely different issue, and the list of doctors offering medical help for chronic injuries can be difficult to find. This is because chronic injuries require a longer amount of follow-up. They may not be life-threatening, or even, in the eyes of many, “serious”. But they do cause long-term pain that can seriously change a person’s life. Often times, people don’t even realize that they have options when it comes to seeking help for chronic pain. The issue with chronic pain is that it can continue even after a doctor says that your injury has been mended. Many athletes are encouraged to “play through the pain” as well, with many developing stress injuries that they aren’t even fully aware of. Let’s look into how sports injuries lead to chronic pain, and what an athlete’s options can be. Believe it or not, there is a list of doctors — many lists — that can help you.

Chronic Pain For Athletes: A Long-Term Issue

Chances are that there are more athletes and former athletes suffer from chronic pain than many would even relieve. This is because some of the former athletes with chronic pain haven’t played for years. Sports injuries can cause chronic pain for decades, a fact that any list of doctors would agree with. It’s believed that by 2030, six out of 10 Baby Boomers will suffer from a chronic condition — with many of these Baby Boomers having played sports, it’s no surprise that many of these injuries could be linked to sports. Many athlete suffer from leg and knee issues due to traumatic injuries. However, lower back pain is also a big problem. The issue with this kind of pain is that it often has nothing to do with any one particular injury. Rather, it is the result of a buildup of tension and stress for years. There are many different ways through which people can treat these types of injuries. Sometimes, doctors offer prescription pain medication. Although this works for some, it treats the symptoms, not the actual issue. Furthermore, medication can have physical and emotional side effects. In some cases, surgery is also an option. Surgery can have risks, however, and long recovery periods. Another problem with surgery is that it’s often not a possible option when the issue has to do with muscle problems rather than bone problems. Therefore, many sufferers of chronic pain find that physical therapy is a better option — and it’s recommended by a long list of doctors.

Physical Therapy: The Real Results

It’s understandable why some are skeptical about physical therapy — but its results are real, especially for former athletes. Physical therapy can come in a variety of different forms, and a physical therapy program can be tailored to a specific patient’s needs. Sometimes, physical therapy can be intense; others choose gentler physical therapy techniques and programs, with four out of 10 sufferers of lower back pain engaging in exercise to alleviate their pain. The results are real — a recent report from World Neurosurgery proves that. A study of 96 patients revealed that while 53 patients had lumbar surgery and 43 had nonoperative treatment — or physical therapy — the results for the patients were similar. The nonoperative treatments were just as successful as the surgical results.

If you’re suffering from chronic pain, don’t hesitate to act — especially now that you know you have options.

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