Menu Close

Sports, Pain Management and Addiction: A Vicious Cycle

  • Home
  • Rehab Blog
  • Sports, Pain Management and Addiction: A Vicious Cycle
  • Sports, Pain Management and Addiction: A Vicious Cycle

    Dangerous prescription drugs

    Sports, Pain Management and Addiction: A Vicious Cycle

    Athletes face a large amount of pressure when it comes to their bodies: Making sure it is in peak shape at all times and being able to perform at an elite level. Most athletes train their entire lives for their careers, for which they only have a few peak years. As their source of income, the pressure to keep performing becomes heavy and a cycle of sports, pain management, and addiction can begin. Keep reading to learn more about this vicious cycle and how to find help from dangerous prescription drugs with rehab centers in Malibu.

    The Vicious Cycle of Pain Management and Addiction

    Pain and substance use interact in a vicious cycle that can ultimately worsen and maintain both chronic pain and addiction, according to a research team including faculty at Binghamton University, State University of New York.

    “Research studies usually examine either how substance use affects pain or how pain affects substance use. Our reciprocal model puts these two different types of research together to understand how pain and substance use affect each other,” said Zale. “On one hand, substance use can be a risk factor for chronic pain and may worsen pain over time. On the other hand, experiencing pain can motivate people to use substances and might make it harder to quit. We propose that the two conditions interact in the manner of a positive feedback loop, which means that they can increase each other over time. Another way to think about this relationship is as a vicious cycle: substance use can worsen pain, pain can motivate escalations in substance use or make it harder to quit, and these repeated cycles can result in more severe pain and worsening addiction.”

    Zale said that clinicians who treat substance use disorders should assess their patients for chronic pain, and consider addressing pain during their treatment.

    Does Chronic Pain Worsen with Dangerous Prescription Drugs?

    Dangerous prescription drugs, such as opioids, were designed to only be used in the short-term for pain relief. Instances such as recovery from surgery, after a major injury, or alongside chemotherapy treatment, are types of acute pain that opioids can be a helpful, beneficial tool for recovery.

    However, Chronic pain is different from acute pain. According to Cleveland Clinic, chronic pain is pain that is ongoing and usually lasts longer than six months. This type of pain can continue even after the injury or illness that caused it has healed or gone away. Pain signals remain active in the nervous system for weeks, months, or years. Some people suffer chronic pain even when there is no past injury or apparent body damage. Chronic pain is linked to conditions that include:

    • Headache
    • Arthritis
    • Cancer
    • Nerve pain
    • Back pain
    • Fibromyalgia

    Since sports injuries are types of acute pain, they can be treated temporarily by opioids, if severe enough, and then receive ongoing care such as physical therapy and other treatment modalities to recover. Taking dangerous prescription drugs for sports injuries in the long-term will prolong healing, as well as greatly increase the risk of an addiction forming.

    Healthy Sports Pain Management Tips

    There are many alternatives to treating sports pain management other than dangerous prescription drugs. According to the American Society of Anesthesiologists, these include:

    • Over-the-counter medications. There are many non-opioid pain medications that are available over the counter or by prescription, such as ibuprofen (Motrin), acetaminophen (Tylenol), aspirin (Bayer), and steroids, and some patients find that these are all they need. Other people find relief with nondrug therapies that can be used alone or in combination with medications.
    • Physical therapy. A physical therapist or physician who specializes in physical medicine and rehabilitation may be able to create an exercise program that helps you improve your ability to function and decreases your pain. Whirlpools, ultrasound, and deep-muscle massage may also help.
    • Acupuncture. You may find relief from acupuncture, in which very thin needles are inserted at different places in your skin to interrupt pain signals.
    • Surgery. When other treatments aren’t effective, surgery can be performed to correct abnormalities in your body that may be responsible for your pain.
      Injections or nerve blocks. If you are having a muscle spasm or nerve pain, injections with local anesthetics or other medications can help short-circuit your pain.

    Treatment for Dangerous Prescription Drugs at Seasons in Malibu

    If you or a loved one suffer from chronic pain, whether as a result of a sports injury or otherwise, there are ways you can treat it without dangerous prescription drugs. In addition, if you have fallen into the vicious cycle of addiction trying to treat your injury, there are ways you can get help for both at our top rehab centers in Malibu.

    Treatment at Seasons in Malibu is systemic, integrative, and client-centered. We are here seven days a week, 24 hours a day, to help answer any questions that you have and to make the process of seeking treatment as easy as possible. We can help with insurance questions and what treatment looks and feels like at Seasons in Malibu. We also understand how nervous and uncertain you may be about attending an alcohol abuse treatment center. Rest assured you will never feel judged or shamed. We are here to help you achieve one thing, and that is lasting recovery from substance abuse or mental health issues.

    Our counselors are invested in your well-being and are ready around the clock to guide you or a trusted friend or family member through the initial steps of overcoming drug or alcohol addiction. With our superior team of clinicians, we are able to succinctly pinpoint those areas of focus that will give the client the most advanced opportunity for success. Our approach towards healing is collaborative, comprehensive, and committed.

    For more information, visit