Anesthesiology and Pain Management for Athletes

Anesthesiology is a discipline that includes multiple fields, such as pediatrics, maxillofacial, and sports medicine. A Hyattsville anesthesiology practitioner will evaluate the physiological and psychological dynamics before using anesthesia to manage pain for athletes with injuries. Read on to discover how anesthesia can help athletes with chronic pain.

What is the role of anesthesia in sports?

Amateur and professional athletes are susceptible to injuries, which may lead to chronic pain. A study on track and field athletes shows approximately 20 to 30% usually sustain injuries.

The most affected parts were the upper thigh and lower leg. The injuries include sprains, dislocations, fractures, and dislocations.

Managing pain is essential for athletes. If pain persists for an extended duration, there is a high risk of physical and psychological side effects.

Anesthesiologists help athletes manage pain to optimize their performance and minimize disabilities. It is worth noting that injuries are not the same as pain. Pain is a sensation arising from neurological, cognitive, or environmental factors.

How is evaluation different for athletes?

Since pain could be from several factors, an anesthesiologist has to consider multiple aspects during diagnosis. Evaluating an athlete with pain symptoms may include the usual assessment process to establish the location, duration, and impact of pain.

Pain is never always localized in one area. Sometimes it spreads to other parts due to biochemical or neuropathic influences. Anesthesiologists must have a broad understanding of the physiological and psychosocial factors causing pain.

Therefore, an athlete’s anesthesiology assessment typically includes a physical and psychosocial evaluation.

Physical evaluation

Your anesthesiologist may ask you to describe the pain and how it impacts your sporting activities. Your answers can help determine if the pain is due to tissue damage or other associated factors. Generally, pain that extends beyond the acute phase requires a multi-disciplinary approach.

Your training load and periodization can also help anesthesiologists establish biochemical factors causing pain. Periodization is the practice of planning the workout to maximize performance. Overtraining is often responsible for injuries and poor recovery in athletes.

Psychosocial factors

Assessment of psychosocial factors is necessary when the sensations extend beyond the tissue’s healing time. Psychological problems such as anxiety and depression can influence behavior that affects the athlete’s recovery.

For example, athletes may have beliefs that discourage them from performing activities that can improve their recovery and performance. There is also a correlation between mental distress and physical health.

Social and lifestyle factors

Sports medicine research also associates lifestyle factors such as inadequate sleep or poor nutrition with chronic pain. The physical discomfort can cause insomnia, disrupting recovery and influencing hormonal balance. Athletes who sleep less than eight hours a day have twice the risk of sustaining an injury.

The body also needs the right balance of nutrients to heal tissues. A proper diet that addresses an athlete’s nutritional requirements is crucial for long-term pain management.

It is also crucial to assess an athlete’s social dynamics, which could impact pain and recovery. It may include coaches and family members that influence their approach to pain management. For example, fans and managers can push individuals to overtrain. Your anesthesiologist needs to understand all these factors to ensure optimum recovery.

To schedule an anesthesiology consultation, call CHOICE Pain & Rehabilitation Center today.

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