Narratives of Chronic Pain in Sport

in Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology
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Sports injury research has predominantly focused on acute injuries, often overlooking the complexities that may be associated with chronic injury. Consequently, the aim of the present study was to understand the experiences of individuals who continued to take part in sport with a chronic injury. Using a narrative methodology, 10 athletes who had experienced chronic pain for at least one year took part in interviews which asked them to narrate their story of pain. Results identify the imprisonment narrative used to describe chronic injury and consider that the causes of this “imprisonment” may be both physical and environmental. Further, this study illustrates how athletes have coped with chronic pain, emphasizing the body-self relationship and the difficulties associated with adapted sport. These findings have important implications for practitioners working with injured athletes, emphasizing that the experiences of athletes in chronic pain may differ considerably from those in acute pain.

Hunt is with the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, Loughborough University, Loughborough, United Kingdom. Day is with the Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences, University of Chichester, Chichester, United Kingdom.

Address author correspondence to Melissa Day at m.day@chi.ac.uk.
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