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Emily R. Hunt and Melissa C. Day

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.

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Joanne Thatcher, John Kerr, Kristy Amies and Melissa Day

Context:

Few studies have examined psychological and emotional processes in injury rehabilitation from a longitudinal, theoretically framed perspective.

Objective:

This study explored the applicability of Reversal Theory to examine these processes.

Setting:

University of Wales, Aberystwyth, UK.

Participants:

Three severely injured athletes; two were female (karate and judo) and one was male (hockey), aged 20 to 28.

Main Outcome Measures:

Fortnightly interviews after participant’s initial consultation with a sports therapist, until complete physical rehabilitation.

Results:

Supported the use of Reversal Theory in this context (eg, as a means of understanding the origins of athletes’ emotional responses to injury and changes in these responses throughout rehabilitation).

Conclusions:

Suggestions for future research are made (eg, examining the consequences of emotional and metamotivational states for athlete behavior and recovery outcomes during rehabilitation).