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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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Emily R. Hunt, Shelby E. Baez, Anne D. Olson, Timothy A. Butterfield and Esther Dupont-Versteegden

Massage is a common therapeutic modality utilized by clinicians in a variety of settings to help treat injuries, reduce pain, and return function to patients. Massage benefits the patients both psychologically and physiologically, as patients report less pain and anxiety along with better mood and even decreased blood pressure following massage. Additionally, on the cellular level, massage has the ability to modulate the damaging inflammatory process and, in some cases, influence protein synthesis. Although massage has not been linked to a rehabilitation theory to date, this paper will propose how massage may influence fear-avoidance beliefs, or the patient’s inability to cope with pain that then leads to a pain tension cycle. Pain will often result in use avoidance, which creates muscle tension that further exacerbates the pain. Massage can affect the Fear-Avoidance Model because the beneficial effects of massage can break the cycle by either relieving the patient’s pain or eliminating the muscle tension. A modified Fear-Avoidance Model is presented that conceptualizes how pain and fear-avoidance lead to tension and muscle dysfunction. Massage has been incorporated into the model to demonstrate its potential for breaking the pain tension cycle. This model has the potential to be applied in clinical settings and provides an alternate treatment to patients with chronic pain who present with increased levels of fear-avoidance beliefs.