Playing Through the Pain

imgresDo you enjoy playing sports? How about swimming, tennis, or basketball? You may be an elite college or professional athlete, a child athlete, or just somebody who enjoys sports for its health benefits. Have coaches, your parents, or teammates ever asked you to play through an injury, or play through the pain? You might be surprised to discover that all injured athletes, not just high profile athletes, are prone to conditions like depression, loss of identity, and post-traumatic stress disorder. They may also be at risk for more serious painful injuries. Dr. Samantha O’Connell is a sports psychologist who works at the Integrated Center for Child Development in Massachusetts. We’ll talk to her about why injured athletes feel compelled to play through the pain, the psychiatric impact of doing so, and how we can treat, and then prevent, these psychiatric conditions from occurring.

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