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Assessment of psychological pain management techniques: a comparative study between athletes and non-athletes

Author(s): Azevedo Daniel Câmara | Samulski Dietmar Martin

Journal: Revista Brasileira de Medicina do Esporte
ISSN 1517-8692

Volume: 9;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 214;
Date: 2003;
Original page

Keywords: Pain | Athletes | Coping strategies

Athletes usually deal with injuries and pain. They seem to have similar pain threshold when compared to non-athletes, although they have higher pain tolerance and the exact cause for that is unknown. High levels for pain tolerance and control can improve performance and time for injury recovery. The literature shows that use of coping strategies can increase pain control; possible differences on coping with pain between athletes and non-athletes are poorly described. The purpose of this study was to evaluate frequency of coping strategies used by athletes and non-athletes of both genders and look for possible association between preferred coping style and pain intensity. The sample included 160 subjects with actual pain experience, 80 athletes (52 male, 28 female) and 80 non-athletes (50 male and 30 female). All subjects were evaluated for pain intensity, frequency and duration and for coping strategies using a questionnaire (SBS-V). The results show that athletes and non-athletes, despite of gender, use with the same frequency coping strategies. The less common coping strategies for all groups were those poor-adaptative (p < 0.001); the most commonly strategy used was self-statement and regulation of body tension (p < 0.001). Female athletes use more frequently poor-adaptative strategies when pain intensity increases (p < 0.05).
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