Inhibition of pain during the rehabilitation of knee ligament injuries: an interpretive phenomenological analysis

Phair, Yasmin S. and Miller, Paul K. (2015) Inhibition of pain during the rehabilitation of knee ligament injuries: an interpretive phenomenological analysis. In: BASES Student Conference, 31 March - 1 April 2015, Liverpool John Moore's University, UK. (Unpublished)

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Background: In the UK, on average, 1-1.5 million people per year use Accident and Emergency services as a result of injuries sustained during sporting participation (Boyce and Quigley, 2004, Emergency Medical Journal. 21, pp.704-706). Many of these admissions reveal long-term injuries requiring extensive rehabilitative work. Much research in the broader rehabilitation domain has emphasised a strong link between individual psychology and pain management during such processes. Indeed, it has been noted that as many as 80% of amputees still experience – and therefore have to manage - pain in limbs that are no longer neurologically attached to the body (Davidson et al., 2010. Disability and Rehabilitation, 32(22) pp.1855-1862). The bulk of pain-related literature in the specific area of sport rehabilitation, however, remains strongly anchored to physiological questions and solutions, with psychological investigations (and particularly qualitative variants thereof) in a distinct minority.

Purpose: This paper, using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis, reports qualitative findings on experiences of pain, strategies for pain management, and how these interact with an injury rehabilitation process among a purposive sample of five male amateur soccer players, aged 20-60 years old, from the North West of England.

Results: Three superordinate themes were revealed. 1) “Rhythms of life”, encompassing the subordinate themes of routine, life’s demands and responsibilities and aging (both maturity and immaturity). 2) “Pain expression”; encompassing the subordinate themes of reflection and emotion, including regret and bravado characteristics. 3) “Pain control” encompassing the subordinate themes of learned experience, coping mechanisms for dealing with isolation, and self-distraction. Participants highlighted, during the recovery process, many nuanced difficulties in accepting and accommodating with their pain experiences, and corollary physical restrictions and limitations. It was suggested by some that they may have benefitted from being more supported psychologically, but it was also evident that greater maturity, life experience and responsibility, which might typically be associated with positive outcomes for the recovery experience, could actually hinder as well as help.

Conclusion: It is proposed that this research answers some practice-focused questions and raises others regarding (a) the extent to which and (b) the manner in which pain might psychologically impact upon injury recovery, and for whom.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
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Departments: Sports and Physical Activity
Depositing User: Paul Miller
Date Deposited: 15 Jul 2016 11:08
Last Modified: 14 Jul 2018 18:17


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