Pain relief - Sports Injury Treatment

Also known as analgesic medications, pain relief is usually an integral part of sports injury treatment.

Types of pain relief

In the case of sports injuries, pain relief medications are commonly used to control muscle pain and reduce inflammation around an injury. Analgesics include medicines which reduce inflammation (known as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID)) and those which tackle pain but do not reduce swelling (such as paracetamol).

How do analgesics work?

Analgesics work by interrupting nerve signals that convey pain or changing the way the brain interprets the pain signals.

Effects of analgesic medications

The most obvious effect is a reduction in pain; swelling will also decrease if NSAIDs are used. Muscle aches will also ease.


Side effects are fairly rare with most popular pain relief medications; however, possible side-effects may include an upset stomach, drowsiness and sleep disturbance.


Athletes should stick to the recommended dose and should not train under the influence of heavy doses of analgesics; this will mask pain caused by over-exertion and could lead to injuries caused by overtraining. Some forms of analgesic medication can become addictive which can have serious implications for an individual’s mental and physical health. Analgesic medications should not be mixed with heavy drinking; this can result in damage to the liver.

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