PAIN WILL forever be a part of collision sport. We accept this. But at some point, in another part of the world, some ask about the cost.
“We’ve done a lot of work and engaged with our former athletes and you almost have a direct correlation between (long-term) painkiller usage and things like depression and issues with mental health,” says George Atallah, of the NFL Players Association. “There’s no doubt about that. And I think once we found a direct correlation between those things, that’s what triggered us to look at ways to prevent.
“You can clearly load up on a bunch of painkillers and play, or you might have to take them to get out of bed after you’ve had a collision. But what is the impact on your long-term mental health (if you do this repeatedly)?
“It is still a concern; it’s not fixed yet.”
The above is about American Football, not rugby, and looks more at long-term opioid use well beyond acute injury – in this part of the world we may be more familiar with opioids like codeine or tramadol which are not recommended for long-term, chronic pain management.
But there are a few reasons why we start there....
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