Pain or injury? Why differentiation matters in exercise and sports medicine

Brian Østergaard Sørensen
23 november 2021

A recent editorial in British Journal of Sports Medicine written by Morten Høgh and Tasha Stanton along with colleagues from Australia, USA and Denmark caught my attention so I asked them to join me for a conversation to elaborate why differentiation between pain or injury matters.

It´s all here ready for you to listen to


In the editorial the authors highlighted some statements which we discussed in our talk.

First, benign and normal fluctuations in pain may be seen as signs of sports-related injury, which could impact performance negatively.

Second, viewing all pain as a direct sign of tissue injury may lead to underprioritising of psychological and social aspects of return-to- sport.

Third, athletes being told they are ‘injured’ can lead to unnecessary assessment and interventions, particularly when a clear clinical diagnosis is lacking yet the reports of pain remain severe.

Last, when pain is linked to unconfirmed injury, fear and anxiety may be heightened.

One of the things i often miss in academic papers and opinion pieces is the link to clinical practice so I´m satisfied that we covered why the culture within the athletic population have a huge impact in the general population and hence why we need to get the changes to occur in the athletic population.

The editorial can be found right here at this link

And the infographic is here

Interested in knowing more about the work of Tasha Stanton and Morten Høgh hock up with them on twitter;   and

or read one of Tashas favorite articles which highlights the power of words “The visual impact of gossip”

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