New Recommendations Steer Doctors Away from Opioids to Treat Pain in Adolescent Athletes (www.acsm.org)
Athletes at all levels and ages commonly experience pain during practice and in competition. Identifying and appropriately managing acute and chronic pain is fundamental for short- and long-term health. This is especially true for adolescent athletes in whom inadequate or inappropriate pain management can lead to a lifetime of consequences including an increased risk of opioid misuse. A team physician consensus statement just released by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and five other professional sports medicine organizations shares guidelines to identify and manage pain in athletes ages 10 to 18. It urges team physicians and pediatricians to use nonpharmacologic treatments before prescribing opioids.
“Adolescents are often initially exposed to opioids through prescriptions to treat pain,” said Stanley A. Herring, M.D., FACSM, the facilitator of the team physician project-based alliance and a clinical professor in the Departments of Rehabilitation Medicine, Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine and Neurological Surgery at the University of Washington in Seattle. “This paper gives health care providers, including team physicians, pediatricians and athletic trainers, a roadmap to navigate the diagnosis and treatment of chronic and acute pain in adolescent athletes.”
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