Pain Management. The Influence of Psychological Aspects in a Sport Injury Rehabilitation. by Rafael Cortez

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Earvin 'Magic' Johnson, the 20-year-old rookie, had to assume Abdul-Jabbar's position at center. Johnson sky-hooked and rebounded the Lakers to victory with 42 points, 15 rebounds, 7 assists and 3 steal. He even jumped for the opening tap. Johnson became the first rookie ever to win the Finals MVP Award.

In the first month, 7-2 Tom Burleson of the Atlanta Hawks fell on Johnson's left knee, forcing him to miss 45 games with a torn cartilage. He came back in time for the Lakers' best-of-3 playoff series against the Houston Rockets. After this injury, in the locker room the reporters heard him to say:

"The pain of an injury can be excruciating, mentally as well as physically"

Earvin "Magic" Johnson (Johnson & Johnson, 1989, p 194)


Can a sport injury be excruciating mentally as well physically? Is out there enough data concerning the relationship between sports injuries and psychological factors in rehabilitation? Do any psychological techniques exist to reduce pain and accelerate recovery? How do professional players are able to come back from severe injuries, how do they manage the pain?

We will try to answer these questions, exposing how the different psychological aspects of rehabilitation help to recover athletes from a sport injury.

Furthermore, we will provide with several theories and techniques that help cope with pain and improve the process of rehabilitation and recovery.




Rehabilitation is a treatment designed to facilitate the process of recovery from injury, illness, or disease up to as normal a condition as possible. The sole purpose of rehabilitation is to restore some or all of the patient's physical, sensory, and mental capabilities that were lost due to injury, illness, or disease.


Over the last decade, the 'power of positive thinking' has been a dominant theme among various sectors...