There is nothing more important to an athlete on game day than having their body as close to its peak performance level as possible. For athletes that play lengthy seasons and have to produce quality performances, not just every week but every day, this can be extremely difficult.
The growth of CBD pain-management options could be about to change the way athletes think about recovery.
Especially in gladiatorial sports like Rugby, where bruising physical contact occurs almost every play, ensuring a level of comfort and confidence in the body is essential. So much of what players are trying to achieve in preparation for their next contest is relief from the pain caused by the previous battle.
Sportspeople often succumb to injuries and need extended periods of rest to allow time to heal, but just as often, they elect to play through the pain for many reasons. Perhaps their team’s need for them is greater than their need for recovery or their own desire to compete outweighs the pain that flows throughout their bodies with each hit.
The simple fact is that if athletes didn’t compete whenever they felt muscular pain or tightness in their joints, they would rarely take to the arena for consecutive clashes. Once a rigorous pre-season training block is out of the way and matches or events get underway, it all becomes about keeping the body in as healthy a condition as possible for as long as possible.
Training sessions for elite-level and even recreational level athletes rarely focus solely on skills. Once an athlete rises to a certain standard, simple skills training does not need to make up a majority of their time spent in practice. It becomes more about the tactical sides of the sport and, of course, recovery — — ensuring their body is at a standard that allows them to perform on a regular basis.
That pre-season block is also a time that can be rife with muscular and joint pain that requires attention and rest in order to fully heal. While pushing the body in the months before a sustained period of competition, great strain is placed on the muscles and joints that requires pain-management. This is where CBD creams and lotions can step in to replace a concerning trend of pain relief that has persisted for decades.
Something that has long been an issue for athletes of every single skill level is abuse of opioid painkillers. It can be extremely simple to pop a couple of pills before and after every training session and to eat them like candy on the day of a big game. All that matters is getting through the contest; whatever consequences come from that are just part of the game.
In 2017, opioid painkillers were held responsible for almost 30,000 deaths in the United States alone due to addiction and overuse amongst the population. It is not uncommon to see elite-level athletes being administered painkilling injections mid-way through a contest so that they can get back out onto the field to put their body on the line once more.
Even the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), largely accepted to be significantly safer than opioid painkillers, has a long list of side-effects that make for unpleasant reading. Athletes taking these on a regular basis often deal with things like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, headaches, drowsiness and much more. Added to this are the much graver risks of kidney failure, liver failure and ulcers that can cause irreparable and severe damage.
This said, the need for athletes to be as pain-free as they can be while also ready to perform will not go away, and so this is sparking a huge interest in the CBD market and what it can provide for athletes. Given the fact that the standard practices which have been in place for decades when it comes to pain-management can cause harm in the doses needed to be effective, many people are looking for alternative, healthier ways to ensure they are ready for battle.
CBD has been shown to have extremely potent anti-inflammatory and analgesic qualities while also carrying almost none of the risk of abuse or overdose present in traditional pain-management options. There is a growing push for research into exactly how powerful CBD can be when it comes to recovery from minor injuries such as bruising, impact-related muscle and joint inflammation and aches and pains caused from strenuous exercise.
While there is plenty to be gained from the use of CBD by the general population, professional sports like Rugby offer a chance to showcase just how effective this new wave of pain-management can be in extremely combative and ferocious endeavors.
As more and more money comes into sport and athletes are paid increasingly large sums to perform every time they take the field, teams will continue looking for effective ways to keep their athletes in peak physical condition and the burgeoning CBD market is something that will be on the top of their lists.
While there are still swaths of research that need to be done to get the most out of CBD usage, it is increasingly clear that CBD is a more effective and much healthier alternative when it comes to pain-management. There is no doubt that sporting institutions and individual athletes will look to explore the CBD space in search of a competitive edge while also thinking of the long-term health implications inherent in continuing down the well-trodden path of traditional medication.
CBD is also something that athletes, both professional and social, are beginning to understand is not just an option during their sporting careers, but well into their retirement. Issues like arthritis and other forms of chronic pain appear or continue to effect countless numbers of athletes long after they have left the playing arena. CBD is a beacon of hope for these people given that it has been shown in many different ways to help sufferers of many ailments that begin on the sporting field and linger throughout life.
As opinions change and research improves, CBD has the potential to revolutionize the way sportspeople treat their bodies, in turn creating an improvement in performance on the field and a better quality of life off it. In the end, athletes want to take part, they don’t want to sit on the sidelines. CBD has the ability to make this a reality in a much more healthy and responsible way than is currently being utilized. Once CBD has been fully accepted by sporting bodies around the world, athletes can look forward to a much safer and effective program when it comes to managing their pain, allowing them to perform at their best whenever their talents are called upon.