Risk-Pain-Injury Paradox

The notion of the risk-pain-injury paradox has developed out of various sociological works on pain and injury in sport, including that of Curry (1993), Hughes and Coakley (1991) and Young et al. (1994), but is most clearly expressed in the work of Howard Nixon (1993). Stemming from the notion of a ‘culture of risk’ (risk), where playing with pain and injury is normalized as a necessary ‘sacrifice’ if one is to seek sporting success, Nixon notes that such practices are likely, in the long run, to actually reduce one's chances of athletic achievement and thus sporting success. That is to say, desire for sporting success leads athletes to play through pain and with injury, a situation in which, paradoxically, the chances of sporting success are ...

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