Linebacker Dave Ahrens played nearly 10 years in the NFL. Originally from Iowa, he played for 5 teams throughout his NFL career, including the St. Louis Cardinals (now the Arizona Cardinals), Indianapolis Colts, Detroit Lions, Miami Dolphins, and Seattle Seahawks. His larger impact on the NFL, however, has been off the field, advocating for injured players and sharing his experience with chronic pain.
Ahrens was one of the NFL players named in the 2011 concussion lawsuit, which claimed that the NFL didn’t properly treat concussions or warn players about concussions. NFL players suffered head trauma that resulted in chronic pain, difficulties sleeping, light sensitivity, dementia, and mental illness, including depression and sudden mood swings.
In an interview with MensHealth.com, Ahrens painted a bleak picture of how the league and its doctors handled pain relief:
I enjoyed a 10-year playing career [from 1981 to 1990]. I have taken more pain pills in that time than most people have in their lifetime.
All the doctors ever gave us was codeine, Tylenol-Codeine No. 3, and other stuff. In the beginning of my career, it was handed out like candy. We had to play. There was no care about player health—only your performance was important.
And we were provided with a couple of beers on ice under our seat. Guess what would happen? It wasn’t until later in my career that docs and trainers had to write down who got what and how many.Meet the Pro Athletes Advocating for CBD, Men’s Health, https://www.menshealth.com/health/a26755363/meet-the-pro-athletes-advocating-for-cbd/
Ahrens has cut out the pain meds since leaving the NFL. Instead, he uses CBD products to manage the chronic pain from his injuries, and he appreciates its lack of side effects when compared to mainstream prescription medication:
“Every day on TV there are commercials advertising the next best drug, and the second half of the commercial is all about possible side effects. Well, I have never heard of a side effect from CBD.”Meet the Pro Athletes Advocating for CBD, Men’s Health, https://www.menshealth.com/health/a26755363/meet-the-pro-athletes-advocating-for-cbd/
Readers, we want to hear from you! Do you have issues with chronic pain from professional or amateur sports? What methods do you have for pain relief? Leave a comment below!