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High impact sports - how badly do you pay the price?
Old 02-12-2008, 12:53 PM   #1
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High impact sports - how badly do you pay the price?

I currently play a lot of ball hockey, badminton, tennis, and football. Now that I'm 36 the constant pounding of sprinting, diving, stopping, starting, and colliding is beginning to beat my body down more and more each year. My question to those in their sixties and beyond who engaged in many of these same activities in the past, is how this high impact lifestyle early on has affected your health now? I don't want to give up playing the sports I love, but I don't want to spend my sixties and beyond nearly crippled and dealing with constant pain as my body pays me back for all the abuse I put it through.
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Old 02-12-2008, 01:09 PM   #2
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I am 35 and have tapered off on some sports.

Last time I played tackle football was 5-8 years ago.
I play soccer only 1 day per week now. I no longer slide tackle when I play either. I also don't play keeper nearly as much as I did before.
I replaced my time (playing) by coaching. I get paid to coach soccer (BONUS!) and the money is 5 figures in a good year.
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Old 02-12-2008, 01:52 PM   #3
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how this high impact lifestyle early on has affected your health now?
I was hit by the birdie when playing badminton, and it crippled me.

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Old 02-12-2008, 01:54 PM   #4
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Drop the hockey and football, and it will help.

Funny, I have never seen a crippled tennis player in their 60's, but watching John Elway walk gives me the shivers, and he's 47..........
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Old 02-12-2008, 05:50 PM   #5
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I currently play a lot of ball hockey, badminton, tennis, and football. Now that I'm 36 the constant pounding of sprinting, diving, stopping, starting, and colliding is beginning to beat my body down more and more each year. My question to those in their sixties and beyond who engaged in many of these same activities in the past, is how this high impact lifestyle early on has affected your health now? I don't want to give up playing the sports I love, but I don't want to spend my sixties and beyond nearly crippled and dealing with constant pain as my body pays me back for all the abuse I put it through.
You're gonna boost the retirement plans of several orthopedic surgeons with your persistent Boomeritis, aren't you? Quit now while you're behind.

"No worries." Your anterior cruciate ligaments (plus possibly one or two of the remaining three ligaments in each knee) will give way over the next 5-10 years whether you want to give up the sports or not. You may have to stop before then, however, when the remaining cartilage in your patellar meniscii is gone and the grinding pain of bone-on-bone contact inspires you to take up something with less impact.

There are surgical options to replace the ACL. There's not much to be done to replace knee cartilage, but orthopods are happy to replace knees with titanium when you're 60. They don't want to start much earlier because the current models wear out after 10-15 years and they have to grind a little deeper into your femur with each subsequent replacement.

There are some inspiring photos & videos at eOrthopodTV, and maybe Cb can direct us to that photo of his recovery from ACL surgery.

I've been living without ACLs for over six years and I'm going to keep going for another two or three (until our kid's in college). Once we're empty-nesters, for my 50th birthday present I'm going to have both ACLs rebuilt to return stability to the joints and clean up whatever other shredded cartilage is still hanging around. Until then I wear carbon-fiber orthopedic braces for taekwondo, weight-lifting, & yardwork. It's not much fun and the surgery is no picnic either, but the surgery should allow me to fully straighten my left leg and avoid causing more damage to my meniscii...

I feel lucky after listing all of the above, because one of my shipmates has led a much more active sporting life (similar to yours) and is facing hip replacement at the age of 45. He's on a steady diet of prescription painkillers-- just short of Percocet-- and who knows what damage they're doing to his digestive system. His knees are screwed up too but they pale in significance next to his hip pain.

There's a reason that some colleges equip their football teams with $1500 orthopedic knee braces on the first scrimmage.

There are many other exercises and sports that are just as challenging and fulfilling without the high impacts. It doesn't matter what you "want" to give up, however, because if you don't do it first then your body will eventually do it to for you.
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Old 02-12-2008, 06:17 PM   #6
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I use the clapper. Thank god for that invention!
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Old 02-12-2008, 06:30 PM   #7
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After seeing my relative getting his front teeth knocked out in a softball game I stopped with the "contact" sports. Too much out of pocket money risk. Ive seen quite a few weekend warrior guys rounding a base and twisting an ankle. Not worth it to me. I dont want any of those problems people listed as I get older down the road.
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Old 02-12-2008, 06:38 PM   #8
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Actually, I did sprain an ankle playing badminton barefoot, and that ankle has never been the same.
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Old 02-12-2008, 07:00 PM   #9
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1974 was the last time I had on a pair of downhill skis - now 64 rapidly closing on 65. The only itch that resurfaces from time to time - I plan to continue to resist.

My neighbor - mid thirties (softball) reminds why I don't 'do' company teams anymore - flag football, softball, basketball, volleyball.

Now we had a nationally ranked ping pong player back in the 60's in our lab we used to play at lunch time - never got hurt there.

And stay away from water skis - we had some competitive 'tricks' skiers also - I stayed way, way away. They got banged up as bad as the motorcycle and race boat cats.

Fun can be dangereous.

heh heh heh - a nice quiet ER doing nothing in particular is just fine. A few aches in cold weather - but no bad arithritis.
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Old 02-12-2008, 07:11 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by CheapCanuck View Post
I currently play a lot of ball hockey, badminton, tennis, and football. Now that I'm 36 the constant pounding of sprinting, diving, stopping, starting, and colliding is beginning to beat my body down more and more each year. My question to those in their sixties and beyond who engaged in many of these same activities in the past, is how this high impact lifestyle early on has affected your health now? I don't want to give up playing the sports I love, but I don't want to spend my sixties and beyond nearly crippled and dealing with constant pain as my body pays me back for all the abuse I put it through.
I'm 66 and played tennis and squash till a few years ago. My joints held up really well. What is keeping me away from tennis and squash for the last while is a rotator cuff injury in my racket arm; and a groin pull on the other side. I am not eager to get surgery for the rotator cuff; but the real problem is the groin pull because it affects everything. I have been able to control it pretty well with a lot of stretching and remedial exercise. But it isn't gone.

Ha
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Old 02-12-2008, 07:50 PM   #11
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Quote:
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I currently play a lot of ball hockey, badminton, tennis, and football. Now that I'm 36 the constant pounding of sprinting, diving, stopping, starting, and colliding is beginning to beat my body down more and more each year. My question to those in their sixties and beyond who engaged in many of these same activities in the past, is how this high impact lifestyle early on has affected your health now? I don't want to give up playing the sports I love, but I don't want to spend my sixties and beyond nearly crippled and dealing with constant pain as my body pays me back for all the abuse I put it through.

High impact sports with torsional loading do appear to increase the risk of developing osteoarthritis. Your risk goes up if you are overweight, have any history of previous joint injury, don't have good muscle strength to support the joints, or have abnormal joint anatomy or alignment. Here's a link to an abstract of the article I am referencing: Sports, joint injury, and posttraumatic osteoarthr...[J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2003] - PubMed Result
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Old 02-12-2008, 08:23 PM   #12
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I played a lot of contact sports over the years and thanks to modern medicine have been able to continue to exercise and stay fit.

throughout high school played soccer, rugby, cricket and tennis. throughout college played soccer and squash and practiced karate. After college played soccer, badmington and field hockey

Age 25 had foot surgery to repair torn ligaments in ankle. By age 30 had to give up squash, tennis and badmington because of bad back. LOVE soccer so kept playing. Age 35 gave up soccer after lower back surgery, and took qualifications to become a referee. Gave up being a ref at 41 after knee surgery. Had surgery on both shoulders at 48 and went back to playing tenniis 2 years ago.

So, yes, contact sports do long term damage in my case but I wouldn't have changed a thing. I still play tennis, table tennis, cylce outdoors etc.

Age now is 53
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Old 02-12-2008, 08:42 PM   #13
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I fell off the back of a golf cart in my mid-30's and broke my right wrist. Never will forget it, the emergency room doc leaned over and tried smelling my breath when I told him the story. Sad thing is.... I only had one sip of my beer before the fall. Anyway, my sports related injury has not kept me from enjoying golf at the ripe old age of 53.

My advice, carry on with your activities.
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Old 02-12-2008, 08:48 PM   #14
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Well I wouldn't really call golf a contact sport. I guess it depends on what hole and beer you are on


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Old 02-12-2008, 10:15 PM   #15
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racquetball at 50 - elbow tendonitis
rollerblading at 50 - broken wrist
basketball 16 -45 - broken & sprained ankles, knee surgery, torn rotator cuff

Luckily I quit these sports and have no long lasting affects.

I saw Mike Ditka last week, and he had a hard time walking up the ramp to the set of the ESPN NFL pregame show.
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Old 02-13-2008, 08:35 AM   #16
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High impact sports and how badly do you pay the price? Answer this: how many people that played high impact sports do you know that lived to 100? Not many, I suspect.
I've been thinking of this lately and have mentioned it to a neighbor that rough sports figures seem to die very young--while classical musicians and intellectuals seem to live a long, long time often. Case closed.
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Old 02-13-2008, 09:24 AM   #17
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Skated and played hockey since I was four. Enjoyed pretty much every sport you can name, from baseball to football to soccer to lacrosse all the way through into my 20's. Played frequent sandlot football into my late 30's, which usually started out 'touch' and ended up full tackle with no pads and helmets. Also known as "rugby".

Knees are pretty well shot. One hip thats sore all the time. And a flakey lower back that came about as a result of playing left tackle and laying a block on a kid we hired that had been playing for Army the year before who made the mistake of trying to compliment me at halftime by saying "hey, you play pretty well for an older guy"...I didnt just pancake him on the first play of the second half, I flipped him upside down on his head, feet sticking straight up in the air.
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Old 02-13-2008, 09:31 AM   #18
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Skated and played hockey since I was four. Enjoyed pretty much every sport you can name, from baseball to football to soccer to lacrosse all the way through into my 20's. Played frequent sandlot football into my late 30's, which usually started out 'touch' and ended up full tackle with no pads and helmets. Also known as "rugby".

Knees are pretty well shot. One hip thats sore all the time. And a flakey lower back that came about as a result of playing left tackle and laying a block on a kid we hired that had been playing for Army the year before who made the mistake of trying to compliment me at halftime by saying "hey, you play pretty well for an older guy"...I didnt just pancake him on the first play of the second half, I flipped him upside down on his head, feet sticking straight up in the air.

Why would you give up like that knees are pretty well shot

This makes no sense. Strengthening the muscles around your knees is a big help in the longevity of the joint. Straight line activities are never a problem with knees as we age. I see so many men give up and make excuses.

Seriously, there are so many options to increase muscle strength in the knee area. Heck my partially torn ACL since the late 70s still gives me no issues and I still bend slide glide and run on the knee.
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Old 02-13-2008, 09:35 AM   #19
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Good lord, but you men pay a price for being so macho...
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Old 02-13-2008, 09:53 AM   #20
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Good lord, but you men pay a price for being so macho...
Nah those macho types age ugly.
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