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Weekend Warrior Woes: Tips for Avoiding or Treating Shoulder and Knee Injuries

January 23, 2023

After spending all week at your 9-5 job, you might look forward to playing your favorite sport or engaging in your favorite outdoor activity when the weekend arrives.

But all that time sitting behind a desk doesn’t mean your body is ready for an intense level of play on the weekend. So-called “weekend warriors” can suffer from an array of common injuries that left untreated can reduce your quality of life.

Orthopedic surgeon Ammar Anbari, MD, will lead a virtual class on the most common sports medicine problems involving the shoulder and knee and the latest technologies in sports medicine and orthopedics to treat them. “Latest Technologies in Sports Medicine and Orthopedics” will be held on Thursday, February 2 from 5:30–6:30 pm.

Shoulder injuries include muscle strains, dislocations, rotator cuff tears, and ligament strains. They commonly happen to people playing sports like golf, tennis, and baseball, where you perform intensive, repetitive motion. You can reduce your risk of shoulder injuries by warming up and stretching before playing sports.

When it comes to knees, a common injury is an ACL tear. If you strain or tear a ligament in your knee, you may have an ACL tear that causes pain, swelling, and poor range of motion. ACL tears may require surgical treatment.

To prevent ACL tears, always warm up before exercising. If you notice any knee pain while playing sports, stop immediately and rest.

Common ‘weekend warrior’ injuries

Other common weekend warrior injuries include:

  1. Sprained ankles. Sprained ankles happen when a ligament gets pulled too far. It can be painful, especially when you put weight on the affected foot. There can be swelling, stiffness, and bruising.
  2. Shin splints. Shin splints usually happen to distance runners. The most common symptoms are pain and swollen shins.
  3. IT band syndrome. IT band syndrome also occurs most often in long-distance runners. The IT band is a strong ligament that runs down your outer thigh. The syndrome usually causes pain in the knee, hip, or both places.
  4. Pulled groin. Groin pulls typically happen to people who play intense sports with a lot of lateral movement, such as soccer and basketball. It happens when muscles in the inner thigh are stretched too far.
  5. Tennis elbow. Tennis elbow occurs when repeated arm movements cause strain in your forearm ligaments.
  6. Hamstring strains. Hamstring strains happen when muscles at the back of your thigh get injured. The injury can happen to people playing practically any sport.
  7. Concussions. Concussions can cause headaches, sensitivity to light, vomiting, confusion, and slurred speech.
  8. Hip flexor strains. The flexor usually gets strained while running on inclines or making sudden turns.