Weekend Warriors: Common Injuries, Prevention and Treatment

Athletic man tying shoelace

Weekend warriors are people who only participate in activities in their spare time. They may or may not maintain a routine exercise program and then participate in vigorous activities over a short or abbreviated period of time. Does this sound like you?

Frequently, this is a recipe for injury. Here are some of the most common injuries weekend warriors experience:

Hamstring, Quadriceps and Calf Muscles

  • These are often strained or torn when they’re forcefully moved while stiff or weak.
  • Treatment: Rest, compression, elevation, gentle stretching, avoiding activity.

Tendons

  • Knee tendons are especially prone to injury if they haven’t been stretched properly before activity.
  • Treatment: Rest, anti-inflammatory medication, using a brace, activity modification, ice. However, if a tendon tears, the only treatment is surgery.

Intra-articular Knee Injury (inside the knee)

  • These include meniscal tears, ligament tears, and cartilage injuries. They can be prevented by strengthening the muscles around the joint.
  • Treatment: Injuries can range widely in severity. Likewise treatment may range from rest, using a brace, or getting injections to physical therapy or surgery.

Although the knee is often injured in the weekend warrior, this can be prevented.  A good routine exercise and stretching program during the week can significantly reduce the likelihood of a major knee injury and either loss of playing time or need for surgery to reconstruct a knee.

If you experience a weekend warrior injury that requires immediate attention, remember our OrthoTODAY program offers fast-access appointments with orthopedic specialists, available in both Annapolis and Pasadena. For more tips and events for living well with joint pain, please visit LivingHealthierToday.org.
Author

By Benjamin Petre, MD, orthopedic surgeon at AAMG Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Specialists, a practice of Anne Arundel Medical Center. To reach him, call 410-268-8862.

2 Comments

  • Jeannie Hall says:

    Won’t ice delay healing for tendon injuries? RE: the RICE recommendation has been updated to exclude ice (use only for muscle injury)

  • thestory says:

    Hi Jeannie! Thanks for your inquiry. Dr. Petre’s response is: “Ice is not a cure for tendinitis. It is a treatment for the symptoms of tendinitis. Tendinitis tends to be a self-limiting condition and therefore the treatment should be symptomatic. It is true that increasing blood flow in the chronic tendinopathy patient is the best treatment (heat, prp, etc); tendinitis more acutely is different. The American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine recommended treatments include ice:
    http://www.sportsmed.org/downloads/tips/AOSSM_Tendonitis.pdf

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