Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier
WebMD

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine
WebMD

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion
    WebMD

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community
    WebMD

    Community

    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Stretching Can Help Weekend Warriors Avoid Same Fate, Says Expert

Jan. 27, 2003 - Elite athletes may be putting themselves on the fast track to future joint problems. A new study finds that professional soccer players have 10 times the risk of later hip arthritis - even if they never suffered a noticeable hip injury.

And as for you weekend warriors -- there are things that can be done to lower your risk for future joint pain.

The new finding, reported in the February issue of the British Journal of Sports Medicine, builds on previous evidence showing later joint problems among former athletes. Two years ago, another research team reported in the same medical journal that nearly half of 284 professional soccer and rugby players reported having arthritis in a weight-bearing joint -- such as the knee or hip -- years after retiring.

But while most of those cases were attributed to a sports-related injury, none of the former pro athletes in this new study with hip arthritis had ever suffered a serious injury.

Among the 68 former soccer players, nine reported having hip osteoarthritis, or degenerative arthritis -- the most common form of arthritis. Six had hip replacements before or while in their 40s, says researcher Gordon J. Shepard, FRCS, a consultant orthopaedic and trauma surgeon in England.

Even without a previous injury, hip problems occurred 10 times more frequently in the former athletes than in a group of 136 men of similar age who had never played professional sports. Why?

"It's unclear based on the small size of our study," Shepard tells WebMD. "But we are theorizing that some of them had groin strains that may be related to injuries of the hip joints, or the repetitive open chain nature of kicking a [soccer] ball may apply forces to the hip which result in early degeneration without any particularly serious injury."

Or it just may be the sport itself or a player's physical build, theorizes another sports medicine expert who has served as team orthopedist for the New York Mets and is currently tending to the U.S. Davis Cup tennis team, a semi-pro baseball club, and a professional soccer franchise.

Heart Rate Calculator

Ensure you're exercising hard enough to get a good workout, but not strain your heart.

While you are exercising, you should count between...

-
Beats
PER
Seconds

Heart Rate Calculator

Ensure you're exercising hard enough to get a good workout, but not strain your heart.

While you are exercising, you should count between...

-
Beats
PER
Seconds