I regularly play football (soccer) and jog a couple of times a week for at least an hour. I occasionally experience soreness with my knees. I'm worried I might be doing long term damage. However, on the football field I see a lot of guys 10 - 15 years older than myself that can still run and plenty of them faster than me.

Is there any chance the impact from doing this type of exercise will be doing damage in the long term?

  • Where in your knees do you feel the pain and how long (distance/time) do you run per week on average
    – Ivo Flipse
    Mar 5 '11 at 18:11

Any time you perform an activity that causes joint pain or soreness, you're doing long-term cumulative damage to your joints. Typically, soccer (football) should not cause knee joint pain. There are a few different things that can cause this:

  • Incorrect or badly fitted footwear. Try some different shoes.
  • Incorrect technique/balance/weight. If you're overweight and running, or if you're not moving with some fluidity (running smoothly vs. pounding your feet) you'll hurt your knees.
  • Weak or previously injured joints. Some people have weaker joints due to genetics or poor nutrition. Others have weakened joints due to prior injury. Typically, damage done to joints, especially to the knees, is permanent and cumulative. Every minor injury adds up, even some of the ones you never "feel".

If the pain persists, check with your doctor and see what he recommends. There are some great products now for people who have weakened joints to help alleviate any pain from activity.

  • "Typically, soccer (football) should not cause knee joint pain" if you manage to never cop a heavy challenge maybe. Mar 13 '11 at 3:15

Yes of course it is. Any activity creates wear and tear on your bones and ligaments. Just getting out of the bed causes wear. But, the effects on your body due to exercise are almost guaranteed to be better for you than not exercising at all. The rule of thumb is, if it's hurts, stop. Don't get your ego in a twist or try to muscle through the pain. Pain is your body telling you something is wrong. Rest a bit, stretch, and then start again when the pain is gone.

A personal note, I found that taking a daily dose of fish oil or some other omega3 fatty supplement helps tremendously with joint soreness.

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