Stretching and pains

Discussion in 'Referee' started by gaolin, Sep 10, 2019.

  1. gaolin

    gaolin Member

    Apr 21, 2019
    So, I recently started reffing this month as an AR2. I did 4 games Saturday and 3 games on Sunday this past weekend. By Sunday's 1st game, I started to feel my right knee have some pain. I didn't hit it wrong or run awkwardly.. but it just hurt to run slightly. I had to stiff leg it. My center ref could see I was struggling near my last game on Sunday.

    By the end of it, I had to cancel what would have been my first whistle the following Monday. Unfortunately but I could barely run.

    So, I took some pills, muscle relaxant, and put on some cream the following Sunday and Monday night and now it's progressively feeling better.

    My question is:

    1. Because I have not moved my muscles in such a long time, is this tolerance building up?
    2. Should I stretch more? I did some light stretching but it probably wasn't enough?

    I hope to be ready for Wednesday's game... to give some context, I am 27yr old male. (Maybe it matters?)
  2. Law5

    Law5 Member+

    Mar 24, 2005
    Beaverton OR
    It was about two or three years into my referee career that I made the decision to switch from refereeing to stay in/get in shape, to staying in shape in order to referee. That's made all the difference for me.

    I am a little surprised at how few referees I work with actually warm up before a game. Before the first game of the day, I stretch my ham strings, my quads and my calves and then hammies again, holding the stretch of each about one minute.

    When I do a track workout, like I did today, I quick jog 400 meters, then I go onto the turf field and I do 50 yards of groin stretches (bent knee, up, out to the side and step forward, alternating legs), 50 yards of monster legs (aka high goose stepping), jogging back to the start. Then 100 yards of bounding, jogging back, 100 yards of side stepping, switching the lead foot halfway, jogging back, running 100 yards backwards and jogging back. Then I'm ready for whatever sprint workout I've decided to do that day, typically 150 M run <30 seconds, walk 50 M x 20, or 200 M run <45 seconds walk 100 M x 10, or 400 M run less than 1:45, walk 200 M x 4. The other days I'll run 1.5 to 4.0 miles on various routes through the neighborhood. No workout on days I have a game.
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  3. funsoccer12

    funsoccer12 Member

    Oct 23, 2016
    Portland Timbers
    Being an AR requires using muscles and making movements that most people don't normally do. Law5's workout is a good one and there are some more here from NISOA that are good.

    PRO used to have a great document full of workouts on their website but I can't find it anymore. Before games, its important to not only stretch but to warm up. I like to do a few short runs followed a few side step runs and sprints, do some dynamic stretching and then some static stretching before games so my muscles are ready to go for the game.
    MJ91 repped this.
  4. MJ91

    MJ91 Member

    United States
    Jan 14, 2019
    I cannot reiterate enough what was already posted above.

    I'm 50 and a full-time desk jockey by trade... not athletically gifted by any means... Building fitness PRE-season along with thorough warm-up before a match is vital for me. I literally try to do the same pregame dynamics & stretching that my kid's U18G Select team does (I also coach).

    Run to build your wind/endurance (I do more sprint/jog interval training than sustained running) but ALSO work the other muscles you'll use while refereeing such as for side-stepping, stop & go turns, back-peddling, and other ways that we contort ourselves on the run.

    Let that first paragraph in @Law5's post really sink in... because if you haven't prepared to be on the go for a full competitive match or two (or some days five), it's too late and is gonna hurt.

    Or... if you were going to be playing competitive soccer for 70-90 minutes without a break, what would you do in terms of preseason conditioning and warm-ups? And hydration and diet? In some games a good CR can run more than some of the players.

    And unfortunately for some (*cough*, me) the adage about it not getting any easier as the years pass by is true. Enjoy your 20's!!
    IASocFan, gaolin and Law5 repped this.
  5. MJ91

    MJ91 Member

    United States
    Jan 14, 2019
    If you didn't injure anything, could be sore from lactic acids build-up (weren't in running shape). If so, make sure to do a light workout (jog?) the next day or two afterwards to work the muscles - remaining sedentary lets it persist longer. Continued stretching a few times daily should help too.

    A few things, pretty much what athletes generally would do...

    - Make sure you continue re-hydrating (with electrolytes!) well into the following day if you sweat much. (Also, chocolate milk immediately after hard exercise can help muscle recovery - not kidding, it's some sort of protein absorption thingy.)
    - For sore joints, apply ice therapy to help control inflammation - maybe three rounds of 20' on / 40' off, several times across the day. (My knee gets it after any games on firm/hard ground fields.)
    - Light stretching the same evening after working games, continue a couple rounds of stretching each of the following days.
    gaolin repped this.
  6. gaolin

    gaolin Member

    Apr 21, 2019
    Interesting. I've always heard of RICE.. so I rested because I think it was runner's knee that I had. I could barely run on my right leg Monday night. Tuesday was better and today it's at its best.

    So, I've started drinking that choc milk you speak of which is working nice. The ones that come in powder form to put into regular milk.

    Today, it's gotten to the point where I can run in bursts without it hurting. A big improvement from yesterday. I have my game in 3 hours but I'm hoping it gets rained out.

    It looks like I have an order of workout in front of me. Like Law5 said, workout to ref and not the other way around.
    frankieboylampard repped this.
  7. lil_one

    lil_one Member+

    Nov 26, 2013
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I'm not a referee now, but I'm a runner who used to play and ref, so take this advice in conjunction with the better advice from the current referees here:

    RICE is for an injury. If its soreness from lactic acid buildup from doing too much too soon, then "motion is lotion" should be your adage, in that some light movement helps flush out the lactic acid.

    And since you were AR, the pain could have just been from doing too much too soon by your ligaments and muscles surrounding your knee due to the side-to-side movement that most people don't normally do in their regular day-to-day life. Do some dynamic stretching with side-to-side movement before games to warm up.

    And even though you're still in your 20s, I'd start out with less games and build up gradually, which is the same advice given to those just getting back into any exercise. Generally, the cardiovascular system adjusts to exercise much quicker than the musculoskeletal system. The advice to get back into workouts gradually is to give time for those muscles, ligaments, and tendons to adjust without injury.
    gaolin repped this.
  8. gaolin

    gaolin Member

    Apr 21, 2019
    SO, I had my (big) game last night and I survived. Near the end, I was _sort_ of limping but not all the way. I stiff-legged it again and it seemed like I was going backwards. I went home and put some ice and took some Advil.

    Thank you for your reply. I'll keep walking and doing lite walking. I have a game Friday which I may just pawn off. But I think you may be onto something.

    But I agree. Tolerance and build-up is key. Unfortunately, I have 2 games on Sat and 3 on Sun... and the dearth of referee is dire. But I agree.

    I am going to an Orthopedics doctor soon... and I'll let you know exactly what's wrong with me. Because I do not want to go to Friday with a painful knee and never get better.
  9. DefRef

    DefRef Member

    Jul 3, 2017
    Storrs CT
    This is a subject that I worry about a lot. I do a ton of games. Game #118 (soccer and lacrosse) for 2019 coming up later today and at least 45 more on the schedule in the next 60 days. And these are the money (HS/college club) games that pay at least $95 a game, so I really don't want to turn any back.

    My Achilles tendons hurt all the time. The pain level varies, but I can always feel it. I stretch and massage and rest when I can. Actually went 10 days between games a few weeks ago and they still hurt by the end of the next game. I can do one game no problem. Two games in a row starts to slow me down. And if I do 3, I'm an old slow 58 yr old guy by the end. And then my wife is unhappy because I am such a grump for the next few days.

    I went to physical therapist a couple of years back and they had me come in weekly and do stuff to my legs, but I never noticed any change. My logic says that I am getting old and I over do it. But in my mind, if I can keep doing all the games, then I am not old, so there! Whattya gonna do?

    As Satchel Paige said, "never look back, something might be gaining on you........."
    gaolin repped this.
  10. chwmy

    chwmy Member+

    Feb 27, 2010
    Glad you are doing that. There aren’t a ton of muscles within the knee- it’s a bundle of tendons and ligaments. Warming up definitely helps and reduces the chance of injury, but once it hurts, it’s injured and you should do RICE, as described. I can’t imagine that muscle relaxers would be of any use for knee pain.

    As part of your recovery, strengthening muscles around the knee is vital. But for now, figure out what it is and what needs to happen to get better- it seems clear that continuing as you are is not the answer!
    gaolin repped this.
  11. RefGil

    RefGil Member

    Dec 10, 2010
    And one more thing from an old guy: *After* the game, get some additional stretching in. Just a couple of minutes is enough for me.

    In my world, RICE has been replaced by NICER (NSAID, Ice, Compression, Elevation, Rest), which has the advantage of being in the correct order, in addition to including the all-important Vitamin I (Ibuprofen).
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  12. chwmy

    chwmy Member+

    Feb 27, 2010
    Have you seen anyone about this? I would be concerned about Achilles tendinosis. That condition poses some increased risk of having a Achilles rupture, which could have a devastating impact on your athletic pursuits. Tendinosis isn’t really inflammatory so RICE isn’t particularly helpful.
  13. gaolin

    gaolin Member

    Apr 21, 2019
    Just got back from the orthopedic doctor's office with x-rays and all that jazz.

    Nothing's broken or looks bad or is serious. Woo!

    Basically, it's inflamed inside and it was rubbing together. He said my body is not use doing so much exertion and my muscle are not use to it either. I need to take it slow because I did basically 7 games in 2 days and my body basically shut down on me.

    He said to take it easy on the games, rest and to take one of humanity's greatest invention: ibuprofen.
    jayhonk repped this.
  14. socal lurker

    socal lurker Member+

    May 30, 2009
    Ibuprofen clearly has its place, but be cautious about falling into the “referee candy” mentality. It can also be hard on the liver. Someone o. Here with a medical background may be able to say something more specific.
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  15. gaolin

    gaolin Member

    Apr 21, 2019
    So I heard. I'll make sure it's not something I need because I'll focus on my health through actual exercise and not dependency.
  16. chwmy

    chwmy Member+

    Feb 27, 2010

    Acetaminophen is Tylenol. It is anti fever and anti pain. It is not anti inflammation. It has very few (almost no) adverse effects on the healthy non drinker. It is surprisingly important to not exceed the recommended dose to avoid liver damage.

    NSAIDs (Ibuprofen = Motrin, Advil. Aleve = Naproxen) are anti fever, pain and inflammation. Should be taken with food to avoid stomach irritation. It can damage the kidneys. Liver damage is rare. It is available by prescription at higher doses.

    There is no over the counter pain med that risks dependency.
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  17. socal lurker

    socal lurker Member+

    May 30, 2009
    Thanks for correcting my anatomy failure . . .
  18. gaolin

    gaolin Member

    Apr 21, 2019
    #18 gaolin, Sep 16, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2019
    Update, because it has officially been a week with this dreaded pain. (Started last Sunday)

    I went to see a Chiropractor today and she did some pops with some square board. She was pretty confident she could cure my pain. I was like, okay great. Annnnd. Nothing. I was good for like the first minute... and then.. soon after... BAM still painful to run. Looks like I may be cancelling my "follow-up" appointment cause she doesn't take insurance and I like my $40...

    Still doing Ibuprofen twice a day. Still dong RICE and some glut/hips/core stretching... Some Arnica cream...

    Ortho says it's inflammation after overuse of running. X-rays show nothing serious, he says.

    Looks like I may be cancelling Wednesday game, too. I'm trying everything here. I've heard of stories people waiting "weeks/months" and the pain never subsiding and I've heard of stories of people doing some foam rolling and it going away.

    I just don't know what to do anymore. I will be trying to jogging a bit everyday so that my muscles continue to grow in strength... but

    I can't ref. I can't run. I'm just upset
  19. frankieboylampard

    Mar 7, 2016
    Chelsea FC
    Nat'l Team:
    not a doctor... but in my experience if you want to get an idea of ligaments, cartilage and muscles you want to get a MRI. Also id consider taking yourself out for a while (until you can do the job pain free) or train pain free.
    IASocFan and gaolin repped this.
  20. lil_one

    lil_one Member+

    Nov 26, 2013
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    That's frustrating, but at this point, after a week, it sounds like an injury of some sort, and not just soreness. Don't keep running/jogging, as you may be making the injury worse. Also foam rolling can be helpful for soreness, but can also exacerbate an injury.

    I'm also not a doctor, but I'd recommend resting and continuing with the ice and elevation without any running, refereeing, or training for at least a week and see if it goes away. If the pain continues or comes back as soon as you start running again, I'd be contacting another doctor, and yes, possibly getting an MRI to check on ligaments and tendons. If the pain goes away, as you start back, for prevention: build up slowly. Warm up and stretch. Also wear good quality shoes, and possibly get your gait checked.
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  21. gaolin

    gaolin Member

    Apr 21, 2019
    I thought ice was only for the 1st 48-72 hours after injury occurs? Anyway, I have been doing icing but not as much as I should.

    I have completely laid off reffing and I am going to go see a sports medicine doctor soon. MRI is next on the list...

    As for shoes, I'll keep looking. Appreciate the advice from both of you two.
    frankieboylampard repped this.
  22. socal lurker

    socal lurker Member+

    May 30, 2009
    You might also want to ask the doc about physical therapy. The PT can not only help in recovery, but more importantly help in learning what to do to avoid the problem in the future (what kind of stretching/strengthening you need to avoid it).
  23. tomek75

    tomek75 Member+

    Aug 13, 2012
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Shoes, orthotics, compression.
    I am also not a doctor but I have had aches and pains all over my body and joints.over the years. As for the Chiropractor. One visit is not enough, it took me a couple of months to get rid of some injuries. I was dealing with shoulder pain for years, some therapies helped a bit others not at all. The one that did the trick was acupuncture. I was sceptical until I tried it as a last resort. Boy am I glad I did it. One cession and most of the pain went away. One week later I came back one more time and I have been pain free in my shoulder for over 2 years.
  24. gaolin

    gaolin Member

    Apr 21, 2019
    #24 gaolin, Sep 17, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2019
    Yes, I am currently working on strengthening work-outs for sure. Looking into different shoes. Looking into PT after I go to my regular doc today hopefully. Tried scheduling a physio today but I needed a referral...

    Still doing RICE, too.

    I'll look into Chiro again but they well... I was still feeling it. And I don't want to keep paying $40 a pop when I can go to a specialist. I felt skeptical but I'll do look into acupuncture as last resort. Cortisone shot is absolute but something many people avoid. I am hoping I never have to do it...

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