RefSix

Aches and Pains

spuddy1878

RefChat Addict
#1
Been really feeling it lately so much so that i had Sunday off and Saturday only done one 9v9 academy game.

Im early 40s but this is only my first season refereeing, ive enjoyed it far more than i ever thought i would.

The negatives are the injuries, i know aches and pains creep in as you get older but even with only one weekend game my hamstrings, thighs and calfs are causing me problems.

Ive tried lots of muscle rubs before, after and in between but nothing seems to making any difference.

Is it just a case of getting older or is there anything anyone can advise.
 

Tino Best

RefChat Addict
#2
Join a running club. By doing different types of running your muscles will become more flexible and will be used during the week, also run longer distances as well. Three years reffing and only a couple of aches and I am approaching late 40s.
 

cwyeary

RefChat Addict
#3
I'm just a frequent user of referee candy.

Also known as ibuprofen. I take them an hour or two before a game and it works wonders on the sore legs.
 

santa sangria

RefChat Addict
#4
Been really feeling it lately so much so that i had Sunday off and Saturday only done one 9v9 academy game.

Im early 40s but this is only my first season refereeing, ive enjoyed it far more than i ever thought i would.

The negatives are the injuries, i know aches and pains creep in as you get older but even with only one weekend game my hamstrings, thighs and calfs are causing me problems.

Ive tried lots of muscle rubs before, after and in between but nothing seems to making any difference.

Is it just a case of getting older or is there anything anyone can advise.
Feel your pain. I just turned 45, started at 38. Forgive me as I have posted this stuff before. In my 20s, 30s, 2-3-4 day pain from playing: aches, sprains - feet*, ankles, calves, knees, thighs, hammies, all of it. Same with the whistle. After a couple of years with the whistle I wanted to stop hurting. A physio with footy experience helped identify the real problems/weaknesses and gave me advice for those. Then I got a PT that specialises in sprinting to re learn how to run and learn how to train and warm up - and how to go faster. I probably spent 500 quid all in with both. Of course I put some work in as well. For the last two years, I have been doing 3-4-5 games a week with no aches after.

The last time I pulled something a few years ago: no warm up in a big game with the flag, sprint in the first minute. Today I ache from futsal on Sunday, guess what: no warm up and the 11-a-side season finished 2 weeks ago so no other running.

I have become a bit selfish with this. If I show up as AR and my young ref is obviously about to skip a good warm up, I insist and make sure I get 10 minutes. If I am ref and an AR is late, we get on with it. I know without 8-10 minutes warming up it might ruin my week - or season. Luckily most colleagues have "learnt" a similar @12 minute warm up and do it with plenty of free parts.

You don't have to get professional help or spend serious money. Warming up is free. But, if you do get some pro advice specific to your body, you will be much better off. IMHO of course.


*Strictly speaking, I tied my boots too tight for about 3 months, and crushed the base of my big toes. This is an easy injury to avoid if you are not an imbecile. Making the mistakes since 2013 so you don't have to...
 

Referee117

"No. I think we're just getting started."
#5
Join a running club. By doing different types of running your muscles will become more flexible and will be used during the week, also run longer distances as well. Three years reffing and only a couple of aches and I am approaching late 40s.
As Tino mentioned, think about what you can do on non-game days too. 5k/10k/shorter runs here and there will improve your body ready for game day.

On game day, make sure you have enough nutrients in your body that you're not regretting having that extra pain au chocolat 5 minutes into the game. Half time nutrients too, sports drink, banana, energy gel etc. If you're feeding your body enough on game day it'll thank you afterwards
 

Big Cat

RefChat Addict
#7
Cheers guys.

Bit more running (last thing I feel like doing ha ha)
Energy food and drinks
Ibrpofen it is
Are you a bit on the heavy side? Take it from me, that's probably the most common cause of troubles
There are some muscle injuries which are much more common once you're the wrong side of 40
 

Kes

I'll Decide ...
#10
Been really feeling it lately so much so that i had Sunday off and Saturday only done one 9v9 academy game.

Im early 40s but this is only my first season refereeing, ive enjoyed it far more than i ever thought i would.

The negatives are the injuries, i know aches and pains creep in as you get older but even with only one weekend game my hamstrings, thighs and calfs are causing me problems.

Ive tried lots of muscle rubs before, after and in between but nothing seems to making any difference.

Is it just a case of getting older or is there anything anyone can advise.
Gradual warm-up and lots of stretching (a good 10-15 mins worth of stretching alone) is the only thing that'll get your pins to not hurt during or after the match. Calf trouble will eventually lead to achilles problems and then you're a in real fix. Take it from a 52 year old who knows. ;)
As has also already been suggested though - running regularly at least twice a week in addition to your weekend match will more than likely help. If you're in your early 40s and are only asking your legs to do it for 90 mins one day a week then it's no wonder they're complaining ... :)
 

Ben448844

RefChat Addict
#11
Fortunately I'm pretty fit so don't suffer from fatigue from refereeing yet, although cricket (wicket keeper and opener) plays havoc with my thighs. I'm mid 30s and have played sport (and continue to do so) my entire life.

People misunderstand or look for easy ways to control aches and pains. If you're looking for a way to control it during the match or pain after the match then all you doing is dealing with the symptom and not the cause. There's no short cuts.

If you're cramping up then your not getting enough liquid on board in the 24 hours before the game. Drinking some water before or at half time might control your hydration but it won't control any cramps. If it's muscle fatigue then your muscles aren't strong enough to cope with the activity that your asking them to do. The solution is to build them up over time (running, swimming, walking etc). If you have an injury then you have an injury. You either stop until it heals or you manage the symptoms, there's no cure. Physio is the best management but if your paying for physio to keep reffing then you'd be better having a few months off and build your muscle up.

There are no miracle supplements or energy gels. Just like fancy watches, expensive kit etc, it's just marketing and in no way improves your performance more than what using your brain does.

As the personal trainer who is a good friend of mine says, if your looking for a short cut then ******* look elsewhere :)
 

Hoosier Ref

Well-Known Member
#12
48 yrs here and have cover 30-40+ miles during a weekend of refereeing then turn around on a day break to do weekday doubles. I have never been a distance runner kind of guy BUT have continued to play soccer over 40 years. The referee mileage is tough on the body in the peak of the season. My Achilles and calves scream the worst. Here is what helps me
  • Proper hydration
  • Proper nutrition (your metabolism slows as you get older. Must pay attention to what you eat more)
  • Daily multivitamin
  • High quality compression shorts (skins a400 shorts for hamstring/glute/groin $100) and sleeves for calves (skins $40) to help avoid pulls/strains
  • Muscle rubs
  • Ibuprofen
  • Get there early to warm up/stretch properly
  • Re-hydrate!
  • Get to/maintain a good weight which eases strain across the board (I'm 5'10 / 180. Refereeing is a lot more difficult every 10 lbs additional you carry at our age) I was at 195 four or 5 years ago. It makes a huge difference. I used the app MyFitnessPal which I dropped to fighting weight in 3 months
I can still run with the U20-U23's. Always nice to show that "you cant outrun me kid." My Achilles is about the only issue I have any more and it comes and goes. Pretty much a recovery thing.
 

PinnerPaul

RefChat Addict
#13
Can only say what works for me (Soon to be 58)

1) Warm up
2) Don't take games when 'injured' - even if its only a 'mild' strain
3) Try doing some gentle exercise (Walk/bike) the morning after a game
 
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#15
48 yrs here and have cover 30-40+ miles during a weekend of refereeing then turn around on a day break to do weekday doubles. I have never been a distance runner kind of guy BUT have continued to play soccer over 40 years. The referee mileage is tough on the body in the peak of the season. My Achilles and calves scream the worst. Here is what helps me
  • Proper hydration
  • Proper nutrition (your metabolism slows as you get older. Must pay attention to what you eat more)
  • Daily multivitamin
  • High quality compression shorts (skins a400 shorts for hamstring/glute/groin $100) and sleeves for calves (skins $40) to help avoid pulls/strains
  • Muscle rubs
  • Ibuprofen
  • Get there early to warm up/stretch properly
  • Re-hydrate!
  • Get to/maintain a good weight which eases strain across the board (I'm 5'10 / 180. Refereeing is a lot more difficult every 10 lbs additional you carry at our age) I was at 195 four or 5 years ago. It makes a huge difference. I used the app MyFitnessPal which I dropped to fighting weight in 3 months
I can still run with the U20-U23's. Always nice to show that "you cant outrun me kid." My Achilles is about the only issue I have any more and it comes and goes. Pretty much a recovery thing.
Man speaks truth.
TBH I also swear by compression shorts and often wear compression socks after e.g. heavy doubles.
And I drink loads. Really loads.
 

RobOda

RefChat Addict
#17
If it's just DOMS then it's nothing to worry about really. If it's anything else, I'd be wanting to find out why.

Worth considering seeing a physio who can give you a once over. They usually give you a workout plan that will help out, it could be a case of needing to do some strengthening work etc. If it's a genuine injury, they're probably the best available to help you out with that as well. (If you're not keen on waiting on the NHS, a private physio appointment is pretty cheap if you want it sorted pronto.)

I know we like to chalk things up to age and 'falling apart' but, really the cogs in our bodies should be going smoothly as we hit our fifties I reckon! ;)
 
#18
Im still in my youth (just about) but have been to see a physio regarding my ankles, calfs and achilles. The advise was when it hurts rest, when its better strengthen, then when its strong run. Luckily I did most of that process over the summer.

Strengthening included various types of squats, lunges, leg presses and anything else which overloads the main muscles. Very useful and had helped me stay fit until I twisted my ankle!

Another thing physio went through was running techniques. Build up of exercises to build muscles memory and then how to put it in to practice. This made a massive difference eventually. Took time but I find myself running faster for further and with some ease compared to before.
 
#19
I was suffering badly with aches and pains and usually limped into work on a Monday morning. I joined a gym and have found that mixing up cardio work and introducing weight training has made a huge difference. It is up to you what you try but medicating is not a substitute for fitness.
 

Cheshire Ref

RefChat Addict
#20
As i have mentioned before i am huge advocate of the ice bath or my alternative just a bath filled only with the cold tap. Sit in this for 15 minutes and it will work wonders. When your numbness kicks in the the blood flow is reduced to that area, when they recover and the blood flow increases it is done so with re-oxygenated blood which speeds recovery and helps heal any little niggles.

They are not fun in the slightest but trust me they work.
 
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