How high level athletes prevent their joints from deterioration with so much impact suffered everyday?



Just watched some basketball and parkour videos and I was wondering how their bodies can handle it

In: Biology

Training. And with that technique and muscle build up. Technique will cause a softer impact and the muscles act a spring or cushion. Dispersing the remaining energy from the impact. But still. Professional athletes suffer from a deteriorating body at the end of their career.

TLDR: they can’t.

Your body exists kind of in a bell curve. Too little exercise = your joints degrade. Too much = your joints wear out. The athletes you watched are in the top end of that bell curve. They have a limited window before they have to stop, because their bodies can’t do that forever.

Well, they don’t. All that stuff catches up with them in the end and they are more likely to develop joint problems later in life.

They eat well. They train. Then they age just like the rest of us.

WE all float down here.

Additional question: as im aging im sore anyways. Should i just start running because i will be in pain either way and exercise overall is better for heart etc?

I still find it hard to define when it’s “too much”, how do people know that?!

I’m a month out of turning 55. I played football from 3rd-12th grade. I was a street skateboarder through my mid-30s, switched to street BMX into my 40s and finally switched over to only surfing from 42 to now. I’m still standing, but my knees have little-to-no cartilage left, my hips are all whack, and have recurring issues with bulging discs.

The top comment is correct, even for those of us who are not top athletes. Bodies operate the same. Too little? You deteriorate. Too much? You rapidly deteriorate. The latter is much more fun…trust me.

They absolutely do take damage over time. Even people who just played certain sports in high school/college often have lasting effects, ranging from mild to debilitating. Many pro athletes’ careers end due to injuries or gradual damage – and that’s *with* access to the best trainers and physical therapists.

A lot of these things. They definitely suffer deterioration and injury. And whereas you or I might tweak a knee and lay up for a week or three, they play through the pain or are given a ton of pain medication to play. (In addition to top-of-the line therapies, no doubt. Sports medicine has some miracles when it comes to a million-dollar athlete that simply aren’t considered when Regular Joe tears a meniscus. But pushing your body through pain might still a part of it, whether it’s accelerating through rehab or putting off the surgery to finish the season.)

An orthopedic surgeon doctor recently told me that people who are able to remain athletic in late-life aren’t that way because they’ve just maintained healthy habits, it’s because “they won the genetic lottery”. In other words, everyone can abuse their bodies while they’re young, but only some people’s bodies are resilient enough to keep working well afterwards.

Surprised nobody has mentioned this yet, steroids.

Most people think of gigantic muscular guys like Barry Bonds when they think of steroids, but tons of athletes use it not necessarily to get huge and gain muscle, but rather to speed up their body’s recovery.

Many have the best training, nutrition, sports medicine docs, PEDs, and they’re still destroyed when they retire.

The average career length of professional athletes are shockingly short. Sure there are exemptions to the rule, but very few manage to stay on top for more than a couple of years and what nobody sees are the pain they have to endure the rest of their lives.

Few pro athletes stay in the game til their thirties. For most their career, they still have growing bodies. Furthermore, they take vitamins, medications and know how to train to keep their bodies in peak form but even then, it doesn’t last forever.

Our bodies adapt to how we use them. They are resilient and amazing.

Joints are made up of bone, cartilage, and muscle. As long as we get used to new activities slowly and build up over time, bones get stronger, cartilage gets more resilient to load, and muscles get stronger. All of these protect us.

Joints wear over time due to age; this is normal. Being strong protects us from the negative effects of this.

They really can’t, that’s why people stop being top athletes by their 30s because the older you get the longer it takes for your body to heal especially joints tendons and what not


They don’t! There are entire professions built around rehabilitation from sports injuries, and pre/post game treatments for it.

They don’t. In fact they often suffer joint degradation at an earlier age than people who are moderately active and have a healthy body mass. They spend an inordinate amount of time with sports therapists, physiotherapists, hydrotherapy etc, in order to prevent joint strain or minimise permanent damage from a current injury, but wear and tear is just degradation from use, and they are very rough on their bodies.

Earl Campbell needed a cane/walker by his early 40’s- wiki “at age 46, he could barely close his fist due to [arthritis]( in his hands.[[87]]( He developed [foot drop]( due to nerve damage in his legs, and has difficulty bending his back and knees.[[87]]([[88]]( He was diagnosed with [spinal stenosis]( in 2009.[[89]]( Because of his difficulty walking he uses a cane or a walker, and for longer distances a wheelchair.[[5]]([[90]]( Campbell at first maintained the ailments were genetic,[[90]]([[91]]( but said in 2012, “I think some of it came from playing football, playing the way I did.”[[85]]([[92]](

Ronnie Coleman is in a similar boat. Drugs/roids and all that aside… top level athlete not able to walk on his own by before 50.

Also remember “old” and “veteran” athletes in many sports are in their 30s….not 50’s or 60s. Most are burnt out and used up by then.

They do a metric ton of preventative care as well as rehab. But even that doesn’t stop it, just slows it down.

For example as a baseball player (specifically pitcher) we would do rotator cuff work at minimum 4x a week since I was 11 all the way up to my final collegiate year at something 22