The snowball effect of steroids in later lifeAnabolic – Androgenic steroids or AAS was found to be highly related to specific musculo-skeletal injuries, according to Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins. A confidential survey was sent to a group of retired NFL members regarding health issues and problems they encountered after their retirement. Respondents’ average age is at 54 years and their average playing career is at 6.6 years.

Some of the questions included the use of AAS, and 9.1% of them confessed to using this performance – enhancing steroids.They reportedly had higher incidence of joint ligament and cartilage injuries rather than actual injuries to the muscle itself. Some of these injuries include knee ligaments and menisci injuries, herniated spinal disks, elbow injuries, neck “stinger” and “burner” injuries and injuries to the ankle, foot and toes. No injuries like biceps or triceps tear were reported.This, according to senior author, professor and research director at the University of North Carolina, Kevin Guskiewicz, PhD, ATC may lead to other chronic diseases among which include osteoarthritis, obesity, physical inactivity, alcohol abuse and even depression in later life.

More data, however, are needed to establish the link between steroids and muskulo-skleletal related injuries since the study proves to have some limitations to it.