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Women’s Sports Injuries: A Real Concern for Athletes

In America, the favorite fall-winter sport is (mostly) football. In this high-contact sport there are not only some spectacular plays but some spectacular injuries. Women generally don’t play football, so you might be inclined to believe that sports injuries are more common among men than women. That, however, is an incorrect assumption. Women, not men, are often more prone to injury. Female athletes suffer specific and unique injuries, sometimes due to their different physical makeup:

Anterior Cruciate Ligament injury or ACL – The ACL is a vital knee structure that provides stability. Injuries to the ACL are up to six times more frequent among women than men.
● Ankle Strain – Ankle strains are the most common sports injury for both men and women, but they are much more common for female athletes.
● Shoulder Trouble – Rotary cuff problems (including tendon inflammation, or tendonitis or instability) can occur for women who engage in sports such as tennis, basketball, and softball (among others).
● Knee Injuries – These types of injuries include kneecap irritation and ligament damage, including ACL tears.
● Stress Fractures – Female athletes who have inadequate calorie and nutrient intake, irregular menstrual periods, and bone loss suffer from something called “the female athlete triad.” Eating disorders contribute to this condition.

Why Women?

Some female athletes’ bodies have higher estrogen levels, less muscle mass, and more body fat than some of their male counterparts. They also have looser ligaments (giving women greater flexibility) but often less powerful muscles. Women have a wider pelvis which puts the alignment of the knee and ankle at an angle that creates greater stress on those joints. Females are also more likely to have inadequate calcium and Vitamin D intake, which can weaken bone strength.

Bone Health

Every human builds bone density until the age of about 25. After that, all you can do is work to maintain what you have. This must be done consistently, through diet and weight-bearing exercise. Vitamin supplements (such as calcium and vitamin D) are also recommended, especially for athletes.

Maintaining an active lifestyle is important to for energy and helping the strength of bones and organs. Sports therapy services are available for female athletes and any woman who’s suffered a catastrophic injury. If you need rehabilitation to get yourself back on the field, court, or stage — or you just want to walk and function without pain — please call Oriole Physiotherapy in a north York, Ontario, at 416-221-0772. Our trained experts will help get you on the road to recovery.