030220 Common sports injuries found in women
On many levels, men and women are equal except when it comes to injuries where a female is 2 to 6 times more likely to become injured than a man is. Of course, this depends on the sport.
Women are particularly susceptible to developing knee injuries such as patellofemoral pain syndrome , more commonly known as runner’s knee. This injury comes about due to the degeneration of the cartilage under the kneecap. The ability of the cartilage in the knee joint to provide any type of shock absorption is compromised by this degradation of the tissues.
Another injury that shows up all too often is a rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). This ligament is one of the prime stabilizers of the knee joint and when it is damaged, the knee becomes unstable. These two injuries can put severe limitations on an athlete’s participation in their favorite sport.
Furthermore, any injury to the weight-bearing joints of the lower torso, such as to the ankle and hip increases the risk of osteoarthritis in later years. There are several reasons that explain this difference in the injury rates between men and women.
It is more than obvious that anatomical differences exist between the two genders, but the causes are not solely anatomical in nature. Females generally have smaller and weaker muscles surrounding their knees. Additionally, the ligaments surrounding a females joints tend to be more lax thus allowing a certain amount of looseness to take place within the joint.
There are specific training programs designed especially for women targeting the ACL joint that help prevent these injuries from happening so frequently. It may be a wise choice on the parent’s part to enroll their daughters into one of these programs. Check out your local physical therapist and see if they have the knowledge and skills to work with your child in this type of training.