In high schools across the country, girls are increasing their involvement in sports. While past research showed that it was safer for female athletes to train their bodies at lower strength levels than male athletes, this line of thinking appears to have come from a social perspective instead of from a physiological one. These days, female athletes train and participate at the same intensity levels as male athletes.
Athletic injuries are based more on an athlete’s sport than the person’s gender, but according to research by the Harvard Medical School, female athletes are more prone to certain injuries than males. For instance, women suffer more from stress fractures and anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, tears. Medical professionals believe that women are at a higher risk of incurring these injuries due to their differences in anatomy and their overall physiology as well as in how they train.
Ankle sprain. This is the most common sports injury in both men and women, but it’s particularly common among women. Learn more about sprained ankles.
Shoulder troubles. Examples include rotator cuff problems (including tendon inflammation, or tendinitis) and instability.
Knee injuries. These include irritation under the kneecap (called patellofemoral syndrome) and ligament damage (including tears to the ACL), which is especially common among soccer and basketball players. Read also: ACL injuries
Stress fractures. These are especially common in the foot or lower leg (tibia) among women with the “female athlete triad,” a combination of inadequate calorie and nutrient intake, irregular menstrual periods, and bone loss. Eating disorders, including anorexia nervosa, contribute to this triad. Learn more about stress fractures
Plantar fasciitis. Abnormal alignment of the foot and flat feet may contribute to these small tears in the supporting tissues along the arch and heel. Learn more about plantar fasciitis.
Read also: When Should I go to an OrthoNOW Location?
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