05 May Women’s Health Month: Sports Injuries In Female Athletes
Athletic training can be an incredibly fulfilling activity that boosts your confidence and enables you to play at your best. However, an injury can set you back. Unfortunately, certain injuries are not created equal when it comes between males and females. Since May is Women’s Health Month, New York Sports Medicine Institute would like to discuss some of the common sports injuries women experience and how we can help! Continue reading to learn more.
Sports Injuries in Female Athletes
Women’s involvement in sports has increased tremendously at all levels. This increased activity brings forward more sports-related injuries. Certain gender-based differences in physiology, anatomy, and training contribute to these injuries. Some of the most common sports injuries in female athletes include:
- Knee injuries – Women are more likely to experience anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears than men. This is mainly due to differences in biomechanics, such as a narrower space between the knee and hip joint that makes women more prone to falling during sports like soccer and basketball. In addition, female athletes tend to land from jumps with less flexion in their knees, putting them at a greater risk for ACL tears.
- Shoulder injuries – The rotator cuff comprises four muscles and tendons that stabilize the shoulder joint. Impingement syndrome, rotator cuff tears, and bursitis are common shoulder injuries caused by repetitive overhead activities, such as throwing a ball. Female athletes are also more likely to experience shoulder dislocation and labral tears. This may be a result of shoulder instability caused by less upper body strength and looser supporting tissues.
- Foot and Ankle Injuries – Women are more likely than men to experience ankle sprains. This is mainly due to weak muscles, ligaments, or tendons around the ankle joint. In addition, women also have wider hips compared to men, which can cause their feet and ankles to roll inward during weight-bearing activities like running and walking. This puts them at greater risk for ankle sprains and other types of foot injuries.
- Female Athlete Triad – This often unrecognized disorder is defined as the combination of osteoporosis, disordered eating, and amenorrhea. The consequences of osteoporosis can be devastating for a female athlete. Implementing a proper diet and moderating exercise frequency can improve disordered eating and potentially result in the natural return of the menstrual cycle.
Treating Sports Injuries in Female Athletes
There are several treatment options available for these common sports injuries in female athletes. The first step is to rest and avoid any activities that may aggravate the injury. Exercises can also be helpful in strengthening muscles, restoring range of motion, and improving flexibility and balance. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to repair damaged ligaments or tendons. It is essential for female athletes to be aware of the risk factors for these common sports injuries and to take steps to prevent them. Wearing proper footwear, stretching before and after exercise, and avoiding high-impact activities if you are prone to ankle or foot injuries are all good ways to reduce the risk of injury.
If you do experience a sports injury, it is vital to seek treatment at New York Sports Medicine Institute as soon as possible in order to prevent further damage and restore your ability to participate in your favorite activities.
Regardless of your gender or athletic level, sports injuries can be inevitable. If you’ve suffered a sports-related injury, our team at New York Sports Medicine Institute will provide you with expert care. We utilize the latest advancements in orthopedic sports medicine to help athletes of all genders and abilities recover quickly and make a safe return to play. Be sure to contact us today to learn more or request an appointment!