Sports Physiotherapists Women’s Sports Injuries downtown Toronto
Women Sports Injuries
The amount of women participating in sport and exercise has been rapidly increasing over the last decade. Although more females involved in sports is positive, there is also concern for increased risk of sports injuries, and the need for Sports Physiotherapists for Women. There are various factors, including anatomy and physiology, which put women at a greater risk for developing certain sports injuries. For example; Knee injuries are very common in females because they have a wider pelvis. A wider pelvis means there is a larger “Q angle” (an angle that looks at hip and knee alignment), which gives the knees an inward appearance. A greater Q angle places more stress on the knee joint and surrounding muscles or ligaments, which leads to a greater risk of injury.
Common Injuries in Women’s Sports:
Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries normally occur when the knee is twisted and the foot is fixed. ACL injuries are common in pivoting and cutting sports such as soccer and basketball. Studies have found the females are almost 8 times more likely to tear their ACL compared to men. Anatomical differences, such as a greater Q angle and muscular imbalances, put females at a greater risk of tearing their ACL in comparison to male athletes. Another factor that may contribute to a greater incidence of ACL injuries in females is their hormone balance. The different hormone balance in females leads to joint laxity, meaning the knee joint is looser, which puts the joint at a higher risk for injury. Females can wear knee support, such as braces, and work on any muscle imbalances to decrease their risk of tearing their ACL.
Stress Fractures Amongst Female Athletes:
A stress fracture is a tiny hairline fractures that slowly develops because of repetitive forces transmitted to the bone. The shin bone and metatarsals of the foot are common areas where a stress fracture might occur. Stress fractures can be commonly seen in women who have a low bone density, either due to osteoporosis or any menstrual disturbances. Female athletes that have eating disorders and low calcium intake are put at a greater risk of suffering from stress fractures. Individuals who over train can develop stress fractures, which is why it is important to increase your training regime gradually. Research has shown that men have a greater muscles mass, which absorbs shock better and puts them at a decreased risk of developing stress fractures. Females that have a high arched foot absorb less shock, meaning more force is transmitted to the leg, leading to a greater risk for a stress fracture.
The Female Athlete Triad:
Like the name suggests, the female triad is a combination of 3 factors: disordered eating, amenorrhea and osteoporosis. This is a very serious disorder that can often go unnoticed in female athletes. Loss of bone mineral density can lead to fractures and it is possible for the lost bone mineral density to never be fully regained, putting the individual at a lifetime risk for fractures. Correcting the female athlete’s diet can lead to development of regular menses. Family and Sports Medicine doctors play an important role in the initial investigation of the female triad through screening and questionnaires. Doctors, coaches, parents and athletes all play important roles needed in the recognition and prevention of the female athlete triad. Education is extremely important in prevention of this disorder in becoming potentially life threatening.
For more information on Sports Physiotherapy in downtown Toronto at Ace Physio or to book an appointment please contact Ace Physio at 416 900 6653