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Top 5 Women's Sports Injuries Introduction

Women's sports participation, as in men, produces numerous health advantages including improved cardiovascular fitness, better weight control, increased self esteem and improved bone density. However just like sporting males, there is a risk of sports injury in sporting females. Female U.S college athletes have been reported to have twice the rate of injury in soccer compared to males and a three times higher injury rate in basketball compared to males. Largely these sports injuries in women are related to the participation in a particular sporting activity, although there are physical and hormonal differences between the sexes that do play a role in the injury process and for injury prevention it is good to have a basic knowledge of these factors.

Generally females reach puberty earlier than males although beyond puberty men have more muscle mass and strength than females, while women have slightly higher body fat. Physiological differences in heart and lung size, where women are generally smaller, mean that men have a higher oxygen carrying capacity. These factors mean that men have a greater physical capacity than women. The general strength and fitness advantages of men may make them less likely to suffer a sports injury than women.

Women have a wider pelvis to accommodate child birth. This means they have different body alignment compared to men and it has been hypothesised that this alignment difference where the hips are wider, knees are squinted inwards and shins are rotated inwards with a flat arch of the foot, can predispose women to injury. Some studies have shown that women with this posture have reduced hip abductor and external rotation strength and that this may further predispose to certain overuse injuries. A full assessment by a chartered physiotherapist can identify any muscle imbalances and correct these with an exercise programme.

Hormonal differences which can be exacerbated by sports participation mean that females are four times more likely than men to experience osteoporosis. This is often aggravated by dietary problems which are also much more likely to occur in women rather than men. As osteoporosis can pre-dispose people to stress fractures and fractures, then women are disproportionately affected by these injuries.

This guide explains the sports injuries which most commonly affect women and how these can be avoided. As ever we provide a jargon explained guide to the most common sports injuries in women together with a straightforward guide to products that can help if you suffer one of these injuries yourself.

    Sprained Ankle

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Women's Injuries