While it’s obvious that women and men are able to play the same sports, there is a difference in each sex’s risk of injury. Even the strongest and most elite female athlete is at risk for sports injuries; maybe even more than her male counterpart. Understanding common sports injuries in females may help you avoid getting hurt.
At Alpha Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, our team specializes in a multitude of injuries that are sustained during physical activity or sporting events. Our team is led by five highly skilled orthopedic surgeons who help you understand your injury and get you the fast treatment you need to get back on the field.
Are women really more prone to injury?
The simple answer to this is yes. Consider the female body versus the male body. Women tend to have a higher amount of certain hormones, and move differently than men in general.
While movement and hormones are a normal difference between the two sexes, there are other factors that go into why females are more prone to injuries. For example, the following are examples of what puts the female body at risk for injury:
- More body fat than men
- Less lean muscle mass
- Calcium and vitamin D deficiencies
- More narrow ACL space
- A wider pelvis
- More loose ligaments
While none of these factors are bad, the female body is simply very different from the male body, especially when it comes to sports. The above factors do increase the chances that you’ll be at a higher risk of injury than men.
Common female sports injuries
Women are more at risk for very common sports injuries, and overuse injuries as well. With less lean muscle mass than men and ligaments that are more flexible, it’s no surprise that you’re at risk for the following injuries:
- Stress fractures
- Patellar tendinitis
- Patellofemoral pain syndrome
- Lateral epicondylitis
- Plantar fasciitis
- Shoulder injuries
- Ankle sprain
Although these injuries are common among both men and women, female athletes seem to become injured more regularly, due to the factors above.
How to avoid getting hurt
So does being a female athlete mean you’re going to end up hurt and on the sidelines? Not necessarily. While you are at a slightly higher risk, there are steps you can take to decrease your risk of developing these injuries.
The first step is knowing your sport, especially the rules. Being familiar with the ins and outs of your specific sport helps you properly condition your body. The rules of the game are another factor that can help you avoid injury to yourself and others. Other steps you can take to keep yourself off the disabled list include:
- Wear the correct protective gear
- Take time off to rest
- Learn proper techniques
- Stay in shape
- Increase your flexibility
- Drink plenty of water
One of the best things you can do is to stop playing if you feel pain. Even if the pain is slight, it could do more damage for you to keep playing than it does for you to sit out and get the injury looked at.
You also don’t want to let your injury go without the proper treatment from our team. The longer a small injury goes untreated, the more prone you’ll be to a more severe injury down the road.
If you’re an athlete and need treatment for a sports-related injury, don’t wait to get care. Call our team at Alpha Orthopedics and Sports Medicine at one of our three convenient locations to schedule an appointment today. You can also book a consultation with us online as well.