The number of female athletes continues to rise exponentially; these athletes are breaking barriers, excelling in every sport they take part in.
However, with the rise of women in sports, orthopedic surgeons all over the country are also seeing an increase in the number of injuries they sustain, such as torn ACLs and other musculoskeletal issues.
According to research, female athletes are more likely to get injured compared to male athletes. Nearly half of those injuries are due to muscular overuse, and most are preventable.
The underlying reasons for the higher number include anatomic and biomechanical factors, ligament laxity, and hormonal influence on neuromuscular control.
The Flaw in Athletic Training Programs
One of the biggest factors that leads to injuries in female athletes is bad training programs. Most training regimens have been designed after years of research; however, they are based on the performance and biomechanical requirements of young adult males.
Female athletes are expected to follow the same regimen, without taking into account basic biological differences.
Training programs need to be redesigned according to the needs and requirements of female athletes. There is a prevailing need for awareness about how their musculoskeletal structures are different, for example.
Research needs to be done to make training programs that better fit the needs of female athletes and focus on improving their performance.
Implementation of Positive Eating Habits
Proper nutrition is critical for optimal sports performance and good health. Young athletes, for example, need sufficient energy to meet growth requirements and those of the training they undergo.
This is especially important for female athletes, because they also need to maintain a proper hormonal balance to ensure fitness. However, many women develop eating disorders on their journey towards fitness due to the unrealistic body standards imposed on them.
They also require different minerals and vitamins compared to men, which can be difficult, as most sports diets are focused on male athletes. Calcium and iron are among the specific micronutrients that are essential for optimal performance among female athletes.
The diet should also consider the regular hormonal fluctuations female athletes go through when they are menstruating.
Balancing It All
Female athletes often suffer from low oestrogen levels and menstrual abnormalities due to a poor match between the energy expended during training and their dietary energy intake.
This can lead to reduced bone mineral health and an increase in the chances of injuries. Low oestrogen also leads to low calcium levels, which can make women more susceptible to stress fractures and poor bone formation, as well as premature osteoarthritis.
Changing dietary habits and adopting personalized training that’s designed specifically for women athletes are both effective prevention strategies that will not only reduce the likelihood of sports injuries, but will also help generate peak performance.
Get In Touch Sport Injury Experts at SEMI
Looking for leading sports injury specialists in The Greater Toronto area?
Sports & Exercise Medicine Institute sports medicine and physical therapy clinic offers the services of the top sports injury doctors and physiotherapists in the country. They offer expert diagnoses and assessments of the musculoskeletal structure of athletes and provide customized treatment plans along with comprehensive patient education to aid their performance.