This month we celebrate Mother’s Day and all of the women who are important in our lives. At Texas Orthopedics, we are ever grateful for our female physicians and all of the strong women who complete our staff and family.
Did you know that men and women suffer from injuries differently? Specifically, when it comes to sports injuries. A woman’s anatomy and movement patterns make them more vulnerable to certain types of injury than men, no matter how in shape or flexible they might be.
Here are three of the most common sports injuries in women, and ones that we treat all the time in our offices:
Women are nearly four times as likely as a man to suffer from an ACL tear, especially if participating in sports that involve quick pivoting and jumping, like soccer and basketball. Women have wider pelvises than men which creates a bigger angle between the knees and hips, often forcing the knees to turn inward and placing greater strain on the joint and ligaments.
Women tend to be more flexible than men, allowing them to stretch longer and higher when serving a tennis ball, or go deeper into a complicated yoga pose…but with added flexibility comes an added risk for injury. It is easy to overuse the shoulder joint, or even hyperextend it, unknowingly because movement seems so fluid and easy. With overuse comes tendon irritation (tendonitis) or the potential for a more serious injury such as a rotator cuff tear.
As with the vulnerability to ACL tears, ankle sprains are also common in women due to the excess pressure put on the ankle joint as a result of a widened pelvis. Ankle injuries are also very common in runners whether due to an exhausted joint or unfortunate tripping or a fall on an uneven path…and the sheer number of women who are fiercely loyal to the sport of running these days leads to a greater awareness of this particular injury among them.
Texas Orthopedics encourages dedicated prevention to avoid these injuries by properly warming up before sports, and resting as much as possible in between sessions to allow joints and muscles to sufficiently heal and recover.