Female athletes are 1.5 to 2 times more likely to injure the anterior cruciate ligament than their male counterparts. The anterior cruciate ligament stabilises the kneecap by resisting its forward or inward displacement. Damage to the anterior cruciate ligament is a serious injury to the athlete and is fraught with adverse career consequences. For example, only 49% of injured football players recover from injury and are able to continue playing professional sports. Anterior cruciate ligament damage is associated with impaired patella stability, altered gait and the early development of arthritis. Let’s discuss Why Female Athletes get more Knee Injuries than Males.
Knee injuries and diseases
The main pathological conditions of the knee joint can be divided into two classes: traumatic (mechanical) and non-traumatic (degenerative-dystrophic, infectious, autoimmune diseases, tumour growths, etc.).
Trauma or traumatic injuries – bruises, fractures, dislocations, tears and sprains of ligaments, muscles and menisci and hemarthrosis – are the easiest to identify. In addition to the fact that they are preceded by an injury, they have a rather characteristic pain: sharp, intensifying with movement, and complete or partial blockage of the knee. In case of a fracture, dislocation or a massive tear of ligaments and muscles, the supporting function of the knee joint is completely lost and the pain may cause a state of shock (in case of open fractures with vascular damage, the injury may be fatal).
Why Female Athletes get more Knee Injuries
Numerous studies have shown that female athletes are more likely than male athletes to suffer knee injuries, especially to the anterior cruciate ligament, perhaps due to biomechanical differences. There is also information that the rate of contraction of individual neuromotor units is significantly higher in the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle (especially in the last week of the cycle) than in the follicular phase. Researchers believe that such changes disrupt coordinated muscle contraction and potentially increase the possibility of injury. However, they are unsure whether the findings are consistent with the incidence of injury among female athletes and hope to investigate this in future studies.
The scientists believe the findings will encourage professionals to pay more attention to the role of the neuroendocrine system and could form the basis of new ways to prevent injuries in female athletes.
Prevention of knee injuries and disease
Prevention of injuries and diseases of the knee joint is primarily the prevention of musculoskeletal disorders. This includes:
- proportionate physical activity without striving for records;
- avoiding or minimizing occupational hazards;
- correct footwear for sports activities;
- correction of posture;
- sleeping on an orthopaedic mattress and orthopaedic pillow to relieve the spine;
- the normalisation of body weight if you are overweight;
- a healthy diet with a minimum of unhealthy foods.