3 Reasons Women are More Susceptible to Knee Injuries : Did you know female athletes are 4-6 times more likely to injure their knees compared to their male counterparts?
The more you know about why this happens, the better you’ll be able to prevent knee injuries during your favorite activities. Keep reading to learn more about why women are at an increased risk, as well as some tips on how to prevent injuries.
Women experience knee injuries, particularly anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries, at a greater rate than men.
One reason for this is the fact that women have higher estrogen levels. Research has found a link between estrogen spikes at certain points during the menstrual cycle and the incidence of ACL tears.
It also shows that women who take birth control pills are less likely to experience these injuries. Doctors believe that this has to do with the fact that birth control pills both lower estrogen levels and keep them more consistent.
In addition to hormonal differences, women are also at a risk for knee injuries because of imbalances in strength between their quadriceps and hamstrings.
Men tend to have a better balance of strength between their quadriceps and hamstrings. Women, on the other hand, tend to develop stronger quadriceps to compensate for their wider hips.
This imbalance causes them to overuse their quadriceps and puts more strain on their ACLs while exercising and other activities when they come down from a jump or change directions suddenly while playing sports.
Women also tend to move differently than men.
During one study, doctors studied various videos of male and female athletes and identified the following major differences between the way men and women land after jumping:
- Women’s knees buckle inward when they land
- Their knees tend to be straight when landing
- Most of their weight is on one leg
- Their trunk tends to laterally tilt
How to Prevent Knee Injuries
Women can’t do much about some of the genetic components that contribute to their increased knee injury risk. However, they can work to correct muscle imbalances and change the way they train.
These changes can make a huge difference in their overall risk. For example, by bending their knees when landing, jumping, or pivoting, the amount of force placed on the knees decreases by 25 percent.
Some other simple ways to prevent injury include:
- Completing a proper dynamic warm-up before exercising or training
- Starting slow when beginning a new exercise program
- Wearing supportive, sport-specific shoes
- Maintaining a healthy weight to reduce the amount of stress placed on the knees
- Doing hamstring-strengthening exercises like deadlifts and legs curls
If you’ve already experienced a knee injury and want to prevent additional damage, you can also wear an open patella knee brace support (the kind that’s also used for meniscus tears) to keep the knee moving through a proper range of motion.
When it comes to preventing any kind of injury, knowledge is power.
The more you know about your potential weaknesses, the more you can do to avoid letting them get the best of you. Keep this information in mind so you can stay safe while you train!
Women’s ACL Injuries (Why women have more knee injuries)
Are females more prone to ACL injury?
ACL Injuries, Why Are Women More Prone?
Are Women More Prone to ACL Injury?
ACL Tears in Women
3 Reasons Why Women are More prone to Knee Injuries
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