Why Do Women Have More Knee Injuries?

Q:Why do girls are inclined to have extra sports-related knee accidents than males?

A: Anatomy performs a big function—together with another elements. For one, girls have a proportionately wider pelvis, so their thigh bones angle in additional sharply from hip to knee, inflicting larger stress and instability within the knee. And their ligaments are typically extra lax—notably the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), which stabilizes the knee by connecting its prime and backside components.

As well as, they have a tendency to have smaller and weaker leg muscle tissue than males, in addition to stronger quadriceps (muscle tissue on entrance of thigh) relative to their hamstrings (again of thigh), which impacts the pressure on the ACL. There are additionally biomechanical variations between women and men in how they land on their toes when operating or leaping.

These elements put girls at larger threat of growing patellofemoral ache syndrome (“runner’s knee”) and ACL tears. In truth, feminine athletes are no less than twice as more likely to injure a knee ligament as male athletes.

As a result of girls are extra liable to knee accidents throughout sure phases of their menstrual cycles, researchers theorize that hormones (particularly estrogen) could also be concerned. Some help for this comes from a College of Texas case management examine in Medication & Science in Sports activities & Train, which discovered that teenage women (15 to 19) on oral contraceptives had fewer ACL reconstructions (indicating severe damage) than non-users. What’s extra, a examine within the journal The Knee that examined the impact of testosterone in male rats means that this hormone contributes to the ACL’s means to resist hundreds and thus may assist clarify the totally different ACL damage charges between women and men.

One of the simplest ways to guard your knees (for each women and men) is to strengthen and stretch your hip and leg muscle tissue (notably the quadriceps and hamstrings) and do plyometric (leaping) workouts and stability coaching. Some easy workouts embrace partial (not full) squats, lunges (don’t go too deep), leg presses and curls, bridges, and squat jumps. Keep away from full leg extensions with heavy weights and locked knees; downhill operating; biking with the seat too low or gear too excessive; and taking giant steps on the steps or on a stair-climbing machine. If in case you have present knee issues, it’s finest to work with a bodily therapist or coach for extra focused workouts and to keep away from additional damage.

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