The days are long gone when men dominated the sports fields and other athletic events. We now see countless women excelling in the sports field and making a name for themselves. While this may certainly be good news for all women, this achievement may come with a price. It has now been shown that female athletes suffer more injuries compared to their male counterparts, according to a report submitted by Vicki Harber, an exercise physiologist from the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation at the University of Alberta in Canada.
Injuries to Women Athletes Six Times More Than That of Male Athletes
In a paper submitted by Miss Harber, it was reported that injuries to women may range from twice as many up to a six-fold difference when compared to those suffered by male athletes. This is actually an average figure and incidences of injuries would very likely depend on the type of sports the woman may be engaged in. High-impact sports and those that involve much physical contact, such as women’s soccer, would surely have a higher variance.
This very disturbing development has been attributed to the belief that training programs developed for women athletes are based on research works using adult males. According to Miss Harber, it has failed to take into consideration the basic biological differences between males and females.
Knee and Shoulder Injuries are Most Common
Based on data gathered in her extensive research and knowledge as an expert in sports physiology, Nicki Harber has identified musculoskeletal injuries as the most common problems encountered by women athletes. Given emphasis were the injuries to the knees and shoulders, which she says that aside from being the most common, these injuries also have the highest possibility of re-injury. It is very unfortunate that these injuries recur frequently when these are really preventable.
Suggestions to Address These Concerns
Using her wide experience and knowledge in the area of female athlete’s health and development in the sports field, she has come up with suggestions on how to address this issue. According to the author, in order for the female athletes to achieve their full potential in the field of sports while free from injuries, there is really a need to make drastic changes to the training programs intended for women athletes. She also endorses an awareness program aimed at building the proper support for the women athletes.
She is also advocating for a proper nutrition for these athletes that will not only benefit their sports performance but will also enhance their overall health and well being. Mentioned prominently were conditions related to bone health and the reproduction functions of a female. Highlighted in her report were the very common women’s disorders of osteoporosis and amenorrhea.
Sports Injury Treatment Equally Important
With so much progress already achieved by women in this field, the proper action is not to discourage women from joining sports activities but find means to prevent these injuries. Guidelines and recommendations made by experts would certainly prove very helpful in dealing with these concerns. Very important also is the need to have a proper treatment and rehabilitation should injuries be experienced by these women. It should be remembered that any injuries, if not properly addressed, may have an impact on her sports performance and worse, may cause big problems long after a woman has become inactive in sports.