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Understanding And Preventing Women’s Fitness Injuries

 

You’re in the best shape of your life and completely on your game, when, out of nowhere, you hurt yourself!  A sprained ankle, pulled muscle, or even a simple fall can throw you off for days, weeks, even months.  It’s one of the most frustrating things that any active woman can face, especially if you are pursuing a goal or in an active training routine. When it happens, you can be left with one question: Could I have done something differently to prevent this? Yes, it’s possible, but try not to dwell on that too much. I recommend paying attention to what you can do for your injury and maybe some prevention for the future.

Women and Fitness/Sports Injuries

Obviously, no woman wants to get injured doing something she loves. But, unfortunately, fitness and sports injuries are common, especially among newbies. Additionally, there are also a few reasons why certain injuries are more common with women than men.  It comes down to anatomy, of course, but it’s also down to things like body mass, bone density, and body fat percentage.  Johns Hopkins has an outstanding free pdf with greater detail that you can download, here.  

Here’s another interesting fact: Women who exercise more than 12 hours a week can experience “female athlete triad”. This means you could experience osteoporosis, menstruation, and calorie depletion all at the same time. Women also tend to be more likely than men to develop knee and foot problems. 

Concussions

However, one of the most common sports injuries that women face is concussions.  This is largely brought on by the rapidly increasing popularity amongst women and girls for sports like basketball, soccer, and American football.  Furthermore, young athletes are being trained and pushed to their limits much earlier than they used to be. A concussion is no joke even if it’s mild. It requires specialized care in many instances and can take months to years to heal, depending on the severity. Some neurologists believe there may be a correlation between a woman’s hormones and how the body responds to traumatic brain injury. Something to consider for sure. Do what you must to always protect your head.

Tendonitis

Many athletes or women who enjoy being active experience something called tendinitis, which is basically inflammation of a tendon. This type of injury often causes swelling and hot inflammation which can be painful enough to knock you out of your routine for a spell.  Though it’s always a good idea to seek the advice of your doctor, in the meantime, an ice pack applied for 15 minutes, 3 times a day can provide some fast relief. You can also try resting the affected tendon, using over-the-counter pain medication, and a specific kinesiology taping technique.

Preventing Injury

Despite all that we’ve talked about so far, one of the top reasons women hurt themselves while exercising or participating in sports is that they are simply not focusing on strengthening their muscles. When core muscles are weak, things like back strain and imbalanced movement can happen. Consider trying to lift a dumbbell that is simply too heavy for you. You are likely going to experience strain and the body will attempt to compensate with other muscles to get the job done. The result may not be pretty. So, this scenario can happen with any fitness or sport situation. I guess the lesson is to make sure you are working and playing at your level and advance when you’re ready to move forward.

Knowledge is power after all and arming yourself with good advice on how to improve your workouts is a good start.  Know your limits before you attempt to push them and even if you’re a seasoned sportswoman, it doesn’t hurt to take on a trainer once in a while.  Trainers help you define your goals and keep you motivated while ensuring that you employ the best possible technique.

**** This post is strictly informational and is not meant to replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Women’s lifelink, its owners, administrators, contributors, affiliates, vendors, authors, and editors do not claim that this information will diagnose, treat, or improve any condition or disease.

About Madeline

Madeline is a mid-west mom of three who spends most of her time refilling ice trays and changing toilet paper...just kidding. She is a high school guidance counselor, all around funny gal, and a writer. Her first book, Be Happy Already!", is in the works.

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