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Women tend to suffer more sports injuries

Toronto, Jan 26 (Calcutta Tube) Female athletes experience dramatically higher rates of musculoskeletal injuries and medical conditions than their male counterparts, says a new study.

Depending on the sport, there can be a two to sixfold difference in these types of injuries between male and female athletes, says Jane Hurly, communications strategist, Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation, University of Alberta (U-A).

That’s because many training programmes developed for female athletes are built on research using young adult males and don’t take the intrinsic biological differences between the sexes into account.

The paper is based on a thorough review of the current literature on the subject and Vicki Harber’s extensive knowledge as a researcher and exercise physiolgist in female athlete health at the U-A and her work in the development of female athletes.

Musculoskeletal injuries, particularly knee and shoulder injuries, are most prevalent, with increased probability of re-injury, says Harber, noting that many of these injuries are preventable, said a U-A release.

Harber found the risk of the Female Athlete Triad – three separate but interrelated conditions of disordered eating, amenorrhea (menstrual bleeding) and osteoporosis – is another area that urgently needs attention for young female athletes.

Harber has authored a comprehensive guide for coaches, parents and administrators, entitled ‘The Female Athlete Perspective’, and published by Canadian Sport for Life (CS4L), which addresses these and other medical issues known to influence women’s participation in sports.

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