We have had many young girls recently come into Aries telling us their story of recent recovery from a serious sports injury. Strained ligaments, ACL tears, broken bones,surgeries, physical therapy, all things that make us cringe for the pain that many girls have to go through, sometimes repeatedly, in order to continue playing sports! Unfortunately,when you sign up for a 'contact' sport, like soccer, you accept the fact that there is a risk that you may be injured. But with the way girls' bodies develop, even twisting and turning in 'non contact' sports, like tennis, poses risk for injuries that can put you in a cast and sideline you for months. My sister, once a collegiate soccer player, has already had four knee surgeries and is currently contemplating a fifth. She is only 26 years old. This next surgery is in attempt to reduce enough pain so she can exercise comfortably. Knee replacement is in her future unfortunately. Reality is, I think most female athletes, including my big sister, would agree that the pursuit of their sport is worth the pain and recovery. Steven Horwitz reports
that female athletes are EIGHT TIMES more likely than men to injure their ACLs. And, if that ins't a bad enough statistic for you, the Center of Disease Control & Prevention says that more than 46,000 American female athletes under the age of 19 experienced an ACL injury last year, most resulting in a reconstructive surgery.
There are many sad, hopeless theories about why females have such a greater risk of sports injuries compared to men, such as our pelvises are larger which puts more pressure on our knees, are ligaments are more lax, and apparently even our estrogen levels, which effects the strength of our muscles and ligaments. Long story short, all factors that we of course have no control over! However, there are preventative measures us girls can take to reduce the risk of injuries, unless you want to have surgery to narrow your pelvis :) A variety of strength training, core work, balance & speed practice, and proper coaching on jumping/landing expercises, are all factors that will contribute to strengthing key components in our bodies to able ourselves to continue participating in the sports we love to play. It's easy for girls of all ages to take their bodies for granted but we have to take care of it and train properly because I find it hard to believe that five knee surgeries is worth it.......but I'm not the athlete. See below for a good example of a prevention plan and other guides we suggest following! http://www.aclprevent.com/PEPExercises.pdf http://www.sports-injury-info.com/sports-injury-prevention.html http://www.childrens.com/HealthLibrary/HealthLibContent.cfm?pageid=P02779