Are women more prone to knee injuries than men?
The relationship between knee pain and gender is being studied for a while now and the results speak for themselves.
So, what does the research say?
A study on the Knee Injuries of Alpine Ski Racers in the Research paper “Gender Differences in Knee Injury Epidemiology” has revealed the following facts:
- Female racers were 2.3 times more likely to have sustained a knee injury than male racers.
- Even the rate of re-injury is higher in female ski racers when compared to the males
- The much-dreaded ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) injury which had the reputation of ending careers of athletes is found to be 3.1 times more likely to affect women than men.
But this disparity is not only dedicated to the sports and recreational fields. Even normal women are found to be more susceptible to the onset of knee pain than men. So what is it with women and knee injuries? Read on:
Anatomy of the Knee:
Bones, Ligaments, Cartilage, and tendons make up a Knee joint. It is one of the largest joint in the body and also is most commonly injured.
While your thigh bone, shin bone, and kneecap form a knee joint, ligaments connect these bones together and help in the movement of the knee, tendons connect muscles with the bones and cartilage helps these knee bones glide easily over each other.
Being a system made up of many individual elements, knee joint obviously happens to be the most commonly injured joint, as any of the structures can be injured. Fractures, Dislocations, ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament), PCL (Posterior Cruciate Ligament), Collateral Ligament injuries, Meniscal Tears, and Tendon tears are some of the common causes of knee injuries.
Why women suffer from more knee injuries than men:
Reason 1: Female Anatomy
It all starts with the way the women are built. As compared to men, the pelvis of the women is wider which result in thigh bone angling into the knee joint at an angle that is more obtuse as compared to men causing more stress and instability to the knee. A woman also has smaller and weaker leg muscles; not so proportionate hamstrings (when compared to their quads) causing strain on ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament). All these factors result in increasing the risk of developing knee injuries; more importantly the ACL tears.
Reason 2: Hormones
But looking further into a predominance of ACL Injuries in Women, an independent research study has previously found out that ACL injuries mostly occur in women at times when their Estrogen levels are high. Researchers at the University of Texas also were able to correlate Estrogen levels with the ACL injuries. It was found out that women taking birth control pill were less likely to suffer knee injuries. Given there is a good rise in estrogen levels during puberty, this conclusion also explains young girls in the age (15-19) are more likely to suffer from ACL injuries.
How to Prevent Knee Pain and Risk of Knee Injuries?
Stretching, weightlifting and a set of low impact exercises help a lot in improving balance and stability and they also can be used to simulate real-life situations that cause injuries. Incorporating a training regimen that strengthens the associated muscles (hamstrings), teaches the running and jumping techniques has already proved to be the most effective solution.
Given that the reason was the natural part of our evolution, we cannot totally prevent but we can significantly decrease the risk of knee injury using proper training methods.For detailed information and more tips on preventing the knee injuries. Consult Dr Chirag Patel at Kiran Hospital Surat for all Knee Injury Treatment.
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