Are Women More Prone to Knee Injuries than Men?
Have you ever wondered why young females complain of more knee pain or why more females drop out of sport at a younger age compared to boys?
Well, puberty and female vs male bone structure makes quite the difference. As we grow and move through puberty we notice girls go from their straight frame to more of that beautiful hourglass build.
This is actually a pretty critical time frame to understand the injuries that occur during this time for the young female athlete. Wide hips have their place for future childbearing, and birthing however, they make physical tasks such as running and jumping harder for us than they are for our male counterparts.
This change in the hips that I am referring to is the Q angle which is the angle between our quadriceps muscles and the patellar tendon that assists with knee tracking.
Common things that are associated with increased Q angle is knock-knees and over-pronated feet along with increased hypermobility. At this age the muscles are too deconditioned to provide the needed support and thus lead to ligamentous injuries such as patella dislocations, sprains/strains and anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears.
In fact, females are 7x more likely to tear their anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) than males.
So what can we do:
- Get a professional to check – knee pain should NEVER be ignored!
- Get a tailored program to assist in conditioning the right muscles to help stabilise the pelvis (normally glutes, core, hamstrings)
- Work on balance
- Decrease HIIT training and focus on technique
- Keep your girls in sport!!!
The drop out rate is high among this age group in females, and it’s why I am so passionate. So please be kind and patient and remind them that it’s just a stage that they will outgrow with the right team.
Book in to see one of our Chiropractors today to get a correct assessment of your daughters knee pain and give her the best support to help her get back to doing what she loves.
Written by Dr. Courtney Cox
B.ScChiro, M.Chiro Chiropractor