Exercise Injuries: Too Much, Too Soon
Women are at higher risk than
men for stress fractures, injuries to ligaments surrounding the
knee, and pain in the knee cap, report experts at Women's Sports
Medicine Center, Hospital For Special Surgery, New York City.
The Center recommends that women who want to get the most from
their time and effort have a health professional evaluate their
Coaches who say it is normal
for female athletes to stop menstruating are doing all women
a disservice. Women who train hard but do not eat properly, get
enough calcium and vitamin D, or maintain a normal menstrual
cycle can develop abnormal bones that are unable to withstand
the demands of rigorous exercise.
Even normal bones can sustain
exercise-related fractures. Too-rigorous training can cause stress
fractures, and inappropriate footwear or inadequate strength
and flexibility around the knee may cause pain in the thighbone
or kneecap. If you have persistent knee pain, don¡t ignore
it; it almost always signals a serious underlying problem.
Women, who have wider hips and
more angles in their lower limbs than men, can use weight training
to strengthen muscles around knees, ankles, and hips. If you
are worried about developing big, bulky muscles, the Center recommends
that you use lower weights and increase the number of repetitions.
For example, three sets of 15 to 20 low-weight repetitions will
strengthen the involved muscle groups without bulking them up.
The first 5 years after menopause
can be accompanied by significant bone loss, but the Center has
good news for active women. Women who enter menopause with a
history of good calcium intake, consistent menstruation, and
healthy exercise habits are at an advantage in maintaining adequate
Milano writes about health and business topics. Her articles
have appeared in MAMM, Essence, Working Woman, International
Business, Home Office Computing, Brooklyn Bridge, TWA Ambassador,
and many other publications.
Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Reviewed for medical accuracy
by physicians at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC),
Harvard Medical School. BIDMC does not endorse any products or
services advertised on this Web site.
Copyright: © 1999 Medscape, Inc.
Posted On Site: Sep. 1999
Publication Date: Sep. 1999