?"""" Overuse Exercise Injuries: Too Much, Too Soon...

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January 21, 2002

Table of Contents

" Introduction
" Get the Right Equipment
" For Women Only

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    Overuse Exercise Injuries: Too Much, Too Soon

    For Women Only
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    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 training regimens.

    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 bone mass.

    Carol 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.

    Reviewer: Beth 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.

    Source: Medscape Health
    Copyright: © 1999 Medscape, Inc.
    Posted On Site: Sep. 1999
    Publication Date: Sep. 1999

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