Exercise injuries are as common as exercise itself, whether it be women or men doing the exercise. In coming articles, I will discuss injury prevention for each of the 10 exercise injuries that will be discussed in this article.
According to a study published by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “the incidence of exercise-related injury among women in the civilian population is not well documented. Civilian studies of male and female exercise participants provide some indication of the frequency of such injuries. Surveys demonstrate that the incidence of self-reported running-related injury is high. Annually, approximately 25%-65% of male and female runners report being injured to the extent that they reduced or stopped training.”
With this study as background, my experience as a trainer has been that many women’s’ exercise injuries are running-related, posture-related or due to training overload.
The Top 10 Exercise Injuries
1. Muscle strains, sprains and tears. Soft tissue injuries can lead to major injuries if left untreated. Treatment of any soft tissue injury during the first 24 to 72 hours is important to offset any further injury and inflammation. The general rule of thumb is to use the R.I.C.E.R. principle (REST, ICE, COMPRESSION, ELEVATION, REFERRAL FOR MEDICAL ASSISTANCE). Many soft tissue injuries are a result of training overload. I will discuss some common injuries in a future article.
2. Knee anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries. The knee ACL is located within the capsule of the knee and connects the thigh bone (femur) to the shin bone (tibia). Females injure their ACLs at six times the rate of males. Females demonstrate a lower hamstring to quadricep ratio. This means they typically have weaker hamstrings compared to males. They also demonstrate different muscle activation patterns compared to males. Females are typically quadricep dominant which means they use their strong quadriceps muscles and do not use their weak hamstrings enough. Strength training for females should be adjusted to adequately strengthen the hamstrings.
3. Hamstring injuries.