8 Summary of Session 6
You should now be aware of the two main types of injuries that female athletes are more susceptible to, why this is the case and what can be done to reduce the risk of these injuries.
The main learning points of this sixth session are:
- Female athletes are 4.5 times more likely to experience ACL injuries than male athletes.
- Female athletes experience almost twice as many sport-related concussions than male athletes, have poorer outcomes and take longer to recover.
- The differences in the type and severity of injuries are due to anatomical and physiological differences between males and females but are also related to changes in hormone levels across the menstrual cycle.
- The higher prevalence of ACL injuries in female athletes is partly due to the larger Q-angle (between pelvis and femur) and also the higher quadriceps and ligament dominance in providing knee stability.
- ACL injury risk can be reduced through a specific strength and conditioning programme that increases the stability of the knee through learning correct movement patterns, safe landing techniques and core conditioning.
- Females experience more sport related concussions due to their potentially weaker neck musculature, differences in the structure of the nerves within the brain and differences in how they fall to the ground.
In the next session you will explore the serious impact that low energy intake, caused by athletes not consuming enough calories to meet the energy needs of training, can have on the female athlete.
You can now go to Session 7.