The boom in women's sport has led to a rise in related injuries, a study has found. Figures show a "spike" in injuries relating to physical activity in women, according to health insurance provider Bupa. There has been an overall 35 per cent rise in ...
The boom in women's sport has led to a rise in related injuries, a study has found.
Figures show a "spike" in injuries relating to physical activity in women, according to health insurance provider Bupa.
There has been an overall 35 per cent rise in sport-related problems as a proportion of the overall injuries reported, the data shows.
Half of the top 24 injuries which have grown in incidence are activity-related, with shoulder, foot and knee injuries rising particularly sharply.
Slipped discs, pain-killing for lower back pain and leg pain have also risen.
Figures from Sport England show a 14 per cent rise in women playing sport once a week, from 6.3m in 2005 to 7.21m in 2016.
The company said high-profile sportswomen such as Jessica Ennis-Hill and Johanna Konta have encouraged more women to take part.
Recent success by the women's football, hockey, cricket, and rugby teams could cause a further rush of interest.
Bupa said women should take particular care to warm up and warm down and make sure strength and flexibility training - such as yoga - is included alongside cardiovascular exercise.
The difference in injury level is thought to be partly down to women's bodies tending to have less muscle mass and more flexibility, including looser ligaments.
Women also have a wider pelvis, which changes the alignment of the ankle with the knee.
One of the most common injuries, a tear of the anterior cruciate ligament, which is frequently seen in runners, is much more often a problem for women.
This is thought to be partly because the ligament travels through a smaller space in a woman's knee.
Differences in technique are also thought to make women more susceptible.
Dr Steve Iley, medical director at Bupa UK, said: “Men and women move differently during exercise, which is one of the many reasons which may lead to more injuries in women.
"Landing rigidly or changing direction quickly with one foot instead of two can cause problems.
"Women can try to mitigate this by changing direction with both feet and sinking deeply when landing from a jump, with knees slightly apart.”
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