Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Women and Children More Likely To Have Sports Injuries

By reading this blog, you've probably noticed that sports injuries in general are far too common. But what may not be readily apparent however is that women and children are more likely to have sports injuries than men.
Athletes of all skill levels and experience are likely to get sports injuries. It doesn't matter if you're in the NFL or just a weekend warrior looking to lose some weight. Injuries happen anywhere on the body- feet, legs, arms, shoulders, hips, etc.
So why are women more prone to get sports injuries than men? Dr. Bridget Quinn, director of the sports clinic at Boston's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center says that differences in women's anatomy- wider hips, and different thigh bone and foot structure- make women more susceptible. Women are likely to get repetitive motion injuries, like stress injuries, shoulder and hip problems, and ankle sprains, as their joints are more flexible than men's.
For children, the difference is often age. You can have one child who is 6 foot 2 and 225 pounds and one child who is 5 foot 6 and 130 pounds, and both be 14 years old. Dr. Thompson McGuire, an orthopedist who specializes in sports medicine at Down East Orthopedics in Bangor, ME, says he's amazed by the physical disparity between his son and his classmates.
"My son is probably 90 pounds, and he has classmates who are close to 200 pounds, full-grown men who are already shaving. He's playing soccer against these guys and I'm glad it's not football," said McGuire. He adds that he sees a lot of injuries from basketball, football, and soccer, but admits that these are popular sports. "I don't see a lot of cricket injuries," he joked.
Research done by the National Center for Sports Safety found:
  1. More than 3.5 million children ages 14 and younger receive medical treatment for sport injuries each year.
  2. Children suffer 21 percent of all traumatic brain injuries in the United States due to sports activities.
  3. Repetitive motion injuries account for nearly half of all sports injuries in middle and high school students due to immature bones, insufficient rest between activities, and poor conditioning.
  4. Children between the ages of 5 and 14 account for 40 percent of all sports related injuries in the emergency room. These injuries are due to: football (28%), basketball (25%), and soccer (22%).
  5. Basketball injuries far surpass football, baseball, and soccer injuries.
  6. Between 1982 and 2002, 88 children died from basketball injuries, opposed to 22 football deaths, and 14 cheerleading deaths.
Advances in protective equipment are helping cut down on injuries, but not concussions in football players. "The helmets are getting better, but they have no impact on concussions. What happens with a concussion is the skull stops, but the brain keeps going and it gets bruised when it hits the skull. These new helmets are great for preventing fractures, but not concussions," says McGuire.
However, don't let these numbers scare you. The benefits of getting out and exercising far outweigh any risks that happen.
If you are are suffering from a sports related foot injury, call our Newington, Kensington, or Middletown office to make an appointment.
Craig M. Kaufman, DPM
Connecticut Foot Care Centers
Sports Podiatrist in CT
Podiatrist in Newington, Kensington, and Middletown, CT
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