Hormones, Menstral Cycles & Injuries
A Swedish study of 108 female soccer players in 1988 (Moller-Neilson and Hammer) were able to demonstrate that players were more susceptible to injury in the premenstrual and menstrual phase of their cycles. An interesting finding of this study was a reduction in the number of injuries in the group using oral contraceptives. The implications of this study are still unclear.
It has been almost 90 years since women divers were introduced to the Olympics. Medicine has made advances in treating anterior cruciate ligament injuries (knee) but is still struggling with the vulnerability of female athletes.
Do hormonal differences predispose athletes to injury? It is well known that female hormones effect the composition and structure of a variety of tissues. Estrogen has a significant effect on the development of bone, muscle, and connective tissue. Clearly, fluctuations in hormonal concentrations may influence the structure and composition of the anterior cruciate ligament.
The recent recognition of hormonal influence on the anterior cruciate may be a significant factor in determining what causes anterior cruciate ligament disruption at a greater rate in female athletes.
Another contributing factor in female injuries is that the female foot is distinctly different from that of their male counterparts. Yet, shoe manufactures on the whole tend to make their female shoes identical except for size.