That may be true for college and NFL football players, since nearly all are male. But women are actually more prone than men to suffer many of the most common sports-related injuries. There are a variety of reasons for this “gender gap,” and there is much about it that remains uncertain.
What injuries are most common among female athletes?
Ankle sprain. This is the most common sports injury in both men and women, but it’s particularly common among women.
Shoulder troubles. Examples include rotator cuff problems (including tendon inflammation, or tendinitis) and instability.
Knee injuries. These include irritation under the knee cap (called patellofemoral syndrome) and ligament damage (including tears to the ACL), which is especially common among soccer and basketball players.
- Stress fractures. These are especially common in the foot or lower leg (tibia) among women with the “female athlete triad,” a combination of inadequate calorie and nutrient intake, irregular menstrual periods, and bone loss. Eating disorders, including anorexia nervosa, contribute to this triad.
Plantar fasciitis. Abnormal alignment of the foot and flat feet may contribute to these small tears in the supporting tissues along the arch and heel.