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Thursday, 12 December 2013

Intro to the Female Athlete

The female is a complex being turn that female into an athlete and you have made her even more complex. The female athlete provides many challenges to the coach, parent and athletic therapist.  To fully understand the female athlete will take more than this one post.  Today will be an overview of future topics and if you feel I am missing one or want me to talk about something specifically let me know as not all athletes are the same.

Female Athlete Triad, simply it is the combination of disordered eating, amenorrhea, and osteoporosis.  It is a vicious cycle that starts with disordered eating and progresses.  No sport is exempt from this as it is typically seen as an aesthetic or performance sport issue.

Anterior Cruciate Ligament Sprains, this ligament helps prevent anterior translation of the tibia relative to the femur.  In more simplified terms it stops the lower leg from moving forward compared to the upper leg.

Disordered Eating,  detrimental effects on energy levels do not require an athlete to have a diagnosed eating disorder such as Anorexia Nervosa or Bulimia Nervosa, the slightest change in energy intake for the athletes energy output will place unnecessary strain on their body.

Physical characteristics, the differences between males and females can predispose females to injuries that their male counterparts may not experience.  These characteristics may also predispose the athlete as to what sport or position they may participate in.

Why the participate?  The reason for female participate in sport varies depending on the individual however there are some constants.  Friend participation both effects the reason to start sport participation as well as when females decide to no longer be involved.

One of the new areas of study on the female athlete is in the area of concussions.  Still in its infancy we are learning a great deal about how females react to a concussive injury and if there is differences from their male counterparts.

As a parent or coach it is important to understand how to deal with the female athlete.  Learning how to deal with them will give both you and them an advantage on their path to success.

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