Knee injuries are one of the most common issues physical therapists treat. And it’s no surprise these incidents occur so often. From landing wrong on the basketball court to slipping on an icy sidewalk, there are numerous ways to hurt your knee. But why are knee issues more prevalent among women than men? Here’s what you need to know.
Guide to Knee Injuries in Women
Why Women Are More Prone to Knee Injuries
Women’s anatomy is one factor that makes them more prone to knee injuries. Due to their broad pelvis, women’s thigh bones angle sharply from the hip to knee, which can strain the joint. Women’s muscles are also typically not as strong as men’s, which may make them more prone to injuries overall. Furthermore, women usually land differently from jumping positions, with the knee in a straight position, compared to men who typically land with knees bent.
The valgus angle of the knee in women is also more significant than that in men, putting more stress on the ligaments. Some research has indicated the hormone estrogen may also play a role, as the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) contains estrogen receptors.
Common Knee Injuries
The most common knee injury in women is an ACL tear. The ACL is one of four ligaments that stabilizes the knee. It can be torn as a result of trauma, stopping abruptly or with a locked-knee position, or by changing direction quickly. Symptoms include pain, swelling, and instability or buckling. Other common knee injuries include abnormal tracking of the knee cap (patella), medial collateral ligament (MCL) tears, meniscus tears, or stress fractures in the tibia.
How to Prevent Knee Problems
The best way to prevent knee injuries is to strengthen the muscles that support the knee. This includes the quadriceps, hamstring, hip abductor, and gluteus muscles. It’s essential to warm up before exercising, either with stretching or light cardio. Maintaining a healthy weight can also help prevent undue strain on the knee. If you’ve sustained a knee injury, a physical therapist may be able to help you regain strength and agility to prevent future incidents.
If knee injuries are keeping you sidelined, turn to the team at Therapy Works in Cherokee Village, AR. This experienced team of physical therapists provides a range of services including sports therapy and pediatric therapy, as well as help with women’s health and neurological issues. Call (870) 856-4325 to schedule an appointment with a licensed physical therapist or visit the website to learn how they can help you get back on your feet.