A public awareness program launched by Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush aims to highlight the rise in youth sports-related injuries, their possible causes, and prevention methods.

With school back in session, young athletes are returning to the field. Recent studies suggest a rise in youth sports-related injuries, and that girls may be more at risk for them than boys.

Such injuries include ankle sprains, concussions, and anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries in the knee.

Dr Jeremy Alland, a sports medicine physician at Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush, explains in a media release that the increase in ACL injuries among girls may be due to a lack of neuromuscular strength training.

“Among other factors, girls tend to have less control at the hip and tend to land with their knees in an inward or ‘knock-kneed’ position. This can increase their risk for knee injuries like ACL tears,” he adds.

Other explanations for why the rate of ACL injuries tend to be higher in girls include: estrogen levels that make women more vulnerable to ACL injury by weakening the ligament; a smaller intercondylar notch; landing flat-footed, instead of on the balls of their feet, after a jump; and a wider pelvis.

Additional explanations include: more lax ligaments, slower reflex time, a greater quadriceps/hamstring strength ratio, that girls tend to run in a more upright position than boys, and less developed quads.

Regarding concussions, a study presented recently at the 2017 meeting of the American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) suggests that girls may be more likely to sustain a sports concussion than boys in similar sports, for several reasons.

These include: girls have longer, thinner necks that may also contain weaker muscles than boys; a lack of protective gear, an emphasis on in-game contact and the practice of “headers”; and that girls may just be better at reporting concussion symptoms than boys, the release continues.

Another common injury is ankle sprains. A study on overuse injuries published in The Journal of Pediatrics, per the release, suggests that girls may be more likely to suffer ankle sprains than boys in soccer, softball/baseball, and track and field.

Methods to prevent sports-related injuries include participation in a strengthening program for the muscles that support the head, ankle, and knee; avoiding overuse; stretching after exercise; participating in pre-season endurance training; resting and recovering between workouts; wearing proper protective equipment; and staying hydrated.

For more information, visit Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush’s public awareness program’s sites for the knees and ankles.

[Source(s): PS Medical Marketing, PRWeb]