Women are more likely to suffer knee injuries than men - Study

A new study has revealed that social and not just biological factors cause increased knee injuries among girls and women. These are findings of the study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine (BJSM).

Winnie Byanyima recently came under a hailstorm of criticism for not kneeling yet studies show that she may have made the correct choice.

The study says knee injuries frequently affect women than men not just due to physicality and biology but due to social factors, said the authors of the study.

Girls and women are up to six times more likely to suffer an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury, where one of the key ligaments that helps to stabilise the knee joint is damaged.

This injury often occurs during sports that involve sudden changes in direction (for example basketball, football/soccer, tennis). However, it can occur due to social factors such as kneeling out of cultural considerations.

Writing in the BJSM the authors argued that much of the focus still centres on biological and hormonal factors, yet sex-based factors brought on by gender are ignored.

Dr Sheree Bekker from the Department for Health at the University of Bath (UK) explained, “We wanted to unpack the biases and assumptions that we were seeing in research into and practice around sports injuries in girls and women. Specifically, we wanted to challenge the increasingly pervasive idea that this is simply a problem for girls/women because they are inherently prone to injury just because of their female biology. Approaching ACL injury prevention and management from a strictly biological view can propagate sexism in sport with detrimental consequences for girls and women.”

Co-author of the paper Dr Stephanie Coen of the University of Nottingham adds, “By extending the focus from individual bodies and biology to the gendered environments contextualising ACL injury our approach identifies new opportunities to intervene and achieve better outcomes for girls and women, with implications beyond athletes. As childhood and youth physical activity levels influence those in adulthood, the sequelae of ACL injury can be lifelong and particularly concerning for girls and women who already participate in physical activity at lower rates than boys and men. There is a wider health equity issue at stake.”

With this study, possibly it is time for us to reconsider the issue of female’s kneeling our culture.

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