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Women Have A Higher Risk Of Knee Injuries Than Men

| Reviewed By Chandra Gopalan

The knee consists of the thigh bone, that is, a bottom end composed of two round knobs, sitting on the comparatively flat top end of the shin bone. Unlike the more secure hip joint, which is a ball in a greatly cushioned pocket, the knee joint is much more exposed and much more susceptible to injuries [1].

Since women have broader hips, the upper leg bone of the female enters the knee in a greater angle, which winds the knee [2]. This makes women more susceptible to certain types of kneecap injuries, like chondromalacia, as well as issues with the anterior cruciate ligament - one of the key ligaments that help stabilize your knee joint [3].

While knee injuries may result from accidents like falls, car accidents and athletic injuries or illnesses like arthritis, the majority of knee issues are caused from overstressing the knee while running, climbing or repetitive, high impact exercises [4].

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Why Are Women Prone To Knee Trouble?

According to studies and doctors, a woman's relatively wide hips can put extra stress on the joints [5]. Also, it has been pointed out that the female hormone, oestrogen weakens ligament [6]. These are factors that are beyond one's control, however, there are certain things one can do to manage the knee pain.

Studies have pointed out that female athletes are increasingly prone to knee problems because the female hormone oestrogen makes women more vulnerable to ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) injury by weakening the ligament [7].

According to Chandra Gopalan, Fitness Expert and Director at Contours India, apart from the hormone-related issues, the other problems affecting a woman's knees are creaky knees, achy knees and stiff knees.

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Creaky Knees

The cause: The creaking you feel is a result of a misaligned kneecap grating over the lower end of your thigh bone. Women are particularly susceptible to this syndrome because our naturally wide pelvises cause our thighs to slant inward, This places extra force on a woman's knees.

The solution: Knee strengthening exercises.

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Achy Knees

During physical activity, you feel a sharp pain between your kneecap and shinbone. The pain persists as a constant, dull ache.

The cause: Tendonitis, which occurs when the tendons connecting your kneecap to the shin bone become inflamed due to repeated stress and overuse. Symptoms flare up when you increase the frequency or intensity of your workouts.

The solution: Cut back your activity level. Ice the area. More importantly, do knee strengthening exercises.

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Stiff Knees

You have trouble straightening or bending your knee.

The cause: The cartilage that cushions your joints breaks down due to age, or excess weight, and makes your body produce more joint fluid in the knee. When the cartilage wears down completely, you're left with bone rubbing on bone and painfully stiff knee.

The solution: Losing that additional weight will help. Regularly do knee strengthening exercises. When the knee swells up, ice the area, elevate your leg on a pillow and rest it.

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On A Final Note…

Talk to your physiotherapist or your doctor before taking measures and remedies to correct your knee pain. It is also important that you find the cause behind the pain.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q.What causes knee pain without injury?

A. Bursitis, tendinitis, Baker's cyst,Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis are some of the most common causes.

Q.What can I do to relieve knee pain?

A. You can get rid of minor knee pain by giving your knee some rest, apply ice to reduce swelling, wear a compressive bandage, and keep your knee elevated.

Q. Is walking good for knee pain?

A. If you have mild to moderate pain in your knees due to osteoarthritis, walking and other exercise helps mobilize your joint fluid and lubricate the joints. You should walk and do other exercises that move your knee joints. You are likely to find that the stiffness, pain, and fatigue improve with exercise.

Chandra Gopalan CrossFit Training Systems
American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)
Chandra Gopalan
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