The Female Triad In Combat Sports
Female Athlete Injuries In Combat Sports
As female involvement in sports has increased since the 1990s, so has the medical community’s interest in the female athletic triad of disordered eating, amenorrhea, and osteoporosis and the higher ACL knee injury incidence in some sports.
Fighting sports by women involves a variety of physical activities, which is why several sports have distinct weight limits and are inherently physically demanding.
In this article, we will briefly discuss some of the illnesses and injuries that female athletes are more likely to come in contact with in fighting sports.
Female Athletes’ ACL Injuries
Anterior cruciate ligament injuries are a persistent problem for men and women who play sports. Although some still dispute whether there is a true difference in ACL injury rates between men and women concerning numerous sports, most agree that women have a higher ACL injury rate than men in certain sports, such as basketball and soccer.
An ACL injury can occur for several reasons. It can be caused by both extrinsic and intrinsic factors.
External variables exist beyond one’s immediate control, such as in the field where a certain sport is being played or the type of weather present, the playing surface conditions that would impact how a game is played, the type of uniform padding, joint supports, and shoe wear allowed for use in a sport.
Intrinsic factors include the things inherent to the person, such as skill level, body mass index, physical strength, muscle coordination with certain activities, anatomic factors, hormonal influences, and psychosocial factors.
The most typical reason for noncontact ACL injuries is planting and pivoting motion, which typically takes place when stopping, landing, or performing cutting movements.
Combat sports have numerous conditions that can enable this kind of thing like the standard single-leg kicks encountered in martial arts. Contact ACL damage can also happen in combat sports because of these kinds of mechanisms as arm strikes, leg kicks, or body strikes to the lower limbs found in martial arts, and direct contact rotating or rotating movements on the lower limbs found in judo and wrestling.
The most robust anterior cruciate ligament injury prevention has featured training in proprioception and coordination, which can be directly applied to sports. To the best of our knowledge, no scientific study of effective direct interventions in these sports has been published, but many coaches and athletes have incorporated the concepts behind these strategies in their conditioning programs.
The emphasis on jump landing and stopping has shown to be advantageous for lower extremities in sports, and its recovery has been researched recently with a focus on physical and mental activities. It is thought that the direct benefits, vicariously, from combat sports as practiced currently are false and may end up being similar to the results of other contact sports, specifically volleyball, basketball, and soccer.
The Female Sports Triad
The three aspects of females’ athletic ability are strength, endurance, and speed.
Disorders related to the menstrual discrepancy and disordered eating can occur in eliminating, exercising, attractiveness, or weight-classification sports, but records show that they are most typical in endurance, aesthetics, or sports specific to this classification.
Combat sports have strong points in common with all types of sports, meaning that they could be used to develop mental health conditions similar to the ones associated with female athleticism, such as disordered eating, amenorrhea, and osteoporosis.
There is a greater instance of disordered eating in female athletes than in the general public, as seen in a survey of 15-62% of college women.
Eating disorders that are explained as mental disorders generally lead to significant medical and nutritional issues, with mortality rates between 12-18% if untreated. Amenorrhea is related to 2-5% of the general population and between 1-44% of exercising women.
The failure to have menstrual periods among exercising women has many causes, including the drug-low-calcium diet, speedy weight loss, a sudden increase in vigorous physical activity, nutritional insufficiency, disordered eating, and psychological and physical stress of athletic competition.
Another reason when to be concerned about amenorrhea in young adolescent athletes is due to the risk of injury during adolescence which could raise the danger of future deviations in bone mass and osteoporosis. This risk is increased when combined with risk factors such as disordered eating and poor nutrition.
Osteoporosis has a noticeable effect on individual long-term health when a female is older, but it can also place her at high risk for stress fractures while actively competing. Leading stress fractures are one’s feet, tibia, fibula, femur, and pelvis.
Once the problems of the female athletic triad have been identified, a proper treatment plan will be developed. This usually requires a team approach consisting of athletes, parents, coaches, nutritionists, multiple medical professionals, and trainers.
A multidisciplinary team approach is particularly important for disordered eating problems that require training adjustments, nutritional counseling, psychosocial screening, and even inpatient treatment for more serious cases. In amenorrhea, other medical factors may be needed to be considered, such as pregnancy or a thyroid disorder.
Hormonal therapy can then begin, and a course of synthetic progesterone (Provera 10 mg daily) can be used for up to five days, followed by changes to diet, exercise, weight gain, attention to your sleep and training, stress, and eating habits.
If menstruation does not resume in women older than 16, hormonal therapy such as oral contraceptives may be necessary to restore menstruation.
It is critical for athletic teams to have appropriate screening and prevention programs in place, especially for young athletes, to minimize the impacts of low estrogen on bone mineral density.
Breast illnesses are the result of breast trauma.
Multiple causes of breast trauma exist. Friction injuries to the nipples are typically caused by physical activity, and these injuries are most common in men. Psychological treatments are generally sufficient for small injuries; however, larger injuries may require more extensive management. Prevention may include using a lubricant with or without local padding or overwrapping.
A diffuse form of breast soreness, indicated by numbing pains and difficulty moving, can be triggered by repetitive motion issues of the breasts by repeated bouncing. This problem can also cause the breasts to become irreversibly stretched, affecting the ligaments that support the breasts.
Most treatment generally involves rest and well-being support, often incorporating the use of proper sports undergarments.
The breast reduction procedure is often recommended for certain athletes, especially those in combative sports who experience chronic neck and upper back pain. To the best of our knowledge, there have been no prior reports of blunt breast trauma in the literature. Most of the previous literature on blunt breast trauma was related to vehicle accidents.
As direct breast trauma often causes a slight deformity, it could cause reduced flexibility, internal damage, calcification, and fat necrosis. Additionally, trauma to the internal organs of the breast often occurs. The treatment of acute external chest trauma suggests applying ice, keeping the person elevated, and supporting the person with a system.
Consideration should be given to subsequent follow-ups of patients who have undergone serial examinations, with or without mammography, based on the clinical presentation.
Women with longstanding palpable masses or other symptoms on physical checkups or screening mammograms may often have a harder time diagnosing a health issue because their memory is not reliable.
Supplementary examinations should be performed to permit precisely timed aseptic closure depending on the circumstance. A properly padded sports bra may prevent prolonged injury.
Many sports allow padded breast protectors, with or without a hard plastic shell. Robust compliance with rules, guidelines, and regulations and promoting injury to breasts must be a priority for officials of competitions.
When all is said and done, the female athlete triad is a real and serious issue for women in combat sports. While the triad is not fully understood, its effects on female athletes are well documented. The best way to prevent these injuries is to be aware of the risks and take steps to minimize them. With proper education and prevention, female athletes can stay safe and healthy while enjoying their chosen sport.