Aging can be hard on your body, especially when exercising. Women have different aches and pains than men. Kim Templeton, MD, orthopedic surgeon and professor, explains why as well as how to avoid injury. Learn more about orthopedics and sports medicine at The University of Kansas Health System.
Preventing sports-related injuries
Areas that we see the biggest differences are the body area we see that is around the knee. Women tend to have more pain along their kneecap, so pain in the front of the knee. They've come in and saying, “I hurt here.” That's from the kneecap. There are lots of explanations for that. One is just the way your body is lined up. The muscles that control your kneecap originate from the pelvis so that's going to ... Which is a little wider in women than it is in men, so the pull of those muscles is going to be different. Women also tend to use their legs a little bit differently in that they tend to ... if they walk or run tend to with their hips a little rotated in, which then kind of makes their kneecap kind of run to the outside, so it turns a little differently so they're much more likely to have trouble with knee pain by in large it's from your kneecap. What I try to focus on with patients though is how you land when you're running. How's your wide turn. Where are your weaknesses in your lower extremities? Where can we maybe make some areas stronger than others? How can you change how you're doing a particular activity, because and I think the theory of how the body is designed, how the muscles line up I think is interesting. It probably has some impact on the effect of hormones. It probably has a real effect on those, but those are areas that we can't do a whole lot to change. We can't change how people's bodies are lined up. We can impact hormones but not without impacting everything else. It's probably not a good area to go down. What we can change though are how people do specific activities. If they have muscle groups, again and women tend to run with their hips turned in. If we can then strengthen the hip, the muscles that turn the hips to the outside. If they tend- Through strength training. Through strength training. If they you know in younger women playing basketball, women tend to land with their knees and their hips straight. That puts your knees under a lot of stress. If we can teach women how to play basketball, how to land in a crouched position with their knees and their hips flexed. So these are all things that through strength training or through watching video tapes or just working with a trainer to figure out how you're doing something to sort of decrease the stress that you're putting on your joints. So, and that you can change. That you can change.