Girls' Bones Feel Stressed

Female athletes face increased risk of stress fracture

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Athletes are often driven to the point of overworking their bodies, leading to muscle strains, joint damage, and stress fractures. Girls involved in certain sports face an increased risk of stress fractures.

Researchers found that young female athletes who were involved in running, basketball, cheerleading, and gymnastics had a greater risk of developing a stress fracture - a type of fracture that happens after repetitive pressure or force, often from repeatedly jumping or running.

"Playing high-impact sports may over-work women's bones."

For their study, Alison E. Field, from Brigham and Women's Hospital, and colleagues looked at more than 6,800 girls between 9 and 15 years of age. Within a 7-year period, almost 4 percent of these girls developed a stress fracture.

The researchers conclude that their findings show that girls who are involved in running, basketball, cheerleading, or gymnastics also need to involve lower-impact activities in their sports training.

Doing so will reduce the overall amount of impact, and thus reduce the risk of stress fractures.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
April 11, 2011
Last Updated:
April 13, 2011