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FEMALE ATHLETES

Jessica at finish line

There is a plethora of information out there on the injuries, imbalances, and other various issues on the ‘female athlete.’ Below are just two recent articles outlining two major issues: the "female athlete triad" and the "Q angle." Physical therapy is an integral part of the care in each of these situations.

Strategies used by physical therapists in the U.S for treatment and prevention of the female athlete triad

Pantano, K.J. (2009). Strategies used by physical therapists in the U.S for treatment and prevention of the female athlete triad. Physical Therapy in Sport , Feb 10(1): 3-11.

This descriptive study presents current methods of treatment and prevention used by physical therapists in the United States (US) for the Female Athlete Triad (also known as the Triad). Physical therapists play an important role as part of the interdisciplinary team involved in the detection, treatment and prevention of the Triad. Levels of knowledge about the Triad and specific measures used by physical therapists for the treatment and prevention are not currently known. A survey was used to assess methods of physical therapy practice used in cases of the Triad. Descriptive statistics summarized demographics about the 500 American Physical Therapy Association member participants. Likert scales and narrative descriptors indicated the likelihood and the frequency of using certain treatment and prevention methods. Out of the 500 participants, 205 physical therapists responded, for a 41% response rate (205/500). The results indicated that only 26% (54/205) of these respondents used specific treatment methods, including education, for the Triad; 48% (26/54) of these respondents employed detection/prevention strategies other than preseason screening, including talking with the athlete or athlete‚Äôs parent(s) or athlete’s physician about the situation; and 24% (13/54) of these respondents assisted in athletic screening for the Triad. The outcomes of the study underscore the importance of the role of physical therapists in educating others about the Triad. Physical therapy treatment and prevention methods are instrumental in preventing low bone density and osteoporosis in physically active women. These findings demonstrate there is a greater need for knowledge regarding the Triad to be incorporated into physical therapy curriculums, continuing education programs and professional practice.

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The Q-Angle and Injuries In Women Athletes
A wider pelvis linked to knee pain and injury in women

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