DEVELOPING THE YOUNG FEMALE ATHLETE

In 2011, Naomi Kutin broke a world powerlifting record, squatting 215 lbs. She was in the 97 lbs weight clas…and was just nine years old. She broke a record previously held by a 44 year old German woman. Since then, Naomi has become a prodigy with the nickname “Supergirl” in the lifting community. Now, at 16, she has continued to astound, deadlifting 365 lbs in the last Pan American Championships with Team USA.

As you look at your own daughter, you’re probably thinking, “Thank goodness my daughter wants to play softball… “Aren’t girls like Naomi a special case?” And…most importantly, “Is what Naomi doing in that video EVEN SAFE???” As parents, coaches, trainers…we all walk a fine line. We want to keep young athletes from the life-long consequences of injury but we still want to help them be their best. Especially if they LOVE their sport. No one wants to put out the fire of a young athlete. But when is it our responsibility to draw the line? How can we prepare our young athletes for the risks of their sport?

Until recently, strength training and young athletes has been a taboo subject. Even more so for females. Most parents have no problems signing their daughter up for softball or soccer, but strength training? It just doesn’t happen that easily. Here’s the problem: Our girls are getting hurt.  In soccer. In softball. In volleyball. And, our girls are getting hurt more often- and worse -than our boys.

With more females participating in sports over the last decade, science has devoted a greater focus to female athletes and their development. Currently, data for gender-matched sports show females present a higher incidence of injuries than male athletes. And when we think about it….it makes sense!!! We KNOW that male athletes have more muscle mass and a baseline of strength due to their hormonal makeup (hello higher testosterone!).

YET in gender-matched sports with similar rules (ie softball/ baseball, basketball, soccer, lacrosse, volleyball, etc), males and females are exposed to the SAME FORCES on the field or court. But we keep throwing our comparatively weaker females on to this field or court.

It’s no wonder our female athletes keep getting injured!

Girls are seeing an increase in injury in sports, particularly

  • stress fractures,
  • ACL tears,
  • and other knee injuries like PFPS (patellofemoral pain syndrome)

What’s the solution? How can we prepare young female athletes for a healthy athletic career?

Strength Training.

The science is clear: strength training is not just a necessary training tool for football players; it is a necessary tool for all ATHLETES to help prepare their bodies for the forces imposed in sport. And based on the current research, it is CRUCIAL we start making strength training a PRIORITY for today’s female athlete. (1)

In this article we are going to discuss:

  • When should females begin strength training programs
  • The ‘neuromuscular spurt’ girls need for athletic development
  • Common injuries and training techniques that reduce risk
  • How CULTURE has created a dangerous myth surrounding strength training for girls

Lifting the Myth: How Young is Too Young?

“The young bodies of modern day youth are often ill prepared to tolerate the demands of sports or physical activity.”

READ MORE AT: http://relentlessathleticsllc.com/2018/12/developing-the-young-female-athlete/

Contributed by: Emily R Pappas, MS Exercise Physiology

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Boy (12) becomes first in Ireland to have pioneering hip procedure

A 12-year-old boy has become the first person in Ireland to undergo a new transplant procedure to replace a damaged hip joint using a donor femoral head bone and cartilage.

The OFHAT procedure involves replacing the bone and cartilage surface on the femoral side of the hip joint with donor bone and cartilage.

Before the procedure, the usual option for children who suffered AVN has been hip fusion or hip replacement. Hip replacement often requires revision surgery after 10 years and further revision surgery is eventually not possible due to bone loss or infection.

In children of 10 or 11 years of age, hip replacement will have poor results in the long term requiring multiple revisions over their lifetime .

Explaining the OFHAT (osteochondral femoral head allograft transplantation) procedure, Dr Green said the size and shape of the child’s femoral head is mapped on MRI and they then go on a recipient waiting list .

Once there is a size match, surgery can proceed involving the hip being dislocated from the socket and the damaged cartilage and bone removed.

The shape of the removed bone is measured and the donor femoral head is used to replace the empty space. The result is the child has a biologic hip instead of an artificial hip replacement and it helps with their pain.

Click here to read the entire article, which is posted by The Irish Times.

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Ask the Doctor!

This regular segment of ‘Ask the Doctor’ addresses questions submitted by Sports Medicine Weekly followers. Dr. Nik Verma from Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush will be discussing:

  • Recovery time required for a young baseball player after an elbow injury
  • Controversial use of a weighted ball conditioning program to increase throwing velocity

Sports Medicine Weekly on 670 The Score

If you have a question to be addressed on an upcoming show, please click here to submit your question.

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Does Female Teen-Aged Development Change Hip and Knee Landing Biomechanics: Are there Implications for Knee Injury?

Knee injuries in adolescent females, including anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) rupture, are increasing in frequency. One of the suspected causes is poor landing technique characterized by ‘knock-knee’ posture. Pubertal development is associated with rapid growth of the long bones and surrounding soft tissue and is thought to be an underlying contributor to poor knee and lower limb biomechanics. Yet, no previous studies have investigated the effects of female pubertal development stages on knee and hip biomechanics during a single-limb landing task.

In this study of 93 healthy and physically active girls, the investigators grouped subjects according to pre-pubertal, early/mid-pubertal and late/post-pubertal development stages. All girls had their hip and knee biomechanics recorded with three-dimensional (3-D) motion analysis and force-plate technology while they completed a single-limb landing task. This experimental task was designed to mimic the mechanism of traumatic sporting knee injuries. Girls at latter stages of puberty were heavier, taller and landed with higher 3-D knee forces in comparison to girls at earlier stages of development.

These findings indicate that pubertal-related growth may contribute to higher rates of female adolescent knee injury.

For more information, view the abstract

American College of Sports Medicine

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