Running is More Dangerous for Women - Here's Why

Women are at higher risk of overuse injuries: don't ignore pain when you run!A recent study of male and female athletes has discovered that women are more susceptible to overuse injuries than men. Overuse injuries, very common in runners, are caused by repetitive motions, since the same part of the body is hit with force again and again. Common overuse injuries include shin splints and stress fractures, too injuries with which runners are all too familiar.

To reach their conclusions, researchers at Ohio State University studied 3000 injury cases among high school athletes over a seven-year period. They examined individuals who played 20 different sports.

Not only did they find that women are more likely than men to get injured, they also found that track runners had the highest incidence of injury.

Just because you’re a female runner doesn’t mean that these findings doom you to a life of running pain. There are many things you can do to avoid overuse injuries—incorporate rest days and cross-training into your workout regimen; alter your stride or run on different types of surfaces; make sure to stretch and work on balance to avoid muscle compensation on one side of the body.

The most important key to avoiding overuse injuries is listening to your body. If you notice pain in one part of your body when you run, don’t try to push through the discomfort, as it may lead to one of the problems discussed above. Instead, make an immediate appointment with your Houston podiatrist to beat the odds and stave off an overuse injury!
Dr. Andrew Schneider
Dr. Andrew Schneider is a podiatrist and foot surgeon at Tanglewood Foot Specialists in Houston, TX.