Women’s Sports Medicine – Historical Facts
This will be the first in a series of articles related to Women’s Sports Medicine, focusing today on the background of female-specific athletic medicine. Thanks to Dr. Lisa Daye for providing her presentation with talking points as a reference for these articles.
So, let’s begin with a look at the history of women in sports. Women have competed in sports for over a thousand years. In ancient times, women had separate Olympic events, played before the men’s games. Of course, these Olympics differ widely from today’s events, but many sports do remain similar, such as running and discus.
Even though women have participated in sports for so long, it was only in 1972 that the United States implemented legislation to make for equal opportunity between genders in sports. Title IX obliges federally funded institutions to offer equal sports opportunities for females.
Therefore, we see many more young women participating in sports than we did decades ago. Likewise, we also see more sports-related injuries for women. However, we can’t assume that the women get injured because they are women. Statistics show that injuries correlate with the risk associated with the sport, as opposed to the gender playing. That being said, women do have a higher risk of certain injuries for anatomical reasons, which we will discuss next week.