TUESDAY, Sept. 14 (HealthDay News) -- The risk of tendon
injuries appears to be greater in female athletes with naturally
higher levels of estrogen, a small European study suggests.
The findings suggest it may be a good idea to test estrogen
levels in order to identify at-risk athletes so that extra
precautions can be taken when planning their training program, said
Katherine E. Burgess, of the University of Salford in Manchester,
England, and colleagues in a news release.
In this study, researchers examined the knee tendons and
estrogen levels at different times during the menstrual cycle in 23
active young women. None of the participants were taking birth
control pills, which alter hormone levels.
The tendons in women with higher estrogen levels had differences
in their mechanical properties, such as elongation and torque, that
may lead to increased risk of injury.
However, the researchers found no connection between different
times of the menstrual cycle and variations in estrogen levels that
could affect tendon properties or injury risk.
"Thus, 'time of month' does not need to be considered when organizing training and competition schedules," the researchers wrote.
They added that more research is needed to prove their theory
and to determine whether extra conditioning might help female
athletes with higher estrogen levels.
The study was recently published in the
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.
The U.S. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and
Skin Diseases has more about