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Menstrual cycle injuries

13th February 2007

A woman’s menstrual cycle could be to blame for any injuries she may incur to her muscles and ligaments.

London's Portland Hospital surveyed 1,000 osteopaths, and studied 17 women with a regular menstrual cycle and found that fluctuating hormones in a woman’s menstrual cycle make her more prone to injury at certain times of the month.  Muscles and ligaments were both shown to be vulnerable midway through the menstrual cycle and the ligaments are at greater risk towards the end.

Midway through her menstrual cycle, a woman’s oestrogen level (which gives strength to muscles and ligaments) drops dramatically resulting in the sudden weaknesses in her joints. At the end of her cycle, levels of another hormone, relaxin, rise which enable menstruation but also mean the ligaments soften again.

The research team discovered that strains and other injuries were more likely at both these stages. Lead researcher and osteopath Dr Stephen Sandler, said, "There is a clear link between hormone levels and laxity of joints, making women more vulnerable to injury."  His findings also mean that women on the pill, who therefore do not experience sudden drops in their oestrogen levels, are less likely to injure themselves as the result of loosened joints.

 

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