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Women's Sports Injuries: It's Not Just The Hormones

Main Category: Women's Health / OBGYN News
Article Date: 16 Feb 2007 - 0:00 PST
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The long-held belief that women have more sports injuries than men because of the difference in hormones is just not true. Hormones certainly play a role according to orthopaedic surgeon Kimberly J. Templeton, MD, spokesperson for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and Associate Professor with the University of Kansas Medical Center, Department of Orthopedics. "There is definitely input from the hormones but there are other musculoskeletal differences between men and women."

Dr. Templeton points out how men land differently than women after taking that basketball shot. "Men flex their hips and knees when they land. Women tend to land with their hips and knees straight -- causing increased tension on the ACL. That's one of the reasons why women have more ACL ("anterior cruciate ligament') injuries than do men." Templeton points out that these types of injuries can be "career enders" to young female athletes and may lead to an increased risk of degenerative arthritis later in life, so it is critically important for girls to understand what they need to do to stay healthy. There are very specific neuromuscular training programs that have been shown to reduce the incidence of serious knee injuries. Templeton advises parents to work with their daughter's coaches -- particularly ones who understand the differences in training for girls vs. boys.

Neuromuscular training programs are now being introduced in the schools so young female athletes can learn the right way to land, among other things, and protect themselves from serious injury. According to a study conducted by Timothy E. Hewett, Ph.D., comprehensive neuromuscular training is effective in improving measures of both performance and lower extremity biomechanics in adolescent female athletes.

Dr. Templeton also underscores the importance of girls understanding bone health. There is a common misconception that a woman protects herself from osteoporosis only by engaging in weight bearing exercise. Dr. Templeton encourages her patients to participate in weight-bearing exercise and to lift weights but cautions that exercise must be balanced with enough calories and nutrition. She emphasizes that, "Engaging in weight bearing exercise without adequate calories and nutrition doesn't do anything for systemic bone mass."

Without a balanced diet with enough calories, including adequate amounts of Vitamin D and calcium, girls and women run an increased risk of injury. Templeton also helps her patients learn the right way to lift weights for to gain maximum benefit and to minimize injuries.

At the 74th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), being held February 14 to 18, 2007, at the San Diego Convention Center, Kimberly Templeton, MD served as moderator for a media briefing, "Gender Issues in Orthopaedic Care". Dr. Templeton was joined by three other orthopaedic surgeons, Laura L. Tosi, MD, Naomi N. Shields, MD, and Letha Y. Griffin who have extensive experience with these issues.

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
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Sports Medicine Experts to Speak at Boston Women’s Show

By Aria Munro

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BOSTON, Mass. — What do nearly 70 million Americans have in common? Can eating habits affect joint cartilage? What makes one joint supplement better than the next? Two experts in the field of nutrition Nutrition and sports medicine, Kristine Clark, PhD and Leslie Bonci, MPH, will tackle these and other issues at the upcoming Boston Women’s Show at the World Trade Center, September 22 - 24, 2006. Their presentation is sponsored by GELITA Health Products, USA.

Presenters, Kristine Clark, PhD and Leslie Bonci, MPH will share their knowledge through a series of workshops. Combined, they have over 50 years of experience in the nutrition arena and will work to facilitate the following seminar: “A Girlfriend’s Guide and Insider Tips to Healthy Weight and Better Joints.” The efforts are part of the Boston Women Show’s “Minding Your Body” wellness zone, sponsored by Gelita Health Products, the makers of CH-Alpha(TM)

While one of a variety of joint supplements on the market, CH-Alpha(TM) is the only product with a U.S. patent that is specifically designed for cartilage regeneration.

“The deterioration of cartilage in joints,” Dr. Clark said, “may explain the loss of flexibility and increased stiffness that many people experience in their weight-bearing joints, such as knees and hips. Chronic joint symptoms are the leading cause of disability in people 18 and over. And, the over-50 crowd is expected to double by 2020.”

As a result, issues pertaining to joint health will be of increasing interest to many Americans. Women, in particular, compose a large percentage of this group and addressing challenges specific to them is Dr. Clark’s and Bonci’s mission.

Dr. Clark is the Director of Sports Nutrition for Penn State University’s Athletic Department and Nutritionist for the United States Women’s Olympic Gold Medal soccer team. In addition to counseling athletes and students, she advises coaches, physicians, and trainers on issues regarding weight management, food and nutrition and physical activity. She hosts a monthly show on Pennsylvania Public Radio, Your Health, a call in program on weight loss, workout programs and overall health. She is a Fellow at the American Academy of Sports Medicine and a member of the board of the American Council on Fitness and Nutrition.

Leslie Bonci is the Director of the Sports Medicine Nutrition Program at the Department of Orthopedic Surgery and an adjunct professor in the school of Dental Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh’s Medical Center. She is a leading expert on nutrition and exercise and is the nutrition consultant to the Pittsburgh Steelers. She is a frequent contributor on the Today Show and a former media spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.

“A Girlfriends Guide and Insider Tips to Healthy Weight and Better Joints” will be presented on the workshop stage at the Boston Women’s Show on Friday, September 22 at 7 p.m., and again on Saturday, September 23 at 1:30 and 3:30 p.m.; and on Sunday, September 24 at 12 and 3:00 p.m.

Both presenters will be available before and after presentations at Booth #1195 at the Boston Women’s Show to answer questions and review materials presented.

More information about the Boston Women’s Show:


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Iyengar Yoga Can Promote Well-Being In Women Breast Cancer Survivors

Main Category: Breast Cancer News
Article Date: 01 May 2007 - 1:00 PDT
Breast cancer is the most prevalent type of invasive cancer attacking women in the United States. Last year alone some 213,000 women were diagnosed with the disease. The good news is that two million women have survived. Many women with breast cancer seek complementary interventions that will enhance their quality of life. Yet research is lacking whether these programs such as yoga, also benefit immune function.

A new study of breast cancer survivors practicing Iyengar yoga - a form of yoga that incorporates all of the components of physical fitness and focuses on structural alignment of the body as well as mental relaxation - has found that breast cancer survivors who practice yoga have changes in the way their immune cells respond to activation signals, which may be important for understanding how physical activity and meditative practices benefit the immune system. The function of genes in immune cells can be regulated by proteins called transcription factors. Transcription factor nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) is linked to immune cell activation and to the stress response.

The study, entitled Down-regulated lymphocyte NF-κB activation in breast cancer survivors following yoga participation, was conducted by Pamela E. Schultz, Mel Haberman, Ph.D., Kenn Daratha, Ph.D., Sally E. Blank, Ph.D., from Washington State University, and Joni Nichols, M.D., from Cancer Care Northwest (US Oncology), in Spokane, WA. They will discuss their findings at the 120th annual meeting of the American Physiological Society (APS;, being held as part of the Experimental Biology (EB '07) meeting. More than 12,000 scientists and researchers are attending the conference, being held April 28-May 2, 2007 at the Washington, DC Convention Center.


Active practice of Iyengar yoga, named for its creator B.K.S. Iyengar, differs from the gentle restorative practices typically offered to cancer survivors as it can include all the components of physical fitness. The active practice of Ôsanas (postures) can incorporate cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength and endurance, flexibility and balance.

Nineteen women, average age 61 years, diagnosed with stage I-III breast cancer and receiving antiestrogen or aromatase inhibitor hormonal therapy participated in the study. Time since diagnosis was approximately four years. None had any experience with Iyengar yoga. The subjects were randomized to either yoga (n=10) or a wait-list control group (n=9).

Beginning level Iyengar yoga classes were conducted two times per week for eight weeks and included the following yoga poses: standing poses, chest and shoulder openers; and inversions. The women were given a home instruction sheet to practice once a week at home a week at home for a total of three yoga sessions per week.

A survey of the subjects demands of illness and a blood sample to determine lymphocyte NF-κB activation were collected prior to and following the intervention.


Preliminary findings indicate:

-- Demands of illness, which reflects the burden and hardship of breast cancer survivorship, decreased following yoga participation.

-- Compared with pre-intervention responses, women who participated in yoga had lower stimulated lymphocyte NF-κB activation after eight weeks of yoga than did the control group

-- Decreases in demands of illness were associated with decreased lymphocyte NF-κB activation in the yoga participants, only.


This study demonstrates that an active yoga practice taught in the Iyengar tradition can be successfully offered to breast cancer survivors who are approximately four years out from initial cancer diagnosis and who are receiving certain types of hormonal therapy. It also shows that the program can have important psychological benefits for breast cancer surivors. This study is an important addition to the literature on the effectiveness of yoga intervention on the quality of life for female breast cancer survivors and that these changes may be associated with cell signaling regulating lymphocyte function.

The American Physiological Society (APS) has been an integral part of the scientific discovery process since it was established in 1887. Physiology is the study of how molecules, cells, tissues and organs function to create health or disease.

The APS annual meeting is part of the Experimental Biology 2007 (EB '07) gathering and is being held April 28 - May 2, 2007 at the Washington, DC Convention Center.
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