What is the women’s triad and how does it affect female athletes?

What is the women’s triad and how does it affect female athletes?

TarragonaBeing a woman is an extra risk factor when playing elite sport. After medicine based its theories and diagnoses on the bodies of men for many years, there are more and more studies focusing on the specificities of female athletes. Basketball players are no strangers to it. The female triad is a key aspect. “The concept comes from about 40 years ago, when sports began to be studied scientifically. One of the things that surprised the researchers the most was that girls between 13-14 and 30 years old were getting injured a lot . It was very prevalent, so studies were done and it was discovered that there was a reason. The issue has to do with the availability of energy, the disorders caused by menstruation and weak bones,” says Dani Asensio, physiotherapist and Kinetic Clinik readapter.

A correct diet is fundamental. “If a player spends more energy than she consumes, this deficit has negative effects for her body. One reason may be because she is not aware of it. Another reason may be because she is trying to lose weight, either for aesthetics or for performance. Then we have more severe cases, such as eating disorders. If repeated over time, these behaviors can greatly impair performance, slow growth and influence inappropriate development,” argues Asensio.

“Having strong bones is very important. If we don’t produce estrogen, we will notice that we lack energy and that we are more easily injured because the bones are more fragile”, argues the specialist. Prevention is key. “Adequate nutritional guidelines must be established. It is very important that at the slightest symptom that we detect that this is happening to us, we go to a nutritionist, to a professional. We must avoid the drastic reduction of calories. The key is that the player’s environment has a very fluid communication with her to detect her concerns in time and stop inappropriate behavior in time,” says Asensio.

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Injury alarm

“The tendency to get injured has increased a lot, according to the latest studies. 80% of these injuries occur in the lower limbs, especially in the knees and ankles. To break this dynamic, the most important thing is strength work and progressive mobility. An important stage is the one that occurs between the ages of 11 and 14, when the development of sports girls is greatly accentuated,” explains Marc Paulet, physical trainer and sports rehabilitator.

Specialists are very clear about the benefits of physical exercise for strength and mobility. “The first is the reduction of injuries and better recovery from them. The muscles coordinate and relate much better after an injury. In addition, it improves bone health. It is 100% confirmed that adequate strength work at these ages bone density increases by 50%. If we don’t take advantage of this stage, we are wasting a great opportunity,” recalls Paulet.

The physical trainer advises not to compare results between players. “The key to good individualized work is to improve your own parameters. The competition is with yourself,” he summarizes.


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