​Health Issues in Athletics

26-10-2018

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Health issues of athletics concern the health and well-being of athletes who participate in an organized sport. If athletes are physically and mentally underdeveloped, they are susceptible to mental or physical problems. Athletes trying to improve their performance in sports can harm themselves by overtraining, adopting eating habits that damage them physically or psychologically, and using steroids or supplements.

The Female Athlete Triad is a condition among women that consists of three related health irregularities: disordered eating habits, irregular menstruation, and premature bone loss or osteoporosis. The term was coined in the early 1990s when researchers from the National Institutes of Health noticed unusual health patterns among female athletes. These researchers observed increases in eating habit disorders in young female athletes. Exercising intensely while getting inadequate nutrition can lead to amenorrhea - or irregular menstrual cycles - which in turn can lead to osteoporosis.

Female athletes tend to compare themselves to their competitors, which is another factor for athletes to develop female athlete triad. Competitive thinness is a term used when athletes compare themselves to their rivals who are performing better than them. When athletes begin to compare themselves to their competitors and notice the athletes who are performing better than them are thinner, it can lead to a weight loss mentality. Another risk factor to competitive thinness is related to revealing uniforms. For aesthetic sports, these uniforms are normally very tight, which shows off the athletes’ body. These uniforms can cause athletes to develop unhealthy body comparisons.

A female athlete who feels pressured to maintain a certain physique or body weight may exercise excessively and develop eating disorders to restrict calorie intake. Over-exercising increases the need for rest; her overall energy declines, causing her total body fat and estrogen levels to drop - a condition known as amenorrhea. Both male and female athletes may feel the pressure to over-train excessively in order to achieve a certain body image.

The human body has a tremendous capacity to adapt to physical stress. "Stress" does not mean only physical damage. It can also refer to activity beneficial to bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments, making them stronger and more functional. This is also known as "remodeling," and involves both the breakdown and buildup of tissue. However, if breakdown occurs more rapidly than buildup, an overuse injury can result.

Nearly half of all injuries encountered in pediatric sports medicine are due to overuse. An overuse injury is traumatic damage to a bone, muscle, or tendon that is subjected to repetitive stress without time to heal naturally, as a result of long and/or high-intensity workouts. Many young athletes participate in sports year-round or on multiple teams at once. Within the past seven years. Majority of children from ages 6-12 have participated in a team and/or individual sport.

Another factor could be parental pressure to compete and succeed. Other risk factors include sleep deprivation, general physical and cognitive immaturity, dietary imbalance and inadequate physical fitness. Among young athletes, a common form of overuse injury is stress fractures, which include injuries of the femoral neck/pubis, femoral shaft, tibia, fibula, metatarsals, calcaneus, and cuboid.

Over-training Syndrome' is a term that has been used to describe athletes who, while training for competition, train beyond the body's ability to recover naturally.

Common warning signs include tiredness, soreness, drop in performance, headaches, and loss of enthusiasm. Without adequate rest and recovery, training regimens can backfire, eventually harming an athlete's performance. Over-training can also be associated with eating disorders; athletes can turn to excessive exercise in order to lose weight. In cases where athletes are over-training, the most effective treatment is rest and proper nutrition.

On Wikipedia.