Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Dieting Danger: Female Athletes Limiting Calories More Likely To Get Stress Fractures

Date:
September 13, 2006
Source:
Saint Louis University
Summary:
Female college athletes on low-calorie diets could be putting themselves at risk for stress fractures, according to new Saint Louis University research published in this month's American Journal of Sports Medicine.

Female college athletes on low-calorie diets could be putting themselves at risk for stress fractures, according to new Saint Louis University research published in this month’s The American Journal of Sports Medicine.

Related Articles


Researchers studied risk factors for exercise-related leg pain, including stress fractures in women participating in four popular fall sports – cross-country running, field hockey, soccer and volleyball.

Women with "disordered eating," which includes eating disorders such as bulimia and anorexia but more generally refers to insufficient caloric intake, were more likely to develop stress fractures as a result of decreased estrogen production, says researcher Mark Reinking, PT, Ph.D., chairman of the department of physical therapy at Saint Louis University's Doisy College of Health Sciences.

"When people expend more calories than they consume, they release fewer hormones, which slows down menstrual cycles. This decreases estrogen in the body, which is responsible for bone development," says Reinking, also chairman of the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties.

Leg pain is one of the most common problems afflicting athletes, Reinking says.

"It causes people to miss practices and competitions, and I wanted to understand if two people were undergoing the same exercise regime, why only one of them would have leg pain," he says. "It’s not as simple as 'Run less' or 'Change your shoes every 300 miles.' It's a complex problem, and you can't prevent something if you don't know what causes it."

Risk factors for exercise-related leg pain were a prior history of the condition, disordered eating and excessive pronation (a rolling inwards) of the foot.

"Exercise-related leg pain is often described as common in athletes, but this is only the second study of its kind to quantitatively describe the condition and identify the risk factors for it," Reinking says. "The history and incidence data from this study support the notion that leg pain is common among female athletes."

Exercise-related leg pain is a term used to describe lower extremity overuse conditions in which pain is felt below the knee and above the ankle bone and is associated with exercise.

Although it is often thought to be related to external factors such as training volume, playing/training surface or footwear, there is little scientific evidence to support these elements as risk factors for leg pain.

Rather, internal factors such as excessive foot pronation, menstrual function and bone mineral density have been found to be associated with this condition.

Reinking studied 76 female college athletes playing one of four fall sports at a Midwestern NCAA Division I school (29 soccer, 18 field hockey, 18 cross-country and 11 volleyball athletes). Data were collected on the athletes’ eating behaviors, years in school sports, menstrual history, bone mineral density, body mass index, incidence of prior leg pain, and the degree of foot pronation.

Three-quarters of the female athletes reported a history of leg pain, with cross-country runners having the highest percentage (94.4 percent) and soccer players the lowest (55.2 percent). All athletes were then monitored for leg pain during one intercollegiate sports season. Of the 76 athletes, 26.3 percent experienced leg pain during the season, all of whom had reported prior leg pain.

Athletes who developed stress fractures had more abnormal scores on the eating behavior questionnaire and also showed decreased bone mineral density, findings suggestive of disordered eating, which is an umbrella term for common eating disorders as well as any other nutritional deficiency.

The type of sport played was not correlated with high scores on the eating behaviors survey.

Long a leader in health professions education, Saint Louis University began its nursing program in 1928 and the first baccalaureate degree program in an allied health profession in 1929. Today the Doisy College of Health Sciences offers degrees in nursing, clinical laboratory sciences, health information management, investigative and medical sciences, nuclear medicine technology, nutrition and dietetics, occupational science and occupational therapy, physical therapy and a physician assistant program.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Saint Louis University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Saint Louis University. "Dieting Danger: Female Athletes Limiting Calories More Likely To Get Stress Fractures." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 September 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060913185558.htm>.
Saint Louis University. (2006, September 13). Dieting Danger: Female Athletes Limiting Calories More Likely To Get Stress Fractures. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060913185558.htm
Saint Louis University. "Dieting Danger: Female Athletes Limiting Calories More Likely To Get Stress Fractures." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060913185558.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) An emergency room doctor who recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus. He's quarantined in a hospital. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins