Since the first FIFA Women’s World Cup was held in 1991 there has been a significant increase in the number of women playing football and women’s football is currently one of the fastest growing sports in the world. In 2007, according the Big Count survey, there were 26 million girls and women playing football in more than 180 countries.
There are a number of medical and musculoskeletal issues that are more commonly seen in, or experienced differently by, female players. For example, they seem to be more likely to develop relative energy deficit, which can lead to a variety of significant complications. In addition, they are also up to nine times more likely to injure their anterior cruciate ligament. An awareness of these issues is essential for clinicians who care for female football players and athletes in general.
This module will also discuss some of the issues relating to exercise and physical activity during pregnancy and in the post-partum period.