Sports medicine is not just for professional athletes anymore, nor is it just for men. From after-work league players, to dedicated joggers, to beginning exercisers, sports medicine has reached out to address the needs of all kinds of active women by adding programs aimed specifically at women.
Women's sports medicine centers exist to meet the particular needs of active women. Active women have concerns that differ from men, such as anterior cruciate ligament injuries, stress fractures, eating disorders, and menstrual cycle problems.
Sports medicine centers for women deliver care to athletes as well as women who want to be more active, but might not know where to start.
Many women prefer and perceive that they get better care in medical centers devoted to their specific medical needs. A survey on Women's Satisfaction With Primary Care released found that women want medical clinics that offer things like child care, increased privacy, more time during appointments to discuss their concerns, and medical providers who were informed about women's health research and resources.
In response to this need, centers offer rehabilitation and diagnostic services, nutritional counseling, orthopedic surgery, exercise consultation, and more. A woman who comes to a center may consult a team of physicians and therapists who work together to design a treatment protocol or exercise program just for her.
The health satisfaction survey found that the number one reason women change medical providers is communication problems: they feel their doctor is not listening to them. Women-oriented medical programs seek to overcome that by offering patients a staff that is not only mostly female, but female athletes who can understand and may even have personally experienced the problems the patient is experiencing.
If you are an athlete or thinking of becoming more physically fit, you may want to locate a sports medicine center for women in your area.
Women's Sports Foundation
Women's Sports Medicine Center
Canadian Society of Exercise Physiology
Women's Health Matters
Beals KA, Meyer NL. Female Athlete Triad Update. Clinics in Sports Medicine. Volume 26, Issue 1 (January 2007).
Scholle S, Weisman C, Anderson R, Camacho F. The development and validation of the primary care satisfaction survey for women. Women’s Health Issues. 2004;14(2):35-50.
Women's satisfaction with primary care: a new measurement effort from the PHS National Centers of Excellence in Women's Health. The Jacobs Institute of Women's Health. Women's Health Issues. 2000;10(1):1-9.
Women's sports medicine center. Hospital for Special Surgery website. Available at: http://www.hss.edu/womens-sports.asp. Accessed November 13, 2013.
Last reviewed November 2013 by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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