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Papers of the Week

2022 Jul

Am Fam Physician



Care of the Active Female.


Wojnowich K, Dhani R
Am Fam Physician. 2022 Jul; 106(1):52-60.
PMID: 35839365.


Physical activity has many health-related benefits, including prevention and management of chronic disease, weight management, and improved mental health. Active girls and women of all ages and abilities are at risk of relative energy deficiency in sport, a syndrome encompassing low energy availability, menstrual irregularities, and disordered bone metabolism. Presence of amenorrhea or oligomenorrhea may suggest reduced energy availability. Active females are at risk of overuse injuries, including patellofemoral pain syndrome, iliotibial band syndrome, and stress fractures; treatment usually includes activity modification, a period of rest, and physical therapy. Active females are also at risk of acute injuries, including concussion and anterior cruciate ligament injuries. Pregnant patients without contraindications who were physically active before pregnancy can continue these activities, and those who were not previously active may gradually increase their activity level to a goal of 150 minutes per week. Moderate exercise during pregnancy reduces the risk of gestational diabetes mellitus, preeclampsia, and cesarean delivery. Postpartum exercise focused on core and pelvic floor strengthening can improve pelvic floor dysfunction. Supervised exercise programs focused on strength and balance have been consistently shown to reduce the risk of falls and injurious falls in older women.