Fluctuating hormone levels that affect muscles and ligaments increase the risk of injury at specific points in a woman's menstrual cycle, say researchers at Portland Hospital in London, England.
The researchers surveyed 1 000 osteopaths and studied 17 women and concluded that both muscles and ligaments appear to be vulnerable to injury midway through the menstrual cycle, and that ligaments are especially vulnerable at the end of the cycle, BBC News reported.
"There was a clear link between hormone levels and laxity of joints, making women more vulnerable to injury," said lead researcher Dr Stephen Sandler.
Midway through the menstrual cycle, there is a decline in levels of the female sex hormone oestrogen, which gives strength to muscles and ligaments. At the end of the cycle, an increase in levels of another hormone called relaxin results in a softening of ligaments.
Now we understand why
"Studies have shown before that female athletes and those engaged in recreational sport were more prone to injury at certain times in their cycle and now we understand why," Rebecca Morrison, of the British School of Osteopathy, told BBC News.
"This is significant for women everywhere who can plan their schedules around their cycles and avoid potentially painful injuries," Morrison said. "It will also aid therapists in the rehabilitation of their patients." – (HealthDayNews)
The menstrual cycle