The Biomechanical Basis for Increased Risk of Overuse Musculoskeletal Injuries in Female Soldiers

  • Ran Yanovich
  • Yuval Heled
  • Julie Hughes
Part of the Studies in Mechanobiology, Tissue Engineering and Biomaterials book series (SMTEB, volume 19)


An increasing number of women are serving in militaries around the world. Overuse musculoskeletal injuries (OMI) are common with military activities in both sexes but are more common in female soldiers, in part because of differences in whole body and tissue-level biomechanics. Sex-based differences in whole body biomechanics such as stride length, knee valgus, and others may help explain differences in OMI risk. Further, tissue-level sexual dimorphisms in body composition, muscle, and bone, also contribute to the higher risk of OMI in female soldiers. Understanding these biomechanical differences will help militaries tailor preventative measures towards female soldiers at high risk of OMI.


Overuse musculoskeletal injury Biomechanics Military Sex differences Gender 



The authors would like to thank Dr. Rebecca Fellin for her helpful comments on this chapter and Katelyn Guerriere for her aid in recreating the figures in this chapter. This work is supported in part by an appointment to the Postgraduate Research Participation Program funded by USARIEM & administered by Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Engineering (JMH).


The opinions or assertions contained herein are the private views of the authors and are not to be construed as official or reflecting the views of the U.S. Army or the Department of Defense.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Military PhysiologyThe Heller Institute of Medical Research, Sheba Medical CenterTel-HashomerIsrael
  2. 2.Military Performance DivisionUnited States Army Research Institute of Environmental MedicineNatickUSA

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