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New Jersey Youth Soccer

Female Athlete Triad (RED-S)

The following information is being provided by JAG-ONE Physical Therapy, NJYS Official Injury Prevention Educator and Physical Therapy Provider.

With the Female Athlete Triad or RED-S, the two primary concerns are disordered eating and overtraining. A combination of the two can lead to negative side effects, such as low energy or fatigue, low bone density, irregular or cessation of the menstrual cycle, recurrent injuries, irregular sleep patterns, and poor performance. Most commonly these conditions are seen in sports where body weight is of extreme importance, such as gymnastics, swimming, wrestling, cheerleading, and cross country but that does not mean that it can't or doesn't occur in athletes of any sport where a high level of training is taking place. 

Disordered eating comes in many forms. Disordered eating experienced knowingly is known as bulimia and anorexia. Disordered eating that is experienced unknowingly can be seen in those athletes that are not getting the right nutrition or hydration to fuel them for the activities they are involved in. In both cases, seeking the guidance of a trained professional (i.e. nutritionist, psychologist) may be necessary to help the athlete make the right choices. 

  • Watch for the signs: It is important as coaches and parents to know and watch for the signs of RED-S. Some common signs are repeated stress fractures , shin splints or injuries that don't seem to heal, hasn't experienced the first period by age of 16 (females), low body mass index or poor performance while training
  • Don't ignore it: Left untreated these conditions can lead to an early end to an athlete's season or career. The longer the body doesn't receive what it needs to maintain a high level of training the more damage that is experienced by the whole body. Educate athletes to recognize the signs and symptoms and report them if they think they or a friend is dealing with this. 
  • Discourage diet fads or trends: In today's world, there are unlimited resources on the internet of bloggers, celebrities, and athletes promoting the diets or eating trends that have worked for them. Remind your athletes of this... "it worked for them" but it may not work for you. All changes in diet should be approved by a dietician or nutritionist especially if competing at a high level. 
  • REST is important: Coaches and athletes need to remind themselves that rest days (i.e. no training) are just as or more important than training days. Build these days into the training schedule and enjoy them! The body needs time to repair and rebuild following strenuous activity. 
  • Treatment is multidisciplinary: Depending on your symptoms, you may need to see a physician, dietician, physical therapist and/or sports psychologist. Ensure that the athlete who is suffering from RED-S is treating all the different side effects whether they be physical or mental. 

About JAG-ONE Physical Therapy

JAG-ONE Physical Therapy is a comprehensive physical and occupational therapy company with locations throughout Brooklyn, Staten Island, Queens, Westchester, Manhattan, Long Island, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Our multi-specialty staff has been serving the Tri-State area for over 20 years and has developed a unique, care-first model of rehabilitation delivering high-quality clinical outcomes for our patients. To “Get Back the Life You Love,” please contact us through our website at www.jagonept.com or by calling your nearest facility.

Contact Us

New Jersey Youth Soccer

569 Abbington Dr, Suite 5
East Windsor, New Jersey 08520

Phone: 609-490-0725
Email: [email protected]

New Jersey Youth Soccer

569 Abbington Dr, Suite 5
East Windsor, New Jersey 08520

Phone: 609-490-0725
Email: [email protected]
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