Dr. Hammer Helps Women Stay Active
UW Health Women's Sports Medicine Clinic
Research Park Clinic (Map)
621 Science Drive
Madison, WI 53711
Staying physically active takes a strong sense of commitment, but those who put forth the effort typically find that the rewards justify the effort both physically and mentally. Unfortunately, women frequently find themselves more prone to certain injuries.
"Women are much likely to experience injuries like stress fractures or ACL tears," says Erin Hammer, MD, a UW Health Sports Medicine and Family Medicine physician. Testosterone, the hormone normally associated with men, helps develop bone and muscle mass, and women simply have less of it.
Moreover, adds Dr. Hammer, women - even those who are quite active - are less likely than men to think of themselves as athletes, which means they don't seek the same specialty care when injured.
To address this gender discrepancy, Dr. Hammer and her partners in 2018 launched the UW Health Women's Sports Medicine Clinic, which caters to females who experience injuries related to physical activity.
"I encourage physical activity both for sound mental health and as a way to fend off obesity, heart disease and cancer," says Dr. Hammer. "If a woman suffers an injury or other setback, our clinic is here to help patients - typically ages 12-50 and of any athletic ability - get back on track toward achieving their goals."
Concussions in females are another focus of Dr. Hammer's work, which she points out, is greatly understudied in female athletes.
"You can't apply the findings of research about football concussions to women," says Dr. Hammer, who is seeking to publish a study regarding gender differences in mood symptoms and quality of life after a concussion.
A cross-country skier in college, Dr. Hammer also volunteers as a staff physician for the U.S. Women's Ski Jumping Team. She also is the primary doctor for the University of Wisconsin wrestling team, a role she especially relishes.
"Wrestlers are among the toughest athletes I have ever known," says Dr. Hammer. "I have so much respect for them and what they go through. I enjoy working with these athletes during their wrestling years, but also helping them prepare themselves for life after wrestling."
Dr. Hammer splits her clinical time between the UW Health Sports Medicine Clinic on Madison's west side and the UW Health Family Medicine Clinic in Verona.