How To Avoid Hamstring Injuries….Hamstring strain injuries can be a challenge for athletes and clinicians due to their high incidence rate, slow healing and persistent symptoms. Such injuries are common in sports that involve sprinting – such as soccer, track, rugby and football, and also in sports involving end range ballistic movements such as martial arts.
Impact and Risk Factors:
The average number of days lost due to a hamstring strain typically ranges from 8 to 25 days depending on the location and severity of the injury. Unfortunately there is a high risk of re-injury during the initial 2 weeks once sports participation resumes. The authors suggest that this is often due to an inadequate rehabilitation program, a premature return to sports, or a combination of both.
The age of the individual and a prior history of a hamstring strain have been consistently identified as injury risk factors which are non-modifiable. Modifiable risk factors include hamstring weakness, fatigue, poor flexibility and strength imbalance (hamstring vs. quadriceps or eccentric vs. concentric) and coordination deficits of the trunk and pelvic muscles.
The purposes of the clinical commentary reviewed here were:
1. To describe the diagnostic examination of the acute hamstring strain injury with emphasis on tests and measures that have prognostic value;
2. To present a comprehensive rehabilitation guide based on existing evidence aimed at minimizing both the convalescent timeframe and risk of re-injury, and
3. To suggest future directions for research into injury mechanisms and recovery with the goal of developing improved prevention and greater individualized rehabilitation programs.