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Hamstrung!!

As we head back towards winter sport season, many players will be wondering if this will be another season plagued by hamstring injuries. The million-dollar question - what are the risk factors for pulling a hamstring?

 

The biggest risk factors for hamstring injuries are increasing age and a history of a hamstring injury. Lesser risk factors include active knee extension range, a previous ACL or knee injury, poor eccentric (controlled lengthening of the muscle) strength, uneven hamstring strength between sides and fatigue (both towards then end of the game but also from games too close together).

 

There are two common ways that you will tear your hamstring. The first is a sprinting type injury (when running at high speed) and the second is a stretch type injury (for example when bending forwards to pick up the ball or during stretching in a dance class. The stretching injuries usually take longer to heal.

         


So, what are the things that can be done to prevent (or at least lessen the incidence) of hamstring injuries?

  • Improving muscle extensibility and hip joint mobility via progressive stretching
  • Managing training load both daily and across the week to prevent too much training under fatigue
  • Increasing hamstring strength (it is important to strengthen them in a variety of different positions eg seated, lying, standing, single leg, kneeling) and building up to appropriate progressions to mimic the load placed on the hamstrings during sport
  • Eccentric (controlled lengthening) strengthening is especially important and must be continued to maintain the benefits
  • Addressing any scar tissue with massage and stretching. There may be possible nerve issues (tethering of the nerve in the scar tissue) and this can be managed with specific nerve stretches
  • Addressing other muscle weaknesses/ biomechanics further up and down the chain which may contribute to hamstring muscle overload

Here are some ways of strengthening your hamstring:

          


If your hamstrings have been preventing you from getting through a full season, contact us at Ascend physio on 93872699 and we’ll put you on the right track for this season.