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Preventing Hamstring Strains

People who are in running sports are particularly prone to these, particularly AFL and soccer. They can leave you out for up to 3 months and once you have had a hamstring tear your risk of reinjury is relatively high.

The occurrence of hamstring strain injuries during high-speed running is generally believed to occur during terminal swing phase of the gait cycle, a perception supported by the objective findings of 2 separate hamstring injury cases. During the second half of swing, the hamstrings are active, lengthening and absorbing energy from the decelerating limb in preparation for foot contact. The greatest musculotendon stretch is incurred by the biceps femoris, which may contribute to its tendency to be more often injured than the other 2 hamstring muscles (semimembranosus and semitendinosus) during high-speed running.


Rehabilitation - Returning the athlete to sport at the prior level of performance with a minimal risk of injury recurrence is the primary objective of a rehabilitation program. The high recurrence rate of hamstring suggests that several factors likely contribute to the high rate of re-injury.

1.    persistent weakness in the injured muscle

2.    reduced extensibility of the musculotendon unit due to residual scar tissue, and

3.    Adaptive changes in the biomechanics of sporting movements following the original injury.

Eccentric strength training has been advocated in the rehabilitation of hamstring injuries. Also there is some evidence that incorporating low back and pelvic exercises, as well as exercises for non-injured muscles into hamstring rehabilitation will result in better outcomes than just working on the hamstrings.



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