Are You At Risk For A Hamstring Injury?
If you’ve ever injured a hamstring you know how difficult the recovery process can be. Knowledge is power! The more we know about the causes of this injury, the better we can prevent them in the future. This article looks at what recent research tells us about hamstring injury risk factors and prevention strategies.
The hamstrings are a group of 3 muscles (biceps femoris, semi-membranosis, semi-tendinosis) located on the back portion of our thighs. They help us extend our hips and flex our knees.
Hamstring strain injuries can be a challenge for athletes and clinicians due to their high incidence rate, slow healing and persistent symptoms. These 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 (1). Occurring in both recreational and professional sports, these injuries can result in substantial time lost from sport and commonly recur (2).
Hamstring Injury Risk Factors
The high incidence of hamstring muscle strain-type injuries and potential associated costs has resulted in a substantial amount of research into the factors related to such injuries. Two recent systematic reviews have been completed in an attempt to collate the evidence around risk factors for hamstring injuries (2)(3).
The 1st systematic review sought to determine the risk factors associated with hamstring muscle injury. This review concluded there were 7 positive risk factors for hamstring injuries: