Common Mistakes For Hamstring Injuries. Here’s What You Need To Know For Your Preseason.
It’s preseason time! At Physio Physique, we often see clients who injure their hamstrings either before or during preseason training. It often starts off as a niggle but when the season begins, the niggle turns into pain and you’re stuck wondering whether you can even continue to play for the rest of the season.
Look, we get it. We all like to perform at our peak, and training is a crucial part in preparation for anything. But is it really worth the constant worrying about whether you’re going to sprain or tear your hamstring every time you kick or run?
Here are a 3 simple tips to start your preseason on the right foot:
1. Move it or lose it
While resting an injury may have been the ideal method of rehabilitation back in the day, research shows that movement of the muscle is important to prevent the build up of scar tissue around the injured muscle (Valle et al., 2015).
While bending your knee may hurt to begin with, some knee flexion is an important movement to continue despite the pain as this can encourage ongoing “normal” movement, as well as ensuring the hamstring.
2. DON’T be hasty
More than 50% of athletes who strain their hamstrings will re-injure it within the first month of returning to sport (Horst, Hoef, Reurink, Huisstede, & Backx, 2016).
As such, adhering to the strict return to sport guidelines set by your physiotherapist or sports trainer will be crucial in preventing further injury to the muscle.
3. Prevention is better than cure
Why risk it? There are many simple ways to prevent the likelihood of hamstring injuries in athletes including (Sugiura, Sakuma, Sakuraba, & Sato, 2017):
Eccentric strength exercises
Proper warm up/cool down
Other lesser known factors that can influence the health of the hamstring muscle include (Halliday et al., 2011):
Use of supports during play
Level of play
If you’re still unsure when to return to sport following your hamstring injury, then see your local physiotherapist who will be able to provide you with advice and tailor an exercise program just for you, so that you can stop worrying and stay at the top of your game.
Halliday, T, Peterson, N, Thomas, J, Kleppinger, K, Hollis, B, & Larson-Meyer, D (2011) "Vitamin D status relative to diet, lifestyle, injury, and illness in college athletes," Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, vol. 43(2), pg.335-343.
Horst, N, Hoef, S, Reurink, G, Huisstede, B, & Backx, F (2016) “Return to play after hamstring injuries: a qualitative systematic review of definitions and criteria” Sports Medicine, vol. 46(6), pg.899-912.
Sugiura, Y, Sakuma, K, Sakuraba, K, & Sato, Y (2017) “Prevention of hamstring injuries in collegiate sprinters,” Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine, vol. 5(1), pg.1-6.
Valle, X, Tol, J, Hamilton, B, Rodas, G, Malliaras, P, Malliaropoulos, N, & Jardi, J (2015) “Hamstring muscle injuries, a rehabilitation protocol purpose,” Asian Journal of Sports Medicine, vol. 6(4), e25411, doi: 10.5812/asjsm.25411