One of the most common muscles injured in sport is the hamstring, as the hamstring muscles are very susceptible to tears and strains. Hamstring injuries are most common among sports that require a high degree of speed, power and agility such as soccer, basketball, tennis and football to name a few. As I have a number of clients who currently have or have had hamstring injuries, I thought it would be an appropriate topic to cover.

The hamstring muscle is located at the back of the leg between the knee and the buttock.
Its action is to bend the knee and straighten the hip.

The hamstring is located at the back of the leg between the knee and the buttock, and is made up of three main muscles: the biceps femoris, the semi membranosus and the semi tendinosus. The action of the hamstring muscles is to flex (bend) the knee and extend (straighten) the hip. Hamstring injuries are graded in severity from Grade 1 (mild) to Grade 3 (severe). The immediate action to be taken when injuring the hamstring is the RICE protocol (rest, ice, compression, elevation) which aims to reduce the bleeding, swelling and damage to the muscle(s) followed by a referral to a doctor or similar health professional for an accurate diagnosis. Anti inflammatory drugs may also help to reduce the swelling but should only be taken upon recommendation from a professional.

The immediate action to be taken when injuring the hamstring is the RICE protocol (rest, ice, compression, elevation), followed by a referral to a doctor or similar health professional.

8 risk factors for a Hamstring Injury

  1. Inadequate warmup
  2. Poor flexibility
  3. Strength imbalance between quads and hams
  4. Muscle fatigue
  5. Sudden change in direction
  6. Increased age
  7. Previous Injury
  8. Muscle weakness

8 tips to help prevent a Hamstring injury

  1. Proper warm up and cool down
  2. Regular speed and agility work
  3. Maintaining adequate cardiovascular fitness
  4. Maintaining adequate muscular strength and endurance
  5. Allowing adequate recovery time
  6. Staying hydrated
  7. Regular stretching and flexibility practice
  8. Training with specificity

Hamstring injuries can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to a couple of months to heal depending on the severity of the injury. Once it is healed and ready to be used in a functional manner, you must build the strength and range of motion back up through a variety of rehabilitation techniques including resistance and stretching. The personal trainers and exercise physiologists at Longevity have a lot of experience with injury management and have successfully rehabilitated many clients back to a level equal to or greater than they were prior to their injury. If you or anyone you know has or has had a hamstring tear, strain or injury (or any other musculoskeletal injury or condition) or need some advice with rehabilitation or prevention, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our personal trainers so we can help to get you back on track!

See you in the gym!

Michael