Pulled a muscle while playing a field or court sport? It could be your hamstrings!
How do hamstring injuries happen?
Hamstring injuries are common in sports requiring kicking, high-speed running and sprinting. They are a significant cause of missed training and competition. Hamstring injuries most often occur when sprinting at full speed, or when the muscle is stretched to its maximum (like when you kick a footie).
When can I return to training or sports?
This is determined by the structures that are injured and the type of injury. Sprinting type injuries usually take faster to heal, as the hamstring tendon is not involved in most cases and can range from 3 to 8 weeks. Hamstring injuries that involve the hamstring tendon often takes a longer time to heal, although it might not present as painful as injuries that occur from high speed running. It normally takes 2 to 4 months to completely heal.
I’ve injured my hamstring in the past. How do I prevent this from happening again?
One exercise to bulletproof your hamstrings are nordic hamstring curls, as it focuses on control of hamstring muscles through lengthening. Studies have shown that this exercise has reduced occurrence of injury by 41% in athletes.
Kneel on both your knees with your ankles secure – tucking it under a bar or having someone hold your ankles – slowly lean forwards while keeping your shoulder, hips and knees in a straight line. When you can’t resist anymore, just fall forward and catch yourself with your hands on the floor.
However, there are multiple contributing factors to consider when trying to prevent hamstring injuries including training load, running biomechanics, strength and flexibility of the hamstrings as well as core and lower limb strength. So, speak with your coach or see a physio to ensure that you’ve got all the contributing factors covered in your program.
At Miami and Lakelands Physiotherapy, all our physios have extensive experience in treating muscle strains, so if you think you have a muscle strain, book in with us to get it fully assessed and treated, so that you can return to your daily routine painfree.