Prevention of Hamstring Strain Injuries in sports. A review

Why hamstring injuries a concern?

Hamstring strain injuries are one of the major problems with a high incidence of re-injury in sports involving sprinting and jumping; such as in soccer, rugby and other sports with high explosive power demands. Recent high-quality studies have postulated various evidence-based causes and risk factors for hamstring injuries. Similarly, various researchers have proposed different training protocols targeting to reduce the risk of hamstring injuries with varying success. However, due to underpowered trials or lack of high quality and large-scale randomized controlled trials, it is difficult to draw a concrete conclusion on preventive measures for hamstring strain injuries.

Hamstring strain injuries are well-documented issues in literature for a long time. However, epidemiological data obtained from various sports like soccer, rugby union across a number of years shows no improvement in the incidence rates of HSIs in recent decades (Petersen & Holmich, 2005; Schache, Dorn, Blanch, Brown & Pandy, 2012; Sherry et al., 2011;  Witvrouw, Danneels, Asselman, D’Have & Cambier, 2003). This lack of decline in HSI rates may suggest the requirement of more scientific and evidence-based studies.


In the nutshell, it can be suggested that the effective training protocol for the prevention of HSIs should be based on the improvement of flexibility, eccentric strength and endurance of hamstring muscle and also an optimum neurodynamics control is necessary. The functional eccentric hamstring training points to be a more promising approach but there is a need for further standard qualitative and quantitative studies on this. Therefore, athletes, trainers, coaches, and even further researchers should focus on these topics. This may help to reduce the incidence of hamstring strain injuries.





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