What is a Hamstring Strain?
Hamstring strain is an injury to the muscle at the back of the thigh and often occurs with sports including athletics, AFL, Rugby, Soccer and many more. It remains the most common injury in AFL. Hamstrings are commonly injured with sprinting, accelerating or decelerating and kicking. There are varying severities of a hamstring strain ranging from a low-grade strain (Grade 1 strain) up to a rupture of the hamstring tendon requiring surgery. The time out of sport with this injury can vary from 1 week up to 3-4 months depending on the severity. Most hamstring strains will generally be back playing AFL in 3 weeks.
Risk factors for hamstring injury:
Previous hamstring injury, older age, muscle imbalances, player loads, increased training stress balance (TSB), cardiovascular fitness, fatigue, motor patterning, recovery/ nutrition, psychological influences, back tightness, sciatic nerve involvement, poor muscle strength are all possible factors that can have an influence on sustaining a hamstring strain.
Careful assessment by our Body Logic Physiotherapists can help identify the most likely factors and target a program that is individualised for each person.
Treatment of Hamstring strains:
The great news is that there are lots of effective treatments that our physiotherapists at Body Logic Physiotherapy can offer for a Hamstring strain.
First is to identify the key factors contributing to the pain and working out what structures are affected.
Second to develop a plan to manage it. This will involve a graduated strengthening exercise program, careful progressions to build running speeds, change of direction, sports specific tasks like kicking / jumping depending on sport and most importantly help when returning to training and deciding on when to return to play.
Our physiotherapists at Body logic Physiotherapy often liaise with coaches / parents in assisting return to play and how to prevent ongoing issues.