Training Considerations Post Hamstring Injury

I was recently reading the article titled “Training Considerations after Hamstring Injury in Athletes” that was published in the National Strength and Conditioning Journal in 2009 and thought I would take this opportunity to highlight some of the key take home messages from the article.  For those of you who would like to read the article in full, please click here to purchase it.

Key Messages

  • Hamstring injuries are the most commonly injured muscle in the lower limb.
  • Once you have suffered a hamstring injury, the risk of suffering a further injury is increased.
  • Hamstring injuries typically occur from a explosive high speed running and/or during stretching movements carried out at extreme range of motion.
  • Reported causes of hamstring strains include poor lumbar posture, previous injury, lack of flexibility, inadequate warm up, fatigue, strength imbalance, poor coordination and inadequate quads to hamstring ratio.
  • The long head of the biceps femoris is the most commonly injured.  Typically near the muscle tendon junction.
  • Reducing ones risk of hamstring injury recurrence can be undertaken by introducing a progressive reintroduction of activities that will prepare the individual fully for the demands of their sport.  We must respect the physiological healing time frames and progress the individual through the different stages of rehab.

Rehabilitation Messages

  • A multidisciplinary approach to treatment and management of hamstrings is recommended.
  • Treatment and management should be tailored to the severity and type of injury, as well as taking into consideration the person.
  • Rehabilitation time frames from hamstring injuries varies considerably, ranging from 6-50 weeks to return to pre injury status.
  • Common treatment strategies include cryotherapy, NSAIDs, electrotherapy modalities, pain free strengthening and stretching exercises.
  • Strength and conditioning should also be focused specifically to the demands of the individuals chosen sport or activity.
  • Stretching regularly ie. 4*30 seconds 3-4 times per day can be helpful in restoring normal range of motion compared to stretching 1* per day.   Stretching can be started from 48 hours after the injury.  Stretching should be modified according the person, injury and pain levels.
  • Strengthening is an important part of the rehabilitation process.  Hamstring specific exercises i.e. leg curl, stiff leg deadlift should be incorporated into the rehabilitation program in the initial strengthening phases.
  • Including eccentric training into ones exercise program i.e. nordic hamstring curls can be beneficial to help with prevention of further recurrence of hamstring strains.
  • High velocity eccentric exercises such as squat jumps, split squat jumps, bounding, depth jumps can be incorporated into the strength phase in the mid to later stages of strength training for rehab.
  • Sport specific activities, drills and plyometrics i.e. single leg bounding, backward skips, lateral barrier hops, lateral bounding etc should be incorporated in the late phases of the strength rehab program.

As you can see, hamstring strains are common and the rehabilitation phase is a very important part of getting the injured person back to their sport or activity.  At Principle Four Osteopathy we are able to help you with both hands on manual therapy and exercise prescription as part of your rehab program.

This blog was written by Osteopath Heath Williams of Principle Four Osteopathy.


Principle Four Osteopathy

Principle Four Osteopathy is one of Melbourne City CBD leading Osteopathy clinics. At the clinic we treat a wide range of clients, ranging from the office worker, exercise enthusiast to athlete. We have 3 experienced osteopaths working across both of the clinics.

The Melbourne City CBD clinic is located at 29 Somerset Place (basement), close to the corner of Elizabeth St and Little Bourke in the Melbourne City CBD. Our premises adjoin the Jon Weller Personal Training Studio, a fully-equipped training space which allows clients to combine their osteopathy treatment with exercise tutorials or specific training programs and rehabilitation.

The Docklands clinic is located at 717 Bourke St (Ground Floor), beneath the Channel 9 building near the walkway from Southern Cross Train Station to Etihad Stadium. Our premises adjoin Pilates on Bourke, a fully-equipped pilates and yoga training space which allows clients to combine their osteopathy treatment with exercise tutorials, pilates or specific training programs and rehabilitation.

To speak to an Osteopath or book an appointment at Principle Four Osteopathy, please book online or call 03 9670 9290.