Whilst runners are often guilty of not showing their hamstrings enough love, hamstring injuries are common in many sports. According to a 2012 study hamstring injuries account for up to 12% of all sports injuries and are the most common muscle injuries in male footballers.
Unfortunately, if not treated appropriately hamstring injuries can frequently reoccur and sadly the first month after a return to sport sees the great risk of reinjury.
Types of Hamstring Injury
There are two common types of hamstring injury:
This is an acute injury that generally occurs in dynamic activities such as jumping, sprinting or start/stop actions. This can manifest itself as pain in the legs, back or buttocks.
This is the overuse/overloading of the hamstring’s tendon attachments in our buttocks. This can be caused through trying new deep lunges that you are unaccustomed too, executing deadlifts or increasing your speed and hill runs. Generally this causes pain in the buttocks or just below your sit bone.
How Do We Treat and Reduce The Risk of Hamstring Injury?
Keeping the muscles around our lower back, our glutes, hamstrings and quads nice and flexible is one of the best ways to reduce risk of hamstring injury. Below are some stretches to support with this.
Once you are nice and flexible, it is good to build up your hamstring strength. Here are some conditioning exercises for this.
Click here for a downloadable PDF document containing these exercise sheets (with clickable Youtube links) and more information about the types of hamstring injury and different treatment/management strategies.
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