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Hamstring injuries are the most common soft tissue injury in the lower extremity.

The hamstring muscles are involved in everyday lifestyle activities such as walking, jumping and running due to their role in flexing the knee and extending the hip.⠀ ⠀

Another main extensors of the hip are the glutes. If our glute control/strength is not at the level our body requires for explosive movements, our hamstrings become overloaded and therefore tight.

Not only is the force through the hamstring increased but the direction of force is different due to our hip flexors becoming tight, limiting hip mobility.

The result? Most commonly due high intense efforts whilst under fatigue, you may hear or feel your hamstring “snap” or “pop”. If you’re a sportsperson, hamstring injuries can result in a lengthy layoff.

To prevent or reduce the risk of re-injury of the hamstrings we must address four main key :

  • Glutes – activation and strengthening e.g. resistant banded work like crab walks/ monster walks progressing to squats and more functional movements.
  • Hamstrings – Direct strengthening the hamstring muscles progressing from Isometric hold to concentric and eccentric exercises e.g. resisted wall holds, hamstring bridges and Nordics.
  • Sequential neuromuscular firing of the glutes with the hamstrings. The hardest of all to re-train. We need to ensure the correct firing pattern of the glute/hamstring/lower back muscles occurs at the right time.
  • Hip flexors – addressing tightness. This is mainly to do with avoiding prolonged sitting, a leading cause of hip flexor tightness. The importance of a hip flexor stretch is very high. 

The hamstrings are commonly the victim and not the culprit.

Individuals that have suffered previous hamstring tears have a significant risk of recurrence by 2-6 times. Thus, proper management and education is vital for prevention.

If you experience recurring soft tissue injuries come and visit our Osteopaths at Living Health Group to assist and educate you in injury management and prevention.

Living Health Group is a team of passionate practitioners who are driven to help you improve your performance and achieve your health goals.

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