Best form of hamstring treatment is prevention!
Have you ever strained your hamstring before?
Well you’re not alone!
Hamstring strain injuries are considered one of the most common acute musculoskeletal injuries in Australia.
Sports that require the athlete to sprint, jump and turn at a high velocity for long periods often report higher incidents of hamstring strains.
In fact, studies have shown that hamstring strains can occur upwards of 16% of the time across a season in sports such as soccer, AFL and cricket.
“That can stand for as many as 6 players within a squad suffering a hamstring related injury!”
With any injury, the degree of severity can vary considerably, this applies to hamstring strains too! Low grade strains can take anywhere from 1-3 weeks to rehabilitate with more severe high-grade strains and tears taking anywhere from 6-12 weeks.
It gets worse….
Once you injury your hamstring, the re-injury rate increases dramatically with reports showing incidents of re-injury between 22-34%.
So not only can you be sitting on the sideline for up to 12 weeks, but when you come back to training and playing, there is still a significant risk that you will re-injure your hamstring.
All sounds like doom and gloom to me!
But there is positive in all of this…
Hamstring injuries are preventable!
That’s right By preparing our hamstrings well through the use of prehabilitation (Prehab) exercises, we can avoid injury to our hamstrings all together.
Prehab exercises you say, what are they?
Well there are a number of exercises that we can include within our weekly training regime that will give us a fighting fit chance of avoiding hamstring injuries and re-injuries.
One exercise that I have used personally, and believe has helped me avoid hamstring strains for so long, is the Nordic Hamstring curl.
The Nordic Hamstring Curl (NHC) is a eccentric hamstring exercise, meaning that the muscle is actively lengthening under load.
The importance around developing and maintaining eccentric strength in particular is due to research showing that hamstrings are susceptible to injury in the late swing phase of running.
During this phase, the hamstrings are significantly lengthened and under a large amount of stress, requiring high levels of eccentric strength to contract and absorb the kinetic energy to slow the lower limb.
“Don’t have good eccentric strength… you are at risk of a hamstring injury!”
However you will reduce your risk of hamstring injury by adding into your training a NORDIC HAMSTRING CURL.
Check out the picture below for an example of a Nordic hamstring curl.
The Nordic Hamstring Curl as beneficial as it might be for injury prevention, it is considered a more advanced movement as it requires a lot of strength and control to perform correctly.
If you don’t have the strength and contorl to do a NORDIC, like most exercises we are able to regress it so that it can be completed by those, who do not quite have the required abilities to perform it.
In order to get a better idea on the best ways to regress the Nordic curl, please keep your eyes peeled as I will be putting up a video to our Facebook page, on ways to make it easier, but also on ways to do it if you don’t have the required equipment at home!
If you are someone who is susceptible to hamstring strains or is worried that you may be at greater risk of sustaining one, I can provide you with more information and appropriate plans to help you stay on the park for longer. Call us 0402938661 to chat or make a booking.
Fighting Fit Exercise Physiology
Dean is a registered Gold Coast Physiotherapist with undergraduate and postgraduate studies in Human Movement and Exercise Science. His background has developed his vision for Fighting Fit Physiotherapy to focus on optimal health and peak physical performance for every single patient. Utilising his many qualifications, in depth knowledge of the body and passion for exercise he can provide a holistic approach to your treatment and exercise prescription to get the best outcome.