Risk factors for hamstring injuries in football
Hamstring strain injuries (HSI) represent 10-12% of all injuries in professional football (soccer).
The mechanism of injury of HSI is understood to be multifactorial. One association is that it occurs during rapid acceleration/deceleration, where rapid eccentric hamstring contraction is shown to occur. Another well-established link to HSI is a previous history of one.
This prospective cohort study was designed to assess whether pre-season isokinetic strength measures had links to future HSI among professional football players.
A total of 169 participants underwent an isokinetic testing session using a laboratory spec dynamometer (Biodex 3).
The testing included the concentric and eccentric performance of hamstring muscle groups bilaterally at various knee angles. The hamstring-to-quadriceps strength ratios were calculated from the results. Other demographic data were also processed to assess for significant links to HSI.
Over the next 10-months, the team staff, including medical and coaching staff contributed to collecting relevant data.
The study yielded results that showed lower hamstring strength, lower hamstring-to-quadriceps ratio, history of a previous injury, older age and greater between-limb imbalance of eccentric hamstring strength as potential risk factors.
> From: Lee et al., J Sci Med Sport 21 (2018) 789-793. All rights reserved to Elsevier Ltd.. Click here for the online summary.