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An Update on Hamstring Injury Risk Factors

13 Aug 2020
Randall Cooper
A new systematic review and meta analysis just published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine provides some answers on why people injure their hamstrings. The study pooled 78 previous studies, capturing a total of 8,319 HSI (Hamstring Strain Injury) occurrences in 71,324 athletes around the world.

HSI risk factors are categorised as either intrinsic (age, injury history, individual physical characteristics) or extrinsic (environment, stage of season, competition schedule).

What the study found should come as little surprise. The two biggest HSI risk factors are older age and previous hamstring injury history, particularly if the injury was recent.

Athletes with any history of HSI are 2.7 times more likely to injure their hamstring again than those without, and that chance shoots up to 5 times if the injury occurred in the same season.

Interestingly, the study also found some non-hamstring injuries increase HSI risk, notably ACL and calf strain injuries. Those with a history of ACL injury have a 70% increase in risk of HIS, while those with calf injuries increase their risk by 50%.

An athlete’s personal characteristics, such as weight or BMI were found not to have any relationship with HSI occurrence.

Take Home Tip No 1: Prevent the first hamstring injury with a thorough strength program and repeated speed running sessions

Take Home Tip No 2: Complete your rehab after an ACL or calf injury, and refer to Take Home Tip No 1

Link to full paper: Click here

Photo: Australian Olympian & #PremaxAthlete Brooke Stratton: 

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