Hamstring strains are ubiquitous in the world of sports. Accounting for fully 30% of all injuries in the lower body, they also have a 30% recurrence rate.
What’s going on here?
Under the direction of a competent medical practitioner, recurrence is easily prevented and perhaps that’s the source of the problem. But athletes are a stubborn breed, often pushing themselves too hard, too soon.
This post details common mistakes people make when rehabilitating hamstring strains. Let’s review, toward lowering that recurrence rate (at least among my esteemed readers).
Warming up isn’t enough for the hamstring when it’s suffered an injury. It’s the contraction that’s going to hurt when you return to training and loosening it up can create the illusion that it’s ready for the load you’re about to impose on it.
While range of motion exercises are encouraged, stretching the tissue will only delay recovery. A hamstring strain has already been caused by overstretching the tissue, so delay stretching and treat your pull with care.
Not combining eccentric and dynamic exercises
These two styles of rehabilitative exercise need to be performed by those recovering from a hamstring pull to ensure that full function is restored.
Following a hamstring injury, peak force in the hamstring is reached at a shorter extension. Eccentric exercises extend the point of peak force, restoring muscle balance. This process is supported by dynamic exercises.
When these two styles of exercises – both of which involve muscle contraction – are combined, the result is replicating the type of movement required of the body during sporting pursuits. One type of contraction is rapid, while the other is explosive.
This builds strength and response in the injured muscle tissue.
Not curbing your enthusiasm
Professional athletes and wounded weekend warriors alike find injuries frustrating, to say the least. The bench is every active’s person idea of hell.
But returning to sports too soon is a mistake that will cost you. Not curbing your enthusiasm can mean recurrence and going back to square one with your hamstring strain.
The Askling Test is a new way of gauging when it’s appropriate to return to sports. This requires the patient to raise the fully extended, injured leg rapidly. With this test, there’s a recurrence rate of under 4%.
And that’s a lot better than 30%, right?
Hamstring strains need to be carefully monitored and treated with ongoing, rehabilitative care under the guidance of a medical professional like me. If you’re injured and you’re stretching the hamstring regularly to test the way it feels, you need to stop.
You also need to ensure that your hamstring is getting what it needs so you can get back to the sport you love as soon as possible, without risk of reinjury. That means expert care.
If you’ve got a hamstring strain you’re concerned about, come see the team at Back & Body Medical NJ.
The multi-disciplinarian pain relief model we’ve won awards for at our Manhattan facility is now available here in New Jersey. Benefit from award-winning care, close to home.