Hamstring injuries: Risk assessment and injury prevention

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The aim of this article is to outline the factors involved with, and a potential strategy for preventing, one of the most common injuries in nearly all forms of team and individual sports; the hamstring strain.1-4 Analysis of epidemiological studies assessing these sports consistently ranks hamstring strain injuries as one of the most prevalent factors resulting in missed playing time by athletes.4,5 Hamstring strains, particularly of the biceps femoris, have been shown to be the most common injury in football and Australian Football League (AFL), accounting for 12% and 15% of all injuries in these codes respectively. An average of 5 athletes per football club and 6 athletes per AFL club suffer from hamstring injuries each season, with approximately 18 days of team training missed per injury.6,7 Another supporting factor for focusing on the prevention of hamstring injuries is the recurrence rate. Hamstring injuries have been shown to have almost double the rate of recurrence in comparison with other sporting injuries, with 12% of hamstring injuries recurring in comparison with a 7% recurrence rate for all other injuries in football.7 The high injury rate and potential for recurrence enforces the need to produce a holistic training programme that has a specific aim of reducing this injury. However, to create an injury prevention strategy we must first uncover: 1. How the injury occurs, and 2. Potential risk factors

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Journal Article

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ERA Access