Common in football (soccer) players and sprinters, hamstring injuries are arguably the most common injury in football players, along with knee and ankle sprains. Hamstring injuries usually present themselves normally in the form of a strain or tear where the muscle and tendon attach.
What causes hamstring injuries?
The most common time for a hamstring to become injured is when it reaches its full length and get stretched beyond its limit. This typically occurs when the foot is just about to hit the ground during running and sprinting. Another common way for the hamstring to become injured is pushing off from the ground before running or sprinting, common motions for those who engage in the sport. Those who have injured their hamstring before are more likely to experience it again. Along with previous injury; age, flexibility and fitness level may also play a part in injuring the hamstring.
Types of hamstring injuries
There are 3 grades of severity when it comes to assessing how bad the tear or strain to the hamstring is.
GRADE 1 – this is the lowest level of severity and is classes as a mild strain or pull.
This may cause a feeling of tightness in the back of the thigh, minimal swelling around the area or a feeling of discomfort when walking, stretching or exercising.
GRADE 2 – typically is a partial tear in the muscle. This may cause increased swelling, inability to straighten knee, walking may be affected, or pain may occur when pressure or resistance is applied to the area.
GRADE 3 – this is the highest level of severity and occurs in the form of a complete muscle tear. At this stage, walking is severely affected, swelling is noticeable immediately and severe pain is experienced.
Treatments and recovery
Immediately after injury, there are a few ways to initially treat to prevent further damage.
Rest - Resting after is one of the most effective ways to start the healing process. Engaging in physical activity may cause further damage or a more severe injury.
Ice – cold pressure decreases inflammation, reduces pain and swelling by reducing blood flow to the area. Apply for 10 minutes at a time, as many times as necessary throughout the day.
Elevation – to help reduce swelling, keep leg elevated and supported as much as possible.
Common pain killers, creams and gels may also help relieve pain immediately after injury.
The most effective ways to prevent any type of injury, especially a hamstring injury is through proper warm up and stretching. When the muscles are warm, they stretch and perform better and lower the risk of over stretching the hamstring or over working it.
overworked and overused as those other muscles will take on some of the load.
Something that can be done consistently to prevent injury is wearing compression garments. Compression shorts and leggings, like the CORETECH® range, are designed in collaboration with physiotherapists of professional athletes to provide a one-of-a-kind sports garment. Supported and endorsed by the ACA (Australian Chiropractors Association and listed as a medical device by the TGA.
Wearing these shorts and leggings while playing football stabilise the muscles and supports joint and ligaments and increases blood flow during high intensity and sharp movements from sports like soccer.
How can CORETECH® help during recovery?
Although these compression garments should be worn during exercise to prevent injury, they can play a big role during the recovery stage of a hamstring injury.
Wearing the shorts or pants after sustaining an injury will assist in restricting movement that would otherwise further damage or hurt the effected muscles. This encourages accelerated rehabilitation and tissue repair. Proven to speed up recovery times by up to 3 months, the CORETECH® is the preferred choice to treat hamstring injury by football players of all levels.
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Lilyfield Physio 2018, COMMON SOCCER INJURIES, Lilyfield Physiotherapy.
NHS Choices 2019, Hamstring injury, NHS.
SportMedBC n.d., Hamstring Strains (Soccer) | SportMedBC, sportmedbc.com.