Conditions & Treatments - Hamstring Strain - PT Guide to Evaluation & Treatment
Acute hamstring strains are a common
injury in sports, especially with sports which involve
sprinting. In sports such as professional soccer, current
statistics show the frequency of hamstring strains in males to
be up to 16% of all injuries (1). To understand a hamstring
strain, one needs to be familiar with its anatomy. The hamstring muscle group,
consisting of the semimembranosus, semitendinosus and biceps
femoris, is a biarticular set of muscles that span the entire
length of the posterior thigh. Originating from the ischial
tuberosity, the hamstrings course inferiorly to attach to the
proximal medial portion of the tibia (semimembranosus and
semitendinosus) and the head of the fibula (biceps femoris) and
act concentrically to produce hip extension, knee flexion and
knee internal and external rotation, respectively, when the knee
is flexed (2). The hamstrings also work eccentrically to
decelerate hip flexion and knee extension, an essential motion
for high speed running (3).
here to see patient version of hamstring strain article.
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Last revised: December 19, 2010
by Laura Nelson, SPT
1) Croisier J, et al. Strength imbalances and prevention of hamstring injury in professional soccer players: a prospective study. Am J Sports Med. 2008;36:1469-75.
2) Neumann DA, Kinesiology of the Musculoskeletal System: Foundations for Rehabilitation. 2nd Edition. Mosbey, 2010.
3) Chumanov ES, Heiderscheit BC, Thelen DG. The effect of speed and influence of indi¬vidual muscles on hamstring mechanics dur¬ing the swing phase of sprinting. J Biomech. 2007;40:3555-3562. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jbiomech.2007.05.026
4) Thelen DG, Chumanov ES, Hoerth DM, et al. Hamstring muscle kinematics during treadmill sprinting. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2005;37:108-114.
5) Askling C, Saartok T, Thorstensson A. Type of acute hamstring strain affects flexibility, strength, and time to return to preinjury level. Br J Sports Med. 2006;40:40-44. http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bjsm.2005.018879
6) Heiderscheit BC, Sherry MA, Slider A, et al. Hamstring Strain Injuries: Recommendations for Diagnosis, Rehabilititation, and Injury Prevention.J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 2010;40(2):67-81, Epub 14 January 2010. doi:10.2519/jospt.2010.3047
7) Orchard J, Best TM. The management of muscle strain injuries: an early return versus the risk of recurrence. Clin J Sport Med. 2002;12:3-5.
8) Brooks JH, Fuller CW, Kemp SP, Reddin DB. Incidence, risk, and prevention of hamstring muscle injuries in professional rugby union. Am J Sports Med. 2006;34:1297-1306. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0363546505286022
9) Sherry MA, Best TM. A comparison of 2 reha¬bilitation programs in the treatment of acute hamstring strains. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2004;34:116-125. http://dx.doi.org/10.2519/jospt.2004.1062