Are you a part of Australia’s large sporting nation?
If so, it is crucial with the new seasons for many sports that we address preventative techniques and injury management protocols for those of you with existing conditions, due to sport related activities.
In this article, we are going to discuss a few key areas focussing on the up and coming football, soccer, netball seasons so that you can strive for success with this exciting time on the horizon.
Firstly, what injuries are most common in these sports? Why do they seem to reoccur so often? Well, interestingly, once an injury has occurred in a particular muscle, tendon, ligament, joint there’s a chance that reoccurrence is more likely .These figures can be quite high depending on the site of injury. There are many reasons for reoccurrence of injury. Common reasons are poor technique through particular ranges of motion, structural abnormalities and inadequate recovery or training methods. The most frequent injuries in ‘contact’ and ‘non-contact’ sports can cross over structures at the ankle, knee and shoulder joint due to similar reasons above, as well as high force or impact related incidents.
Today we’re going to focus on a regularly injured soft tissue muscle group. There is one stand out muscle group of the lower limb that trumps all others in terms of regularity and severity of occurrence. This is a group is known as the hamstrings.
As some of you may be aware, there are three muscles that combine to form this group of muscles. These are the semimembranosus, semitendinosus and biceps femoris - which is the most commonly affected in this group, when it comes to hamstring injuries. It is essential to be able to pre-hab this area and allow it to function within its capacity.
Hamstrings are said to make up to 16% of all sports injuries. This is a significant rate that is due to many factors including under facilitation in areas that can promote this group to overload . As a group. the actions they perform are extension of the hip and flexion of the knee. As you can imagine, rapid movements such as running from stationary, full speed in movement or slowing down all of a sudden can all be a cause for strains and tears.
Severity of hamstring injuries are gauged in three categories. Grade 1,2 and 3. It’s is said to range from Grade 1 a mild strain that can take 3-4 weeks to recover completely, Grade 2 that can trouble the client for up to 8 weeks with a partial tear. Grade 3 which is a complete tear and severe that can be up to 3 months on the sidelines. A full rupture may need surgery.
Key steps to take in both preventive and rehabilitative cases:
Remedial/Myotherapy treatment to reduce pain and overall restriction.
Facilitation of weak structures involved.
Strength and conditioning program for target area.
Maintaining warm up and cool down exercises for prevention and recovery.
Client performance of a gait analysis (running and walking patterns)
Further assessments involved to gauge irritability.