Hamstring strain? Pulled hammy?
One of the most common injuries in sport is a hamstring injury. Hamstring injuries are often seen in sports that require high speed and kicking such as AFL football, soccer and athletics.
There are a number of factors that contribute to a hamstring injury, and these need to be assessed with a detailed examination by your sports chiropractor.
So what should you do if you've suffered a hamstring injury?
Firstly, as soon as possible get an accurate diagnosis and management plan! Correct early management & commencing rehabilitation can have you returning to your sport weeks earlier!
Ice and compression can be useful to help after a hamstring strain. Apply ice to the injured area with an ice pack every 2 hours in the first 24-48 hours after an injury. Compression bandages can be worn throughout the day & night for the first week to help minimize bleeding.
Anti inflammatories? Care should be taken with using non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) after a hamstring strain. They may be used to reduce pain and swelling, but usage is not without complications and NSAIDs may suppress the natural healing process (Vuurberg, G., et al.2018).
Avoid alcohol: consuming alcohol post injury will delay healing, so it should be avoided during recovery.
Do you need to have scans? Unlikely, hamstring strains can be diagnosed via an appropriate examination. But in rare instances an MRI may be ordered.
What is our unique approach to hamstring strains?
We are thorough in our examination to firstly ensure an accurate diagnosis, and then formulating a comprehensive management plan unique to your needs.
Using our state of the art technology, the AxIT system, we are able to measure hamstring strength to assist in predicting and guiding return to play. By restoring adequate hamstring strength, you will ensure a successful return to play. Read more about the AxIT system here.
Consideration of the role that other areas played in your hamstring injury: for instance low back pain, hip problems or even previous ankle sprains may contribute to your hamstring injury. Your examination with us will cover all these areas, and your management plan will include solutions to these additional issues.
Immediately commencing rehabilitation: from Day 1 there will be exercises you can perform to hasten your recovery. These exercises are prescribed according to criteria (what you can/can’t do) not just based on time. In a 2017 study by Bayer et al, they compared commencing rehab at 2 days versus 9 days, and found that those starting rehab 1 week earlier, returned to their sport a staggering 3 weeks earlier! Click here to read more about this
Early return to running. In a majority of cases, light jogging can often resume within the first few days after a hamstring injury. When ready to do so, we will then prescribe you with a return to running program to have you gradually building running speed.
Rehab for hamstring strains
Below are exercises that can be used for rehabilitation of hamstring injuries. As stated above, rehabilitation should be individualized to ensure that you make a successful and fastest possible return to play.
Standing banded hip extension
Bridge isometric: 30 degrees
30 deg bridge double leg/single leg
Bridge Eccentric sliders
Nordic hamstring curl
Hamstring extender stretch
Standing banded 90/90 knee flexion
Bridge isometric: 90 degrees
90/90 bridge double leg/single leg
Half kneeling knee extender on slider
Askling slider exercise
Nordic hamstring curl solo