Strains to the hamstring muscle group are pretty common and, unfortunately, are sometimes recurrent, with prolonged rehabilitation and persistent disability. A simple, first time strain can be easier to recover from.

 

Risk Factors

The main risk factors are ... increasing age (you can’t do anything about that) ...... and previous injury ..... a couple of recurrences and you are probably in trouble.

 

How Many Games Will He Miss

Most players only miss 2-3 weeks but the decision about when to return to play is not an easy one... the compromise is between the risk of recurrence versus many weeks sitting on the sidelines waiting for things to completely settle. Minimise your risks by rehab with a sports physio, good strength training, warm ups and fitness tests.

 

When He Can Start Jogging

Jogging and non-weightbearing exercises can start early and shouldn’t upset the injury. Let pain be a guide.

 

Jogging Is OK... Now What

Start full speed running and full training when normal strength (90% of the unaffected side) and normal range of motion have returned. If you perform OK at training then you can consider playing.

 

Does He Accept The Risk of Re-Injury

One Third of hamstring injuries recur at least once. The major risk period lasts 2 months after return to play. Most players will accept this risk and play on ... but you should avoid sprinting and other high-risk training drills to minimise your risk of breaking down at training.

 

Should He Use Anti-inflammatories

These drugs slow healing and weaken the new scar tissue. Dont use them in the healing phase (first 3 weeks)

 

Does He Need Scans

Usually No.... Only if the rupture is right up in the buttock region (very rare) where the tendon locks into the pelvis.... that might need surgical repair. This sort of rupture would result in extreme hamstring weakness.

 

 Preventative considerations for hamstring injury prone players

Thermal/neoprene pants possibly have a role in players who have sustained a hamstring injury.