Task 5: Treatment & Rehab process

JL Crosier states that recurrence of hamstring injuries often arise from inadequate rehabilation and therefore a rushed return to the playing field (2002). It is vital that an athlete should only return to performance when a full range of motion is re-obtained, with the flexibilty and strength being equal to the pre-injury state (Heiser & Weber, 1984).

Athletes with a hamstring injury should place vital importance upon their rehabiliation as their is a risk of re-injuring themselves when they take to the sporting field again.

There are many methods that are used in the treatment and rehabilitation of hamstring strains.

It is important that there is immediate treatment for a hamstring strain following the injury. According to SportsInjuryClinic, the most important phase for treatment is the first 48 hours post-injury. In this time it is important the athlete:
  • Uses R.I.C.E.R technique (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation, Referral)
  • Mobilizes the injury.
  • Sees a sports injury specialist.

(SportsInjuryClinic, 2010)

Upon seeing a physiotherapist of sports injury specialist, an athlete will be assigned certain rehabilitation exercises, depending on the severity of their injury.
For any hamstring injury, a specialist can use massage techniques and prescribe a rehabilitation process. Additionally if the injury is a grade 2-3 or severe injury, a sports specialist can provide crutches, use electrical stimulation and operate if needed upon the area (RodaleInc, 2010). A specialist can assign some of the stretches shown in fig 1.1, some common exercises in the rehabilitation of the hamstring muscles.

fig 1.1
fig 1.1

(Relay Health, 2007)

Improving flexibility:

Stretching improves muscle flexibility and also decreases muscle tension, so a more flexibile muscle is more likely to resist force than an inflexible one (Garret, 1996). 2 methods to increase flexibility of the hamstring are:
  1. Upper hamstring stretch (limb stretched on flat surface) (fig 2.1)
  2. Bent knee stretch (heel placed on surface, knee flexed) (fig 2.2)
(Abraham, 2003)

Fig 2.1
Fig 2.1
fig 2.2
fig 2.2

Strengthening the hamstrings:

A strengthening program should focus upon concentric and eccentric exercises, particularly with a focus upon eccentric stretching (Abraham 2003).

An example of a strengthening exercise include the theraband stretching technique. A theraband is applied to a pole, and strapped to the foot of the limb to be strengthened. The athlete extends (concentric) and flexes (eccentric) the hip (see fig 3.1). This exercise strengthens the hamstring muscle, which is essential in the rehabilitation phase (Abraham, 2003).

fig 3.1
fig 3.1