Prevent Hamstring Injuries

Sports Medicine
Hamstring injuries are common in sports medicine, especially among those who play soccer, football and other sports that require a lot of kicking, jumping or sprinting. These types of injuries occur when you pull the muscles in the back of your thigh known as your hamstring. Pulling or straining your hamstring is a painful injury that will keep you from doing sports and exercise until it heals. Fortunately, you can take steps to prevent this from happening.

 

Risk Factors

Knowing the risk factors associated with hamstring injuries can help you lower your risk of them. Your risk of suffering this type of injury can be higher due to the following:

  • Playing sports or exercising: Several sports and physical activities, ranging from rugby to running, increase your chance of pulling your hamstring.
  • Not stretching: Not warming up before exercising or playing sports means your muscles aren’t as flexible as they need to be.
  • Having stronger quadriceps: Your risk of hamstring injuries might be higher if the muscles in the front of your thigh, called quadriceps, are stronger.
  • Having other hamstring injuries: If you’ve had a hamstring injury before, your risk of having another one is higher.

 

Prevention

You can lower your risk of hamstring injuries by doing the following:

  • Stretching: This includes stretching before and after exercising or playing sports and doing hamstring stretches as part of your regular exercise routine. Stretching helps keep your hamstring muscles strong and flexible, which lowers your risk of injury.
  • Letting previous injuries heal: Resuming your regular exercise routine or sports activities before a previous hamstring injury has time to fully heal raises your risk of injuring it again.
  • Increasing intensity slowly: If you plan on making workouts more challenging, increase the intensity slightly each week.
  • Stop exercising: Don’t keep working out if you feel pain in your hamstring muscles.

 

If you’ve suffered a severe hamstring injury, you might need to have surgery in order to correct it. An orthopedic surgeon who specializes in sports medicine can go over your surgical options based on your condition.

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