When I was cruising through some pages that we like to frequent here at Glen Oaks Health and Spine, I couldn’t help but notice a short article over at http://www.stopsportsinjuries.org/ entitled “Pre-Season Conditioning Helps Prevent Hamstring Injuries” which can be found at:
http://www.stopsportsinjuries.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=A_-4yLDJn2M%3d&tabid=263 (PDF Format)
The author of the article is David Geier, MD and I feel greatly that he has written a very to the point article that did NOT focus on stretching of the hamstrings. The article caught my eye because they flavor of the week here with Dr. Kemenosh and Dr. Gross has been hamstring pain, weakness, and low level tears which are mostly attributed to our runners competing in the recent area races, like the regional Cross Country Races, The Rothman 8K, and the Gore-Tex Philadelphia ½ and Full Marathon. One of the best statements that Dr. Geier makes in this article is as quoted:
“By far, the biggest risk factor for a hamstring strain is a history of prior injury. A soccer player who previously suffered a hamstring strain is more than twice as likely to suffer another injury. Inadequate recover and rehabilitation from the original injury and return to play too quickly could play a role. It is believed that even with a comprehensive rehabilitation program, an athlete’s chance of recurrent injury is still high.”
The article has other great points and goes on to talk about that the best prevention for a hamstring injury is identifying imbalances in athletes BEFORE issues arise and furthermore, correcting muscle imbalances in athletes who have had previous hamstring injuries. Dr. Geier states in his article that performing agility and trunk stability rehabilitation will also help athletes avoid future hamstring issues, however this needs to be done BEFORE a season starts and that you cannot wait until preseason to start trying to improve your core, trunk, and hamstring strength. The article also does not mention stretching of the hamstring and looks more towards sports specific conditioning PRIOR to preseason practices. Dr. Geier also states that inside of sports specific conditioning should include sprinting, interval running, acceleration drills, and eccentric hamstring strengthening are better for hamstring injury prevention, and while he does not say against what other methods, it’s fairly certain he is not advocating for hamstring stretching or concentric hamstring movements as many common machines at the gym encourage. Here at our office, we also like to include eccentric loading of the glutes to strengthening the posterior kinematic chain. Exercises that we commonly use to help strengthen the posterior chain include Box Squats, Goblet Squats, Nordic Hamstring Curls, and an exercise we call the Bird Dog which focuses on keeping a neutral spine during the movements.
Commonly we see issues related to the low back, hamstrings, and the gluteal muscle groups as they are all closely tied together and if one set is weak, after getting the patient out of a painful stated, we aim to correct movements and strengthening the supporting cast of muscles around the area. If you feel that are you having issues with your low back, hamstrings or gluteal muscles, we really enjoy working these areas and would like a chance to see you.
Tired of dealing with hamstring injuries? Get in contact with us! We may be able to help! 856-228-3100