Recurrent hamstring injuries can be frustrating and debilitating, particularly for athletes or those who are physically active. These injuries can occur due to a variety of factors, including poor technique, muscle imbalances, and inadequate rehabilitation after an initial injury. Understanding the causes of recurrent hamstring injuries and taking steps to prevent them can help individuals stay healthy, active, and injury-free.
Causes of Hamstring Injury
Hamstring injuries—particularly when there has been a muscle tear—can be tricky to recover from. There are a number of reasons why and we go through some of them in this video. The most common reasons include:
Altered Muscle Activation Strategies
If the muscles around your hip and pelvis aren’t turning on in the right order, or some are tight or weak, it can impact the way you control your body as you move. This can lead to repetitive over-strain of the hamstring. In many cases, people struggle to activate their glutes and are trying to stabilise their pelvis by using their hamstrings. This means that the hamstrings are overworking all the time. They then have a reduced capacity to lengthen when you, e.g. kick a ball, and that puts you at risk of another injury.
As mentioned above, it is common to see poor pelvic and hip control in people who are struggling with recurrent hamstrings because of altered muscle activation strategies. Alignment issues in other areas can also significantly impact the way your body works. If your foot, for example, is tight and stiff, you will often collapse through the arch. This can happen for a variety of reasons, but when it happens, it makes it much harder for your glutes to turn on and help stabilise your pelvis.
Altered Neural Drive
Issues like disc bulges can lead to an increased neural drive to muscles such as the hamstrings. This means that the hamstring is essentially more switched on (high tone) than it should be. In this case, it will often feel chronically tight. Having issues in other areas of your body that either increase the load on the hamstrings or make them have a higher tone increases the chance that you will hurt your hamstring, particularly with sporting activities that require sudden deceleration or changes in direction.
It is really common that people don’t see their rehabilitation all the way through. There can be many reasons why that happens, but if you don’t restore flexibility, strength and endurance to the muscle, AND normalise the order in which your muscles turn on, AND make sure you have good alignment, then there is a good chance that you will reinjure yourself when you return to sport.
Exercises for Hamstring Injury
Hamstring exercises are essential for preventing and treating injuries to this muscle group. These exercises focus on strengthening the hamstrings and increasing flexibility, which helps to improve overall performance and prevent future injuries.
Hamstring injury exercises often include stretches, such as hamstring curls, deadlifts, and lunges, as well as exercises that target the core and glutes. These exercises help to improve stability and balance, which can also help to prevent hamstring injuries.
For those who have suffered a hamstring injury, exercises for hamstring injury can help to alleviate pain, reduce inflammation, and increase range of motion. Incorporating these exercises into your workout routine can be beneficial for both preventing and treating hamstring injuries.
Physiotherapy for Hamstring Injury
Physiotherapy is a key aspect of hamstring injury treatment, particularly for torn hamstring injuries. The first step in treatment is often rest, ice, compression, and elevation to reduce inflammation and pain.
Physiotherapy for hamstring injuries typically involves a range of exercises to promote healing, reduce pain and stiffness, and improve strength and flexibility in the affected muscle group.
Torn hamstring treatment may also include massage therapy, heat therapy, and stretching exercises to improve blood flow and range of motion. Working with a qualified physiotherapist is essential for a successful recovery, as they can provide tailored treatment plans and monitor progress over time. In some cases, more severe injuries may require surgery or other medical interventions, which a physiotherapist can help coordinate.
Trust the Experts at PhysioChoice for a Safe and Successful Recovery
Recovering from a hamstring injury can be a challenging and lengthy process, and it’s important to seek guidance from a qualified physiotherapist to ensure a successful recovery.
At PhysioChoice, our team of experienced physiotherapists is dedicated to helping you get back to your optimal physical health. Whether you need help with a sports injury or any other type of injury, our qualified professionals are here to provide you with the support and guidance you need.
To book an appointment with one of our physiotherapists, simply visit our website. Let us help you get back on track to a healthier, happier you.