Hamstring strains are among the most common injuries experienced by athletes. Certain sports are associated with a particularly high rate of hamstring injuries. Let’s examine which sports result in the most hamstring injuries and how hamstring injuries chiropractic treatment can relieve pain, hasten rehabilitation, and help prevent recurrences of these injuries.
What are hamstrings?
The hamstring consists of three muscles that extend down the back of the thigh: the semitendinosus, the semimembranosus, and the biceps femoris. Together, these three large muscles assist in hip extension (allowing you to straighten your leg behind you) and knee flexion (enabling you to bend your knee).
What types of sports are associated with hamstring injuries?
Hamstring injuries occur most frequently in sports that require high-speed sprinting, kicking, jumping, and turning or twisting. These include team sports such as soccer, football, rugby, cricket, lacrosse, baseball, softball, and basketball.
Surveys have found that hamstring injuries account for 10% of all injuries among college football players and 12-13% of all injuries among NFL football players. Hamstring strains are also the most common injury among soccer players.
In addition to team sports, several individual sports are also associated with a high incidence of hamstring injuries. Among these are tennis, water skiing, downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, judo, and other martial arts. Some studies have shown that hamstring injuries caused by kicking are more severe and take longer to heal than those caused by other actions.
What are the symptoms of sports-related hamstring injuries?
Symptoms of a hamstring strain will vary depending on the severity of the injury. Hamstring strains are generally categorized as mild, moderate, or severe. A mild injury may cause little or no discomfort except when exercising or engaging in other athletic activity. Moderate strains are characterized by a partial tear of the hamstring muscle complex, whereas severe strains are characterized by a complete tear or rupture of the hamstring. As you would expect, recovery time increases with the severity of the injury.
Hamstring injuries have a high rate of recurrence, and frequent recurrences can result in other physical problems, as well. These may include lower back problems, knee problems, and nerve problems, among others.
What are the treatment options for sports-related hamstring injuries?
As with other musculoskeletal injuries, treatment of hamstring injuries often begins with RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation). After the initial inflammation and pain have subsided, the rehabilitation process should start as soon as possible.
Chiropractic adjustments of the knee, hip, pelvis, and spine will help restore mobility to the area affected by the hamstring injury. Soft tissue techniques involving stretching and therapeutic massage may be used to break up scar tissue in the hamstring.
Other chiropractic techniques, including electrotherapy and ultrasound, may also be used to aid in rehabilitating the injured area. After mobility is restored, a chiropractor typically will initiate a progressive strengthening program.
Once rehabilitation is complete, the risk of re-injury can be reduced by making sure you are well-rested and sufficiently warmed up before engaging in sports again.
Regardless of which sport you enjoy playing, or whether you are an amateur or elite athlete, hamstring injuries chiropractic treatment in Waterford, MI can help you recover from any hamstring injury you may incur and help you avoid future injury through a comprehensive program of treatment and follow-up care.