Hamstring injuries are common for amateur athletes, professional athletes, and everyone in between. They are especially common among college athletes, according to a recent study by the
NCAA. Hamstring injuries are, in fact, the most common of all injuries suffered among collegiate student athletes.
The hamstrings are the muscle group located in your thigh that help control the hips and knees. Hamstrings are engaged in just about every sport there is, but they are particularly put under pressure when running, jumping, squatting, and kicking. So sports such as soccer, football, basketball, and track and field present some of the highest risk for injury.
Injuries occur when the hamstring is strained, or fully torn in sever cases. Signs of an injury may include a sharp pain, or stiffness and tightness in the thigh, as well as an actual ‘popping’ sound if the muscle has torn.
Inadequate stretching or warming up before physical activity, lack of flexibility, a weak core, nd lower extremity muscle weakness and fatigue can all contribute to a hamstring injury.
If you experience a sudden thigh pain while playing sports, seek medical attention immediately. Frequently an ultrasound or MRI may need to be performed to determine the severity.
Ample rest time for the muscle to heal, followed by physical therapy later on, are typically prescribed for recovery. Surgery is necessary only in rare instances.
One important measure that can be taken to help avoid hamstring injuries is to follow a prevention program. Specific exercises are designed to improve the muscle’s strength and endurance a good deal prior to the start of an athletic season or participation in a monumental sporting event.