It is interesting to note that professional footballers in the Premiership in the UK suffer almost twice as many injuries as their fellow professionals in Spain and Italy, but the cause is more likely to be foul weather than foul play. At amateur level pitch conditions can be far worse too.
Hamstring injuries are one of the most common injuries suffered by people playing football. Usually referred to simply as “the hamstrings”, it is in fact a group of three long muscles and bordering tendons that start at the bottom of the pelvis extending down the back of the thigh and along either side of the knee to the shin bones. These are the semitendinosus, semimembranosus, and biceps femoris. Their function is to bend the knee and move the thigh backwards from the hip.
Injury occurs when this group of muscles is forcibly stretched beyond its limits so that the muscle tissue tears.
A strain can occur in circumstances when the weight and forces carried in the body and muscles changes orientation or by sudden changes in direction. In these circumstances, the muscle is challenged whilst it is already under a full load or working beyond capacity and over-striding results. The injury often occurs when the muscle is fully stretched out, just before it contracts to bend the knee.
When a hamstrings injury happens it will often be sudden, with the footballer immediately feeling the pain of the trauma. In the case of second-degree and third-degree muscle strains, swelling and tightening of the local area surrounding the site of the injury will follow. With first-degree injuries swelling will usually occur within the first few hours with only the sign of minor bruising to the limb, but increased swelling will come later. There will also be a noticeable immediate loss of strength in the limb, with weakness that can persist for several weeks, depending on the severity of the injury. This can continue for longer if the hamstring strain is a third-degree type where the muscle tissue has been complete torn and compromised.
If you have suffered with a Hamstring injury we can offer the best advice in prevention, treatment & rehabilitation.