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Exercises to Improve Hamstring Function in Football Players


Are you currently suffering from a Hamstring injury and would like some guidance on how to manage different exercises? Look no further as our Team of Specialists at Perfect Balance Clinic are here to give you some top tips on how to keep your symptoms at bay. 

The Anatomy of the Hamstrings 

The Hamstring muscles are situated at the back of the back of the thigh. The hamstring muscles are made up of three muscles called the Bicep Femoris which is situated on the outside of the back of the thing, the semitendinous is situated more in the middle of the back of the thigh and lastly the semimembranosus which is located on the outside of the back of the thigh. The static nerve runs through all of these muscles. Furthermore, in football hamstring injures are very common.

These injuries can be split into three types of grades. Grade 1, this is where a few fibres of the muscle are damaged or have ruptured. This rarely influences the muscle’s power and endurance. Pain and sensitivity usually happens the day after the injury (depends from person to person). Normal patient complaints are stiffness on the posterior side of the leg. Patients can walk fine. There can be a small swelling, but the knee can still bend normally.

The next grade is a grade 2 strain approximately half of the fibres are torn. Symptoms are acute pain, swelling and a small amount of function loss. In addition, the walk of the patient will be influenced. Pain can be reproduced by applying precision on the hamstring muscle or bending the knee against resistance.

The last grade of hamstring injury is a grade 3, this is when more than half of the fibres ruptured to complete rupture of the muscle. Both the muscle belly and the tendon can suffer from this injury. It causes massive swelling and pain. The function of the hamstring muscle can’t be performed anymore and the muscle shows great weakness.

The Mechanism of injury 

The cause of the different grades results in the injury mechanism, so this means how you can get a hamstring injury. The one hamstring muscle to produce an injury to is the bicep femoris. The main injury mechanism is the second half of the swing phase where the hamstring is at its longest and this produces the most amount of tension on the muscle. The hamstring muscle contract eccentrically which decelerates the movement flexion of the hip and extension of the lower leg. 

Exercises for different phases of hamstring injury 

The aim of rehabilitation if you are an elite athlete to a person who exercises as a hobby and just wants to keep fit is to restore the patients functions to the highest possible degree. The start of every rehabilitation program starts off with isometric exercises. This means producing an exercises with a static contraction. An example of this would be a glute bridge hold with a very short leaver. As the days go by and start to increase strength after injury you can make this exercise harder by increasing the leaver length of the legs producing more force on the hamstrings. As the days go by you can incorporate different variations such as a single leg glute bridge hold which again puts more force on the hamstring muscles. Once this stage is completed therapists can move onto concentric exercises which means producing force in a shorten movement. This can be such as nordic variations and hip thrusts which isolate the hamstring muscles. Examples of Nordic variations are to incorporate a push up at the end of the exercises  or use a swiss ball to spread out the force. 

For more information about hamstring injuries

This article was written by our team of specialist therapists at Perfect Balance Clinic. If you would like more specific advice about how our team can help you with this condition or symptoms you may be having, please complete the contact form below and one of the team will get back to you shortly.

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