Brockett et al listed several risk factors associated with athletes developing a strain injury of the hamstring muscles, which is a common injury in some sports. This can help identify athletes at risk and to suggest preventive measures. The authors are from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.


Hamstring muscles: biceps femoris, semitendinosus, semimembranosus


A person with hamstring strain injury will complain of stiffness and soreness in the hamstring muscles the day after exercise.


Risk factors associated with increased hamstring strain injury:

(1) sports with eccentric contractions of the hamstring muscles

(1a) sprinting (football, track and field events)

(1b) kicking a ball (soccer)

(2) history of previous hamstring strain injury

(3) tight muscles with inadequate warm-up

(4) sudden exertion in an unconditioned person


Risk factors associated with decreased hamstring strain injury:

(1) program of eccentric exercise that is modified based on the results of regular muscle testing for angle-torque relationships



• An eccentric exercise involves lengthening of a contracting muscle.

• Angle-torque relationships are measured with isokinetic dynamometry.


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