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Sunday, May 1, 2011

FATIGUE AND HAMSTRING STRAIN INJURIES

Recent epidemiological studies suggest that hamstring strains is the most common injury to soccer players resulting in three competitive matches missed per injury. In order to minimise the incidence of hamstring strains and associated costs, more effective injury preventive intervention programs have been recommended.

Several factors have been proposed to associate with hamstring strain injury including previous injury, low flexibility, inadequate warm-up, strength imbalance between hamstring and quadriceps and fatigue. It seems that injury incidence is not the result of a single factor but of multiple factors interactions.

One interesting observation is that almost 50% of hamstring injuries during the match occur within the last 15 min. As such, fatigue may be a predisposing factor to hamstring strain injury during the game.

Indeed, it has been shown that hamstring strength declines towards the end of a simulated game and this might be associated with elevated risk of hamstring injury (Small et al., 2010 see attached link). This finding has several implications for training programs design.

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