Guest Post by:
Michael J. Barr, PT, DPT, MSR
Sports Medicine Coordinator
MUSC Sports Medicine
My previous entry discussed the mechanism of injury, treatment and the impact a hamstring injury can have on a player’s season or even career. The best way to treat a hamstring injury is through prevention; injuries will always occur, however if we can reduce the instances of those injuries our athletes can spend more time on the field and less time in the clinic or training room. I have been working as the team Physical Therapist for the Charleston Battery for 7 years; during the 2009 season we noticed an upswing in the number of players with hamstring issues and the number of days and games missed. After that season, we implemented a Hamstring program for all players who had a previous history of hamstring injury, as well as those who were at greater risk for injury as determined by their functional movement screen. By the following years, we showed over 40% reduction in days missed due to hamstring injuries; 2010 and 2012 were also both championship seasons for the Charleston Battery.
Our hamstring program consists of flexibility, strengthening and stability exercises, done in a sequential order to optimize function. These exercises are completed before or after practice or competition at least 5 days per week in addition to their regular workout, warm-up, and cool-down. Below is a copy of our program; proper form and control of each movement is essential, so performing these exercises under a watchful eye of a Athletic Trainer or Physical Therapist is ideal.
1. Hamstring 3 direction band stretches, 2×30 sec each/side
2. Fig 4 piriformis stretch, 2×30 sec/side
3. Bridge with adduction squeeze, 1×30 reps
4. Supine hip ext to knee flex on stability ball, 2×25 reps
5. Single leg RDL (10-15 lb dumbbell in opposite hand), 2×25 reps/leg
6. Standing hip flex (knee straight) with ther-a-band, 1×30 reps/leg
7. Standing hip ext (knee straight) with ther-a-band, 1×30 reps/leg
8. Alternating hip ext, prone on stability ball, 1×30 reps
9. Hamstring 3 direction band stretches, 2×30 sec each
10. Fig 4 piriformis stretch, 2×30 sec
Prevention is the ideal treatment for all injuries, however injuries do occur; it is how an athlete deals with an injury both physically and mentally that separates the average from the champions.