Article #9 of 50: I have made it a goal of mine to share at least 50 research articles with you to review in 2012. These articles will be shared with no opinion of mine, just purely the information provided in the research and where to go to read more about the topic. This weekly challenge will feature many different aspects of the field: strength, conditioning, nutrition, psychology, etc. If you would like to submit research articles to be included in this segment, please email me a PDF version of the peer reviewed journal article.
Physical Therapy in Sport 12 (2011) 2e14.
Acute hamstring injuries are the most prevalent muscle injuries reported in sport. Despite a thorough and concentrated effort to prevent and rehabilitate hamstring injuries, injury occurrence and re-injury rates have not improved over the past 28 years. This failure is most likely due to the following: 1) an over-reliance on treating the symptoms of injury, such as subjective measures of “pain”, with drugs and interventions; 2) the risk factors investigated for hamstring injuries have not been related to the actual movements that cause hamstring injuries i.e. not functional; and, 3) a multi-factorial approach to assessment and treatment has not been utilized. The purpose of this clinical commentary is to introduce a model for progression through a return-to-sport rehabilitation following an acute hamstring injury. This model is developed from objective and quantifiable tests (i.e. clinical and functional tests) that are structured into a step-by-step algorithm. In addition, each step in the algorithm includes a treatment protocol. These protocols are meant to help the athlete to improve through each phase safely so that they can achieve the desired goals and progress through the algorithm and back to their chosen sport. We hope that this algorithm can serve as a foundation for future evidence based research and aid in the development of new objective and quantifiable testing methods.