Hamstring injury prevention and rehabilitation

Recently at Range of Motion Physical Therapy I have been seeing a number of people with a hamstring injury, my clients have varied from GAA and Rugby Players to Triathletes and avid hill walkers. As a result, I have been doing some additional reading up on Hamstring injury prevention and rehabilitation,n and came across this article, and felt the need to share it.

This article gives a great overview of the causes of hamstring injuries, and gives great easy to understand explanations. What I also liked was the authors approach to questioning traditional preventative and rehab exercise techniques. For example they look at strengthening exercises as an intermuscular coordination with both hip and knee and to replicate more high speed movement, this is in contrast to traditional techniques which would have taught to isolate hamstring through the knee joint only and the use of eccentric exercises e.g Russian Nordic Drop exercise, which they now feel is contraindicated in hamstring injury rehabilitation

A systematic approach to hamstring prevention and rehabilitation

This article is well worth a read and you can draw your own conclusions and adopt elements into your training.

Any questions please feel free to contact me below.


Range of Motion Physical Therapy Newsletter April 13

Foam Rolling Exercise for the Lower Body

Working with a number of athletes I am always suggesting they use a foam roller to help with flexibility in between Sports Massages.

With this in mind I did a video clip on how I like to foam roll my lower body (thanks to my sister), clients can now access the clip and follow it as they roll.

Foam rolling helps stretch muscles and tendons while also breaking down soft tissue adhesion and scar tissue. By using your own body weight you can perform a self sports massage, break down trigger points, and soothe leg pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, back aches and tightness, while increasing blood flow and circulation to the soft tissues.

It is advisable to use the foam roller a couple of times a week in conjunction with your stretching routine. Click link below is a good link to some good foam rolling exercises!!

Foam Rolling Clip:
Ankle Proprioception & Strengthening:
As part of a postural assessment I always assess a clients ability to squat as it is a great exercise to assess a number of joints while moving, one area I focus on are the ankles and look for pronation.
Ankle pronation can be as a result of fallen arches, weakness due to an old ankle injury or poor ankle strength. In most cases it should be possible to correct fallen arches and strengthen weak ankles without the use of orthotics…. the Tripod foot position is the first step followed by ankle proprioception exercises.

The Tripod foot position teaches people how to be more aware of their arch so as to correct and evenly balance their weight through their arches, while also helping build the strength and endurance to maintain this position. This exercise takes a bit of practice and once you have mastered it you can practice it anywhere.

The Foot Tripod position involves allowing your body weight to be evenly distributed across three points of contact with the floor.

the Ball of the Big Toe
the Ball of the Little Toe
the Heel
With the tripod foot position it is important to try to balance your weight throughout your foot and try not to use your toes for balance i.e. toe gripping.
Tripod Foot Exercise Video:

Ankle Proprioception exercise are an important exercise to help rehab an ankle after sprain or break. Proprioception or balance is defined as unconscious internal perception of movement and knowledge of the body’s orientation in space. We can teach the ankle where it is in relation to other objects (e.g. striking the ground). Increased proprioception can then help decrease the risk of injury by increasing balance and awareness, and you will be able to control your body more effectively.

Proprioceptive training is done through balance exercises.

Balance Training:

Standing on one leg: Hold for 30 seconds, working up to one minute per leg.
Stand on one leg with eyes closed: Hold for 30 seconds, working up to one minute per leg.
These can be progressed by using a cushion to make you work harder and further improve your proprioception:

Balance on a cushion on one leg: Hold for 30 seconds, working up to one minute per leg.
Balance on a cushion on one leg with eyes closed: Hold for 30 seconds, working up to one minute per leg.
These can be further progressed by introducing movement e.g. squat or catching a ball.
Proprioception Exercise Video: