A prospective study of the relationship between lower body stiffness and hamstring injury in professional Australian rules footballers

Watsford, Mark L., Murphy, Aron J., McLachlan, Ken A., Bryant, Adam L., Cameron, Matt L., Crossley, Kay M. and Makdissi, Michael (2010) A prospective study of the relationship between lower body stiffness and hamstring injury in professional Australian rules footballers. American Journal of Sports Medicine, 38 10: 2058-2064. doi:10.1177/0363546510370197


Author Watsford, Mark L.
Murphy, Aron J.
McLachlan, Ken A.
Bryant, Adam L.
Cameron, Matt L.
Crossley, Kay M.
Makdissi, Michael
Title A prospective study of the relationship between lower body stiffness and hamstring injury in professional Australian rules footballers
Journal name American Journal of Sports Medicine   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0363-5465
1552-3365
Publication date 2010-10
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1177/0363546510370197
Volume 38
Issue 10
Start page 2058
End page 2064
Total pages 7
Place of publication Thousand Oaks, CA, United States
Publisher Sage Publications
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Background: Hamstring strains remain one of the most prevalent injuries in Australian Rules football. The authors prospectively examined the relationship between musculotendinous stiffness of the hamstring and leg stiffness with hamstring injury in professional Australian Rules footballers during the 2006 season.
Hypothesis: Higher hamstring stiffness and leg stiffness are related to noncontact, soft tissue hamstring injury risk in professional Australian Rules footballers.
Study Design: Case-control study; Level of evidence, 3.
Methods: Unilateral hamstring stiffness and leg stiffness were assessed in 136 professional footballers in the month before the commencement of the competitive season. This information was then investigated relative to players who suffered noncontact, soft tissue hamstring injuries during either matches or training throughout the season to identify whether preseason stiffness was related to injury occurrence.
Results: Fourteen tested players recorded acute, noncontact hamstring injuries, resulting in 3.3 ± 2.8 weeks of missed match play per injury. At preseason testing, the players who ended up sustaining a hamstring injury during the season recorded significantly higher mean hamstring stiffness (11%, P = .04) and leg stiffness (5%, P = .03). When considering the injured players, the leg stiffness of the involved limb was significantly higher than the noninjured players (P = .02), whereas hamstring stiffness was significantly higher on the noninvolved limb (P = .01). Further, those players who suffered a hamstring injury were significantly older than the noninjured players (P = .01).
Conclusion: It appears that a high bilateral hamstring stiffness and leg stiffness may be a determinant in the risk of sustaining a hamstring injury. Further, relatively lower hamstring stiffness in the involved limb of injured players appears to be associated with increased injury and may be related to a lack of strength. The information from stiffness assessment may allow medical staff to determine the hamstring risk status for individual players in team sports.
Keyword Football
Musculotendinous unit
Leg stiffness
Muscle elasticity
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Publications
 
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