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Hamstring Injuries

Allied Health Care for the Ballarat Region

Hamstring Injuries

written by Chris Stewart

Hamstring injuries are found to be the most common injury suffered by elite and amateur athletes. It is particularly so in sports requiring explosive sprinting, jumping and flexibility, such as AFL, soccer, and dancing. These injuries also have an extremely high reoccurrence rate. Correctly diagnosing the type and grade of the injury is important in the treatment plan for the athlete.  athlete-hamstring

The Diagnosing of Hamstring injury is usually characterised by a sudden onset of posterior leg pain, sometime with a popping or tearing sensation followed by a dramatic loss of function.

The grading of a hamstring strain is from grade 1 – 3.   These grades are based are based on the degree of pain, weakness and loss of motion experienced by the athlete.

(Photo courtesy 3 Causes of Recurring Hamstring Injuries)

Depending on the severity of the injury, treatment of hamstring injuries ranges from conservative management to surgery.

The key requirements for an athlete to return to play are the following:

  • Max running speed
  • No tenderness on palpation of the injured area
  • Strength Deficit is less than 10 percent
  • Good flexibility

Sport specific field test is the ultimate test of the readiness to load an injured muscle as it required during a match.

The reoccurrence rate of a hamstring strain is high, ranging from 12 – 63%. The first month after returning to your sport is the highest risk of re-injury. To limit your chance of reoccurrence a good rehabilitation program needs to be followed. The team at Lake Health Group in Ballarat can assist you returning to your sport.


Chris Stewart is a Senior Physiotherapist at Lake Health Group, Ballarat.chris-stewart