Hamstring muscle strain recurrence and strength performance disorders

Am J Sports Med. Mar-Apr 2002;30(2):199-203. doi: 10.1177/03635465020300020901.


We determined the frequency of strength disorders in 26 athletes with a history of hamstring muscle injury and recurrent strains and discomfort. We also assessed the effectiveness of rehabilitation to correct muscle performance. After concentric and eccentric isokinetic assessment, 18 athletes were found to have strength deficits, as determined by statistically selected cutoffs of peak torque, bilateral differences, and the flexors/quadriceps ratio. The discriminating character of the eccentric trial was demonstrated, combining a preferential eccentric peak torque deficit and a significant reduction of the mixed eccentric flexors/concentric quadriceps ratio. The athletes with muscle imbalances followed a rehabilitation program individually adapted from their strength profile. Treatment length was from 10 to 30 sessions and resulted in isokinetic parameter normalization in 17 of 18 subjects. Isokinetically corrected subjects were observed for 12 months after return to athletics. None sustained a clinically diagnosed hamstring muscle reinjury. Subjective intensity of pain and discomfort were significantly reduced, and they all returned to their prior level of competition. These results demonstrate that persistent muscle strength abnormalities may give rise to recurrent hamstring injuries and discomfort. An individualized rehabilitation program emphasizing eccentric training based on specific deficits contributes to a decrease in symptoms on return to sports.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Athletic Injuries / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle, Skeletal / injuries*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiopathology
  • Recurrence
  • Sprains and Strains*