When U.S. national soccer team striker Jozy Altidore clutched his thigh and fell to the ground in the World Cup last month, physical therapist Holly Silvers thought once again of Russian hamstring exercises.
No less than three other members of the team (Fabian Johnson, Matt Besler and Deandre Yedlin) reportedly suffered injuries to this muscle group in the back of the thigh during the World Cup. Silvers, who helped develop the FIFA11+ injury prevention program for soccer’s governing body, tells me most of these injures could be prevented. Besides the pain these players experienced, the injuries literally hamstrung the team in a series of tough matches.
And it’s not only soccer players who suffer these injuries. Four Major League Baseball players (Munenori Kawasaki, Alberto Callaspo, Chris Dickerson and Shane Victorino) are currently on the disabled list because of hamstring injuries, according to ESPN. In fact hamstring strains afflict participants in just about every sport that involves running.
Two studies presented Sunday in Seattle at the American Orthpaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM) show just how effective a few simple exercises can be against this type of injury.
One was Silvers’ controlled study on the FIFA11+. Previously her group showed the program could cut overall injuries by about half in female soccer players, but data on specific individual injuries were mostly not significant. In this new study she and her colleagues showed, among other things, that the program cut hamstring injuries by more than two thirds among over 1700 male NCAA soccer players.
Continue reading New Studies Show How to Prevent Hamstring Injuries