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Hamstring Soccer Injury

hamstring soccer injury, hamstring injuries, hamstring tendon injury, torn hamstring injury

Hamstring Soccer Injury is a Common Injury in Soccer

Hamstring soccer injury occurs very frequently in soccer players, due to lots of sprinting and sudden change of direction and speed.

Soccer is a sport where hamstring muscles are simply overused to the point of tearing. 

Hamstring muscles are used to control bending the leg at the knee, so when injured, player is immobilized due to the whole leg feeling loose and painful. 

Three main hamstring muscle groups connect the back of the leg from the pelvis, to the bones in the lower leg. 

They are called  Biceps Femoris, Semitendinosus and Semimembranosus. 

An injury to any of these three muscles can range from minor strains and pulls to a total tear of the muscle.

Hamstring injury will cause a sudden sharp pain in the back of the thigh. This pain is so intense that the player will usually stop at mid-stride.

Most commonly, hamstring injury occurs when running or kicking the soccer ball. 

Just like any injury, severity of the hamstring soccer injury will range from Grade I to Grade III.

Hamstring Soccer Injury
Grade I

Grade I hamstring injury is a mild muscle strain that happens by over stretching one of the hamstring muscles, causing minimal damage.

Grade I hamstring injury has no significant tear in the muscle, but is rather over stretched to the point where some muscle fibers have started to tear.

Grade I injury of the hamstring will have some of these symptoms:

  • Muscle stiffness, soreness and tightness in the back of the thigh.
  • A normal walking gait and range of motion with some discomfort.
  • Minimal swelling.
  • Lying on front and trying to bend the knee against resistance probably won't produce much pain.
  • Flexing the knee to bring the heel up.

Hamstring Soccer Injury 
Grade II

Grade II hamstring injury usually involves partial tear to one or more of the hamstring muscle groups.

Some of the symptoms for a Grade II hamstring injury will be:

  • Gait will be affected and limp may be showing. 
  • Muscle pain, sharp twinges and tightness in the back of the thigh.
  • Noticeable swelling or bruising.
  • Pressure on the muscle increases pain.
  • Flexing the knee against resistance causes pain.
  • Limited range of motion and pain when flexing the knee.

Soccer Hamstring Injury 
Grade III

Grade III hamstring injuries will have a severe or complete tear to one or more hamstring muscle groups.

Symptoms for a Grade III hamstring injuries are very noticeable because of the pain, and immediate loss of motion in the leg. 

Symptoms for Grade III pulled hamstring muscles are:

  • Walking severely affected - may need walking aids such as crutches.
  • Severe pain - particularly during knee flexing.
  • Noticeable swelling and bruising visible immediately after injury.
  • Pain noticeable during rest, becoming severe with movement.

Common Causes for Hamstring Injuries in Soccer

Soccer, and other sports that require running at different speeds and changing direction, is very physically demanding for the hamstring muscles that constantly contract and bend as the player moves.

Hamstring muscles work extremely hard to decelerate the tibia (shin bone) as it swings out to take a stride.

It is in this phase, just before the foot strikes the ground, that the hamstring muscles become injured.

In this position, all hamstring muscle groups are activated and approaching their maximum length. 

Some factors contributing to a hamstring injury include:

  • Doing too much, too soon or pushing beyond the body limits.
  • Tight hip flexors.
  • Weak glutes (butt muscles).
  • Poor flexibility.
  • Poor muscle strength.
  • Muscle imbalance between the quadriceps and hamstring muscle groups.
  • Muscle fatigue that leads to over-exertion.
  • Leg Length Differences. A shorter leg may have tighter hamstrings which are more likely to pull.
  • Improper or No Warm-Up is a major factor in hamstring soccer injuries. It can also be easily prevented with the right positive habit. 
  • History of hamstring injury.

For more information on hamstring muscle injuries visit Sports Injury Clinic - Hamstring Injury.

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