HAMSTRING INJURIES – CREATING BETTER OUTCOMES TOGETHER
Across all sports, athletes engage in a trade-off between risk and reward; the risk of injury versus the reward that comes with performance. And for all athletes, from recreational to elite, the “main thing” is to participate, and to do it as well as possible. Hamstring injuries remain the most common injury in football. A hamstring injury happens to a person, who is part of a team, within a specific environment and culture. We are becoming more aware of the contextual factors that influence injury, as well as the underlying complexity when dealing with these injuries. This understanding is crucial to move sports medicine forward, and for us to better serve our athletes. And it is only possible with the support from a much larger team. For us, this team is represented by our colleagues within the Aspire Zone Foundation, and includes: collaborations with the Aspire Academy, every practitioner working in the National Sports Medicine Programme, integration between the different departments at Aspetar, and most of all, the players that willingly participate in much of our research efforts. We are grateful to each member of our incredible team. We will continue working together, and we encourage you to do the same.
At Aspetar, we have been able to contribute to the care of athletes with hamstring injuries; efforts that are supported through engagement from local and international collaborators. This experience has improved our medical management of hamstring injuries and, importantly, taught us how to support our athletes and their teams more holistically.
In this special edition of the Aspetar sports medicine journal, we have brought together much of the work performed here in Doha over the past ten years. The different sections are constructed around key questions we might ask about hamstring injuries - questions our athletes often ask us. Why does it happen? What exactly is it? How do we deal with it? What makes it better? Will it influence my performance? Can we prevent it? The results from recent publications are presented from this clinical perspective. In some cases, we have also drawn from our previous hamstring edition in 2013. Additionally, we present the results of considerable efforts that have been made to identify risk factors and investigate the effect of prevention programmes to reduce hamstring injuries. It is not our intention to provide finality around these issues, but rather to stimulate how we answer these questions now, and how we might improve our ability to answer them in the future.
With Qatar hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup®, and as newly crowned champions of Asia, it is no accident that hamstring injury research has been a focus area at Aspetar. We hope this special edition provides you with some insight into the management of the most common injury we see in the most popular sport in the world.
Nicol van Dyk PhD
Physiotherapist & Clinical Researcher
Aspetar – Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital, Qatar