Running - Hamstring Injury / Strain


This common sports injury is often seen in sports involving running and jumping activities (e.g. athletics, rugby, football, basketball, netball and racquet sports). Hamstrings are required to perform a dual functional role. They generate force to propel the body forwards and they are required to absorb large forces imparted to them. Rapidly applied forces can overload the tissue causing damage to a greater or lesser degree.


Hamstrings cross two key lower limb joints, the hip and knee joints. Normal functional activity for this muscle group can result in one end of the muscle shortening in length while at the other end the muscle is lengthening which can place an additional strain on this muscle.

Hamstring injuries frequently occur in the last 15 min of football matches which suggest there is a fatigue component to this mechanism of injury.


Conservative management appropriate to the phase of the hamstring injury can aid recovery reducing pain, swelling and allowing for a return to normal functional activity and sport. 


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