Hamstring strains - Gymnastics Injuries

Hamstring strains are common in gymnastics due to the explosive combination of power and speed used during several movements in the sport. Hamstring strains may be minor, which involves a small number of muscle fibres being damaged or more serious, which will involve a partial or complete tear of the muscle.

Causes of hamstring strains

Hamstring strains are usually caused by a sudden increase in speed; this can occur in the run-up stage of the vault or on the floor in gymnastics.

Symptoms of hamstring strain

Minor strains will usually lead to pain after a physical activity, while more serious strains will usually result in an athlete pulling up in extreme pain. Other symptoms may include swelling, restricted movement and bruising (this usually appears up to 24 hours after the injury occurred).

Treatment for a hamstring strain

Treatment for minor strains will involve a combination of rest, ice and medication to control pain and reduce swelling around the muscle. More serious strains may require surgery and the gymnast may have to use crutches for a period of time to prevent the affected leg from bearing weight. Major strains should be rested for a long period of time to allow the muscle time to heal. Once the recovery process has begun, physiotherapy will help to gradually increase the range of movement and strength around the muscle.

Preventing a hamstring strain

The most effective preventive measure is a through warm-up; this will prepare the muscles for activity.

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