High-speed running increase puts hamstrings at risk

February 05, 2017

Australian Football League (AFL) players who quickly increase the amount they run at high-speed are at greater risk of hamstring injuries, QUT research has found.

The study used GPS data to track how much footballers from the Gold Coast SUNS ran at high-speed in training and matches over the 2013 and 2014 seasons. It revealed players who rapidly increased the amount of high-speed running above their 2-year average increased their risk of hamstring injury.

However more experienced players were less likely to suffer hamstring injuries.

QUT PhD researcher Steven Duhig and Dr Anthony Shield, from QUT's School - Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, led the study, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

"A hamstring strain is one of the most common injuries in AFL and this is the first study to investigate relationships between them and athlete running distances," Mr Duhig, who is also Gold Coast SUNS Academy High Performance Manager, said.

"We found players who ran significantly more than their average in the four weeks prior to injury had a greater risk of hamstring injury strain than players who remained on their usual workload.

"The final week of the four-week period leading up to the injury was crucial in determining the risk of injury. This should serve as a warning to players and coaches that sudden unaccustomed increases in high-speed running loads can quickly put players out of action."

The researchers documented each player's hamstring injuries and worked out average running distances for each session over the two years they were monitored.

When comparing between injured and uninjured players in the four weeks preceding each injury, they found higher than typical high-speed running sessions were more likely to lead to hamstring injuries.

Dr Shield said the findings were further evidence against rushing players back from injury.

"After injury, for a player to suddenly return to the level of others in the group is a potential problem," he said.

"Even if it's not a hamstring injury, but any injury that has reduced a player's high-speed running. It's not about how much running you do but how quickly you change how much running you do.

"So the best advice is to gradually build up high-speed running on return from injury."

Mr Duhig said it was interesting to find players with less experience were more at risk than veterans.

"There are a few reasons that could explain this. It may be older players are monitored more closely, or perhaps they have built up resilience against the high training loads they are exposed to and therefore able to cope," he said.

Queensland University of Technology

Related Sports Medicine Articles from Brightsurf:

Girls benefit from doing sports
Extracurricular sport in middle childhood diminishes subsequent ADHD symptoms in girls, but not in boys, a new study suggests.

Managing pain after sports medicine surgery
A Henry Ford Hospital study published in the Journal of Arthroscopic and Related Surgery has found that patients who underwent knee surgery and other types of sports medicine procedures could manage their pain without opioids or a minimal dosage.

Addressing sexual violence in sport: American Medical Society for Sports Medicine issues position statement
Sexual violence is a serious problem with potentially severe and lasting negative effects on the physical, psychological, and social well-being of victims -- including athletes.

NUS Medicine researchers can reprogramme cells to original state for regenerative medicine
Scientists from NUS Medicine have found a way to induce totipotency in embryonic cells that have already matured into pluripotency.

Play sports for a healthier brain
There have been many headlines in recent years about the potentially negative impacts contact sports can have on athletes' brains.

Researchers say elite-level video gaming requires new protocols in sports medicine
Study authors note multiple health issues including blurred vision from excessive screen time, neck and back pain from poor posture, carpal tunnel syndrome from repetitive motion, metabolic dysregulation from prolonged sitting and high consumption of caffeine and sugar, and depression and anxiety resulting from internet gaming disorder.

Sticking to sports can help kids adjust
By participating in organized physical activity from the age of 6, children will have less risk of emotional difficulties by the time they're 12, a new Canadian study finds.

Can recreational sports really make you a better student?
A new Michigan State University study adds to growing evidence that participating in recreational sports not only can help improve grades while attending college, but it also can help students return for another year.

How team sports change a child's brain
Adult depression has long been associated with shrinkage of the hippocampus, a brain region that plays an important role in memory and response to stress.

Study reveals complementary medicine use remains hidden to conventional medicine providers
Research reveals that 1 in 3 complementary medicine (CM) users do not disclose their CM use to their medical providers, posing significant direct and indirect risks of adverse effects and harm due to unsafe concurrent use of CM and conventional medicine use.

Read More: Sports Medicine News and Sports Medicine Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.