Eccentric hamstring strength and hamstring injury risk in Australian footballers

Opar, David A., Williams, Morgan, Timmins, Ryan, Hickey, Jack, Duhig, Steven, & Shield, Anthony (2014) Eccentric hamstring strength and hamstring injury risk in Australian footballers. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 46.

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Is eccentric hamstring strength and between limb imbalance in eccentric strength, measured during the Nordic hamstring exercise, a risk factor for hamstring strain injury (HSI)?


Elite Australian footballers (n=210) from five different teams participated. Eccentric hamstring strength during the Nordic was taken at the commencement and conclusion of preseason training and in season. Injury history and demographic data were also collected. Reports on prospectively occurring HSIs were completed by team medical staff. Relative risk (RR) was determined for univariate data and logistic regression was employed for multivariate data.


Twenty-eight HSIs were recorded. Eccentric hamstring strength below 256N at the start of preseason and 279N at the end of preseason increased risk of future HSI 2.7 (relative risk, 2.7; 95% confidence interval, 1.3 to 5.5; p = 0.006) and 4.3 fold (relative risk, 4.3; 95% confidence interval, 1.7 to 11.0; p = 0.002) respectively. Between limb imbalance in strength of greater than 10% did not increase the risk of future HSI. Univariate analysis did not reveal a significantly greater relative risk for future HSI in athletes who had sustained a lower limb injury of any kind within the last 12 months. Logistic regression revealed interactions between both athlete age and history of HSI with eccentric hamstring strength, whereby the likelihood of future HSI in older athletes or athletes with a history of HSI was reduced if an athlete had high levels of eccentric strength.


Low levels of eccentric hamstring strength increased the risk of future HSI. Interaction effects suggest that the additional risk of future HSI associated with advancing age or previous injury was mitigated by higher levels of eccentric hamstring strength.

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23 citations in Scopus
25 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 75526
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Nordic hamstring exercise, prospective, muscle injury, epidemiology
DOI: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000000465
ISSN: 1530-0315
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > HUMAN MOVEMENT AND SPORTS SCIENCE (110600) > Sports Medicine (110604)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 American College of Sports Medicine
Deposited On: 26 Aug 2014 00:00
Last Modified: 25 Jun 2017 09:18

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