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Narrative Review

Vol. 20 No. 2 (2022): New Horizons: Innovation in Medicine

Prevention of Hamstring Injuries in Male Soccer Athletes

September 8, 2021



Background: One of the most frequently injured muscle groups in soccer is the hamstring group. Soccer players have high rates of hamstring injury (HSI) due to frequent sprinting, changes in direction and similar high-risk activities. Such movements put immense stress on the hamstrings which can lead to injury. Over the last decade, at least four different HSI prevention programs and techniques have been explored in research. The purpose of this review is to assess the effectiveness of these methods. 

Methods: Studies in this review were collected using multiple database searches of PubMed. A total of six studies were selected, all either randomized controlled trials (RCTs) or cluster-RCTs. The selected trials were from various soccer leagues in Denmark, Japan, the Netherlands, and the United States.

Results: The most prevalently studied method is the Nordic hamstring exercise (NHE). Studies that utilized the NHE, either as a stand-alone or within a program, reduced the risk of HSI by 15-71%. In addition, effective programs were characterized by progressively increasing the difficulty of exercises and high compliance rates. 

Conclusion: Studies that utilized the NHE showed effectiveness in the prevention of hamstring injuries in male soccer athletes. Based on the limited research available, it is unclear whether adding other exercises to prevention programs further reduces injury risk. More research is needed to explore new and existing prevention methods in a variety of populations and regions.


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