Risk factorsBy Mayo Clinic staff
Hamstring injury risk factors include:
- Sports participation. Sports that require sprinting or running, or other activities such as dancing that might require extreme stretching, make a hamstring injury more likely.
- Prior hamstring injury. After you've had one hamstring injury, you're more likely to have another one, especially if you try to resume all your activities at pre-injury levels of intensity before your muscles have time to heal and rebuild strength.
- Poor flexibility. If you have poor flexibility, your muscles may not be able to bear the full force of the action required during certain activities.
- Muscle imbalance. Although not all experts agree, some suggest that a muscle imbalance may lead to hamstring injury. When the muscles along the front of your thigh — the quadriceps — become stronger and more developed than your hamstring muscles, you may be more likely to injure your hamstring muscles.
- Frontera WR, et al. Essentials of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation: Musculoskeletal Disorders, Pain, and Rehabilitation. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-6/0/1678/0.html. Accessed Sept. 27, 2012.
- Fields KB, et al. Hamstring injuries. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed Sept. 27, 2012.
- Hamstring muscle injuries. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00408. Accessed Sept. 28, 2012.
- Sprains and strains. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. http://www.niams.nih.gov/health_info/sprains_strains/default.asp. Accessed Sept. 28, 2012.