RESEARCH SUMMARY

  • Title: Eccentric knee flexor strength and risk of hamstring injuries in Rugby Union: A prospective study

  • Author/s: Bourne (@MBourne5), Opar (@davidopar), Williams (@drmorgs),  Shield (@das_shield)

  • Year: 2015

  • Question: How does eccentric knee flexor strength relate to risk of hamstring injuries in Rugby Union?

  • Key Takeaway: Eccentric knee flexor strength does not increase the likelihood of future hamstring strain injury in rugby union players, but imbalance between left and right leg eccentric knee flexor strength does.

  • Summary: This study investigated the relationship between eccentric knee-flexor strength and the risk of hamstring injury in rugby union. 178 elite and sub-elite Rugby players had their eccentric strength assessed on the NordBord in preseason and had their injuries tracked over the course of the following competitive season.

    Key Findings:

    • Players with a history of hamstring strain injury had 4.1 fold greater risk of subsequent hamstring injury than players without such history.
    • Between-limb imbalance in eccentric knee-flexor strength of ≥ 15% and ≥ 20% increased the risk of hamstring strain injury 2.4 fold and 3.4 fold respectively.
    • Unlike previous findings in Australian Rules players, lower eccentric knee flexor strength and other prior injuries were not associated with increased risk of future hamstring strain.