February 2014

Soccer players have strength deficits upon returning from hamstring injury

In the moment: Sports medicine

By Emily Delzell

Researchers from Qatar reported in February that soccer players who sustain a hamstring injury are likely to have isokinetic strength deficits when they return to play, but the effect of those deficits on reinjury rates is unknown.

Aspetar investigators measured isokinetic strength among 52 professional players with hamstring injuries before discharge from a rehabilitation program with strict functional and clinical return-to-play criteria.

They measured three hamstring-related isokinetic parameters and defined a deficit of more than 10% compared with the contralateral site as abnormal. They also recorded reinjuries for two months after return to play.

The percentage of players with a 10% deficit for hamstring concentric 60°/s, 300°/s, and hamstring eccentric was 39%, 29%, and 28%, respectively. Overall, 67% of the players had at least one hamstring isokinetic testing deficit of more than 10%. The investigators found no significant differences in mean isokinetic peak torques and 10% isokinetic deficits in players without reinjury (n = 46) compared with reinjured players ( n = 6).

The British Journal of Sports Medicine epublished the results on February 3.


Tol  JL, Hamilton B, Eirale C, et al. At return to play following hamstring injury the majority of professional football players have residual isokinetic deficits. Br J Sports Med 2014 February 3. [Epub ahead of print]

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