QATAR’S orthopaedic and sports medicine hospital Aspetar introduced a locally-developed protocol for the treatment and rehabilitation of hamstring injuries in athletes, thus improving the quality of care.
The protocol is aimed at addressing some of the most common aspects of hamstring injuries, which occur mainly in football. However, it can be adjusted to address the needs of athletes competing in various other sports as well.
Hamstring injuries are usually associated with sports that involve running at high speed as well as rapid acceleration or deceleration such as sprinting, jumping, pivoting, turning or kicking.
Research conducted by the Aspetar Sports Injury and Illness Prevention Programme during the last three years on Qatar Stars League players identified roughly 100 hamstring injuries per year — one for every 1,000 hours of participation in matches and training. These time-loss injuries can have a very significant impact on a team, both in terms of their direct cost, reduced squad availability, and ultimately, success.
As a result, sports science and medicine has paid increasingly close attention to hamstring injuries in an effort to decrease their number and reduce the impact on teams’ performances. Since using this protocol, Aspetar has recorded an average return to sport time of 23 days, with a low rate of re-injury among athletes treated with it.
Aspetar’s hamstring protocol consists of six stages including three focusing on physiotherapy while others are sports-specific. These are designed to build strength and involve the early, but safe resumption of repeated high-speed running and direction-change movements.
Commenting on the new protocol, Aspetar Acting Director General Dr Mohammed Ghaith Al Kuwari said, “In addition to being renowned for the treatment of injuries, Aspetar is a leading research centre and we continually apply this expertise to improve the delivery of clinical care to athletes.
“The hamstring protocol highlights the extent of our research capabilities, the quality of our experts and our focus on innovation and research in sports medicine — crucial components in enhancing sports performance and enabling athletes to fulfil their true potential.”