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Hamstring muscle injuries in elite football: translating research into practice
  1. Matthew Buckthorpe1,2,3,
  2. Mo Gimpel3,
  3. Steve Wright3,
  4. Thomas Sturdy3,
  5. Matthew Stride2
  1. 1 Education and Research Department, Isokinetic Medical Group, FIFA Medical Centre of Excellence, Bologna, Italy
  2. 2 Isokinetic Medical Group, FIFA Medical Centre of Excellence, London, UK
  3. 3 Southampton Football Club, Southampton, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Matthew Buckthorpe, Isokinetic Medical Group, 11 Harley Street, Marylebone, London W1G 9QJ, UK; M.Buckthorpe{at}

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Hamstring muscle injuries (HMI) are consistently the most prevalent time-loss injury in football and are prone to reoccurrence.1 We note the disconnection between evidence-based recommendations and the HMI prevention programmes adopted in elite clubs.2 For example, only 11% of elite level football teams surveyed fully use the Nordic Hamstring Programme.3

Why don’t elite sports medicine teams adopt evidence-based practices?4 The aim of this editorial is not only to share our experience of HMI prevention and demonstrate that elite clubs do consider the research on HMI, but also place this alongside other factors which, although may not yet be ‘evidenced based’, have theoretical merit and clinically observed benefits in the prevention of HMIs within elite football. We feel there is an overemphasis placed on isolated strength capacity in HMI management within the recommended research, with a lack of focus on contextual factors. Furthermore, there is typically limited consideration of how the muscle functions during the mechanisms in which it is typically used and injured. Our aim is not to discredit current evidence-based strategies (eg, Nordic Hamstring Programme), but we share five additional …

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  • Contributors MB and MS proposed the idea for the study. MB wrote the first draft. All authors revised the manuscript for important intellectual content and approved the final version.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.