Table 2

Characteristics of the included studies

StudyNumber of patientsStudy designPopulationIntervention(s)Follow-upPrimary outcomeResults
Cibulka et al 19862620RCTClinical diagnosis of hamstring strain and evidence of sacroiliac dysfunctionI: manipulation of sacroiliac joint in addition to moist heat and passive stretchingAfter interventionIsokinetic testing (peak torque)I: 45.7±22.70 foot-pounds
C: 46.4±17.47 foot-pounds
C: moist heat and passive stretchingFlexibility (passive knee extension)I: 155.0±14.2°
C: 144.6±16.7°
Kornberg and Lew 19892728CCTAustralian rules football professionals, with grade I hamstring strain and positive slump testI: slump stretching in addition to ‘traditional treatment methods’ C: ‘traditional treatment methods’RTS≥1 missed game (dichotome)I: 9.1% (1/11)
C: 100% (16/16)
Lee et al 20112811CCTFootball professionals with grade I or II hamstring injuries, confirmed with MRII: intramuscular actovegin injections and exercise therapy C: exercise therapyRTSTime to RTSI: 12±2.94 days *
C: 20±4.45 days *
Malliaropoulos et al 20042980RCTAthletes with grade II hamstring strain, confirmed with ultrasoundI1+I2: during first 48 h PRICE followed by rehabilitation programRTSTime required for full rehabilitationI: 13.27±0.71 days *
C: 15.05±0.81 days *
I1: once daily session of static hamstring stretches I2: four times daily session of static hamstring stretchesTime to return to full ROM (passive knee extension)I: 5.57±0.71 days *
C: 7.32±0.81 days *
Reynolds et al 19953044RCTSports related tear of the hamstring, included within 48 h after injuryI1: meclofenamate+diclofenac placebo for 7 days I2: diclofenac +meclofenamate placebo for 7 days C: diclofenac placebo+meclofenamate placebo for 7 days7 daysPain score (sum of VAS pain score on: previous 24 h, movement, walking, running, palpation)I1: 7.9±6.6
I2: 8.8±7.7
C: 3.9±3.3
Sherry and Best 20043124RCTAthletes with clinical diagnosis of grade I or II sport related hamstring strainI1: static stretching, isolated progressive resistance exercises, and icing1 year after RTSTime to RTSI1: 37.4±27.6 days
I2: 22.2±8.3 days
I2: progressive agility and trunk stabilisation exercises and icingRe-injury rateI1: 70% (7/10) *
I2: 7.7% (1/11) *
  • C, control group; CCT, non-randomised controlled clinical trial; I, intervention group; PRICE, protection–rest–ice–compression–elevation; RCT, randomised controlled trial; ROM, range of motion; RTS, return to sport/return to full function; VAS, visual analogue scale.

  • * Statistically significant difference between studied groups.