Hamstring injury is the most common muscle injury in many sports, and one that is often treated using eccentric strengthening exercises. The Nordic hamstring exercise (NHE) program is essentially a relatively simple, eccentric hamstring exercise (partner assisted or utilizing a bench or piece of equipment where the lower leg can be secured). Recently, prospective studies have demonstrated a reduction in injuries of up to 70% with the use of preventive exercise programs such as the NHE program.
Despite this evidence, there is still debate regarding the effectiveness of such preventive exercise programs in limiting hamstring injury. Several systematic reviews have been completed evaluating these interventions; however, the methodology for these reviews has been suspect. In some cases, strict inclusion criteria – such as permitting only randomized studies written in English – limited the amount of included studies. Other reviews excluded studies that did not provide workload data and sports other than football, which may lead to a biased estimation of the effect of the NHE. As a result, these authors sought to complete a comprehensive systematic review and meta-analysis on the effectiveness of NHE for preventing hamstring injuries.
As clinicians, preventing hamstring injuries is certainly relevant and the results of such an investigation could certainly inform training and (pre)rehabilitation program design for athletes in many sports!
“Reducing Hamstring Injuries via the Nordic Hamstring Exercise Program”
This paper was published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine (2019) and this Review is posted in Recent Reviews, Injury Prevention, Rehabilitation, Program Design and the 2020 Archive.
Nordic Curl