Men may be more prone than women to hamstring strains in soccer

July 18, 2013

Topic: orthopaedic research

Men may be more prone than women to hamstring strains in soccer

New orthopaedic research suggests that hamstring strains are more likely to occur to men than women in collegiate soccer. Mario Götze's recent hamstring pull is an example of one of these common soccer injuries

NCAA data shows injury incidences in soccer
According to the National Collegiate Athletic Association's data collected between the 2004-2005 and 2008-2009 men's soccer seasons, 7.7 out of every 1,000 exposures athletes had to play resulted in injury. Some of these injuries - 25.8 percent - were muscle strains. 

The source notes that muscle strains, including those that affect the hamstring, are unique to soccer because players typically change direction, accelerate and decelerate rapidly. Additionally, soccer players tend to pivot and use lateral movements. The hamstring's location in the thigh makes it particularly susceptible to these injuries.

Study shows men have higher risk of hamstring strain 
Recent research published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine suggests that, in both practice and games, male soccer players are more likely than females to suffer a hamstring strain. 

Researchers, led by Kevin Cross, Ph.D., looked at data collected between 2004 and 2009 by the NCAA Injury Surveillance System of men and women's soccer. According to these records, men's risk for hamstring injury during soccer is 64 percent greater than women's. The findings also showed that 22 percent of men suffered a reoccurring hamstring strain, while only 12 percent of women withstood the injury more than once. 

Though men had this tendency during playing season, the incidences of pre-season injuries were comparable between the two genders. Additionally, specific characteristics of the athletes or the sporting events they participated in did not affect the rate of injury. 

According to Cross, knowing the specific characteristics associated with hamstring injury may lead to effective prevention and rehabilitation programs to reduce the incidences of this orthopaedic strain

Mario Götze suffers a hamstring injury
German midfielder Mario Götze recently strained his hamstring during a match against Real Madrid and was consequently forced out of a play, according to SB Nation. Immediately after the injury took place, the 20-year-old Borussia Dortmund player left the field and consulted medical professionals on site. The injury has sidelined the player for the time being in order for it to properly heal. Götze's setback is just one example of the many hamstring-related injuries occurring in men's soccer. 

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