The role of strength alterations and gender in collegiate athletes’ risk of developing hamstring strain injury: a prospective study
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Hamstring strain injury (HSI) is among the most prevalent sports-related injuries observed in athletic populations, particularly in sports involving high-speed movements. Although previous history of HSI is generally accepted as a risk factor for development of subsequent HSI, there is less consensus regarding the relative risk for HSI posed by other variables. Very little of the existing body of research on HSI risk factors is prospective in nature, and virtually none has examined the effect of gender on HSI. This prospective study aimed to address two of the more significant gaps in the current research on HSI by investigating the potential role of strength imbalances present at the beginning of the competitive season in the relative risk of HSI development; furthermore, this study sought to elucidate what effect, if any, that athlete gender has on the variables measured. In addition to study findings, this report discusses considerations for future research, particularly with respect to study design and methodology, and identifies potential areas warranting further investigation.