Hamstring injuries in the athlete: Diagnosis, treatment, and return to play

Samuel K. Chu*, Monica E. Rho

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


Hamstring injuries are very common in athletes. Acute hamstring strains can occur with high-speed running or with excessive hamstring lengthening. Athletes with proximal hamstring tendinopathy often do not report a specific inciting event; instead, they develop the pathology from chronic overuse. A thorough history and physical examination is important to determine the appropriate diagnosis and rule out other causes of posterior thigh pain. Conservative management of hamstring strains involves a rehabilitation protocol that gradually increases intensity and range of motion, and progresses to sport-specific and neuromuscular control exercises. Eccentric strengthening exercises are used for management of proximal hamstring tendinopathy. Studies investigating corticosteroid and platelet-rich plasma injections have mixed results. Magnetic resonance imaging and ultrasound are effective for identification of hamstring strains and tendinopathy but have not demonstrated correlation with return to play. The article focuses on diagnosis, treatment, and return-to-play considerations for acute hamstring strains and proximal hamstring tendinopathy in the athlete.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)184-190
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Sports Medicine Reports
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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