By Brad Williamson, BSc. Physiotherapy (Dist.) APAM
Short answer is both! It’s all about timing, in the early stages it is advisable to avoid stretching as this will strain the injured fibres further, preventing the reparation process and thereby slow the initial healing process. As the strained fibres heal and return to sport is approaching adequate muscle flexibility and strength are vital to prevent a similar incident happening upon returning to competition. At this point your physiotherapist should assist you in regaining requisite flexibility, strength and confidence through appropriate exercises, stretches and hands-on techniques.
The approaches we use at Jenkins Physiotherapy are backed by research and our approach to muscle strains is no different. Researchers in Sweden almost halved the time to return to professional competition after a hamstring tear in professional footballers with a simple rehabilitation program, get started with us today to secure your spot on the pitch all season long!
If you have recently injured a muscle ensure you undertake appropriate acute injury measures including ice, rest, elevation, compression and have a thorough professional assessment so book now to facilitate rapid recovery and prevent further time off!
o Askling CM, Tengvar M, Thorstensson A. Acute hamstring injuries in Swedish elite football; A prospective randomised controlled clinical trial comparing two rehabilitation protocols. Br J Sports Med 2013;47:953–959.