Sports Injury Spotlight: Hamstring Strains in Lacrosse Players

In the United States, lacrosse has increased in popularity every year, with more than 772,000 people playing on organized teams in 2014.

Lacrosse is a fast-paced, multi-directional sport. While this makes it fun for both participants and spectators alike, it also makes players susceptible to injury, including muscle strains. Hamstring strains are among the most common muscle strains sustained by lacrosse players.

These injuries may be caused by not warming up enough before exercise or play, or having too tight of quadriceps muscles or weak glutes. Hamstring injuries can sideline an athlete for a few weeks or even months. These injuries can be difficult to manage, as the hamstring is made up of three large muscles located on the back of the thigh. The hamstring muscles are responsible for movements like knee flexion and hip extension.

Hamstring strains are classified in three ways:

  • First Degree (the result of mild stretching; tearing of only a few muscle or tendon fibers)
  • Second Degree (a more severe muscle tear without total disruption of the muscle group)
  • Third Degree (complete tear of the muscle group)

Regardless of how you strained your hamstring, seek good medical advice. Your physician will assess the injury to determine its severity. In some cases, an MRI is needed to better diagnose the hamstring strain. The RICE Method (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) is usually an acceptable means of treating the injury, as well as taking pain relievers. The athlete will want to practice stretching and strengthening exercises to protect against additional injury.