Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics
Hamstring injuries are a common occurrence among professional football cheerleaders. The purpose of this study is to identify the effects of an eccentric, closed-chain hamstring exercise intervention on hamstring injury–associated pain during the course of the football season among professional football cheerleaders.
Forty-three female cheerleaders participated in an eccentric, closed-chain hamstring exercise intervention protocol provided by doctors of chiropractic that incorporated loops of elastic-band or Thera-Band Loops (Hygenic Corporation, Akron, OH) during practice and at home during the regular football season. Hamstring injury–related pain was assessed in June, during team selection; in September, at the start of the season; and in December, at the end of season. No intervention was applied between June and September, although the sample participated in 4 hours of practice 2 to 3 times per week. The intervention was applied to the entire sample regardless of hamstring injury–related pain during the regular football season between September and December. The interventions included 2 exercises and were completed bilaterally 2 times per week at each biweekly practice and were encouraged to be done at least 3 additional times per week at home on nonpractice days.
Among the subsample who reported hamstring-related injury pain between June and September, the exercise intervention significantly decreased (P < .007) pain between September (6.07 ± 0.58) and December (3.67 ± 0.65).
The eccentric, closed-chain hamstring exercise intervention reduced hamstring injury–related pain among this group of professional football cheerleaders.