Chronic sequelae after muscle strain injuries: influence of heavy resistance training on functional and structural characteristics in a randomized controlled trial

Review written by Dr Teddy Willsey info

Key Points

  1. Individuals suffering from chronic symptoms following muscle strain injuries can benefit from participating in a heavy resistance training program.
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BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE

Muscle strains are amongst the highest reported injuries across several different sports (1). The hamstrings are the most frequently injured muscle group, followed by the adductors, quadriceps, and calves (2). Studies have shown that complete healing of tissue assessed via MRI is not necessary for athletes to rehabilitate, regain strength, and return to competitive play (3). Muscle strains can lead to prolonged deficits in local muscular strength, endurance, and activation, as evidenced by the 1-year hamstring strain recurrence rate of one-third (4, 5).

The majority of muscle strains occur at the myotendinous junction (6). It has been suggested that scar tissue proliferation and delayed cellular repair processes result in weak spots, reducing the total area for myotendinous force transfer, ultimately applying greater stress to the intact remaining tissue and increasing injury recurrence risk (7). The authors of this paper sought to explore the effects three months of heavy resistance training (HRT) can have on chronic muscle strains at both a cellular and functional level.

The hamstrings are the most frequently injured muscle group, followed by the adductors, quadriceps, and calves.
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Eccentric strength deficits were more pronounced, indicating that eccentric strength may be harder to restore than concentric strength following a muscle strain.

METHODS

A total of 30 amateur athlete participants (av. age = 36) were recruited and eligible for the randomized 2-arm study. Inclusion criteria included a 6-month history of muscle strain injury, persistent pain, and/or functional deficits, and a diagnostic ultrasound scan

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