Affiliations: Physiotherapy Department, Physical Activity, Occupation and Health Research Unit, University of Limerick, Limerick | HSE South, Skibbereen, Co. Cork
Note:  Kieran O'Sullivan, SMISCP, M. Manip Ther, BPhysio(Hons), Physiotherapy Department, Physical Activity, Occupation and Health Research Unit, University of Limerick. Corresponding author: Kieran O'Sullivan, Physiotherapy Department, University of Limerick, Ireland. Tel: +353 61234119 Fax: +353 61 234251 Author email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Abstract: Hamstring injury is one of the most common injuries affecting Gaelic footballers, however conflict exists in the literature regarding the presence of strength deficits after hamstring injury. The aim of this study was to determine whether significant thigh muscle weakness is present in female Gaelic footballers after previous hamstring injury. Twenty members of a university senior female Gaelic football team participated in the study. Knee flexion and extension strength were assessed using an isokinetic dynamometer (Biodex) at 60, 180 and 300 degrees per second. Seven players reported a history of hamstring strain, with all injuries occurring on the dominant side. The previously injured hamstrings were significantly stronger on multiple isokinetic comparisons, although these differences only reached statistical significance (p<0.05) at 180 degrees per second. Dominant legs were significantly stronger (p<0.05) than non-dominant legs across numerous strength variables and speeds. Interestingly, thigh muscle weakness was not observed in female Gaelic football players with a history of hamstring injury. In contrast, the hamstrings of the previously injured legs were stronger than the uninjured legs. The significant strength differences found between dominant and non-dominant legs could, however, have been a confounding variable. Rehabilitation must consider aspects other than increasing muscle strength to reduce the risk of recurrence.