June 2021

Previous Hamstring Muscle Strain Injury Alters Passive Tissue Stiffness and Vibration Sense

Authors: Tomonori Kawai, Kouichi Takamoto, Itsumu Bito


Department of Sports and Health Sciences, Faculty of human sciences, University of East Asia, Yamaguchi, Japan

Journal: Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies - May 2021, Volume 27, Pages 573-578 (DOI: 10.1016/j.jbmt.2021.05.002)

Background: Hamstring strain is one of the most common among sports injuries. A previous history of this injury is considered a strong predictor of recurrent hamstring strain injury. It has been suggested that fascial tissue alters after muscle strain injury. However, the association between previous hamstring strain injury and tissue stiffness and vibration sense detection has not been investigated.

Objectives: We aimed to determine whether a previous history of hamstring strain injury affects tissue stiffness and vibration sense in professional soccer players.

Method: The stiffness (MyotonPRO®) and vibration disappearance threshold (tuning fork) were measured in eight professional soccer players with previous history of hamstring strain and eight uninjured players. The differences between two groups’ means were analyzed. Side-to-side differences between injured and uninjured legs were also analyzed.

Results: The tissue stiffness was higher, and the vibration detection threshold was lower, in previously injured players when compared to uninjured players. Similar differences were found between injured and uninjured legs. No significant relationship was detected between the age or body mass index (BMI) for both tissue stiffness and vibration detection threshold (all P < 0.05).

Conclusions: Soccer players with a previous history of hamstring strain injury exhibited higher tissue stiffness and lower vibration sensitivity in the injured leg, regardless of age and BMI. The results that players who have a previous hamstring strain injury with altered tissue stiffness and vibration sense will be useful and feasible evaluation for chronic muscle strain condition.


Keywords: Muscle strain injury, Tissue stiffness, Vibration sense, Altered sensory function

In conclusion, our results suggest that previous HSI affects tissue stiffness and sensory perception of vibration (measured using Myotone®PRO and tuning fork methods) regardless of age and BMI or leg dominance. Rehabilitation protocols addressing HSI should also address recovery of the tissue stiffness and sensory perception in athletes to possibly prevent recurrent HSI.