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50 The association between the Sprint Mechanics Assessment Score (S-MAS) to retrospective and prospective Hamstring Strain Injuries in elite football players
  1. Chris Bramah1,2,
  2. Thomas Dos’Santos3,4
  1. 1School of Health and Society, University Of Salford, UK
  2. 2Manchester Institute of Health and Performance, UK
  3. 3Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences, Musculoskeletal Science and Sports Medicine Research Centre, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK
  4. 4Manchester Institute of Sport, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK


Introduction Sprint running mechanics are thought to be a risk factor for Hamstring Strain Injuries (HSI). However, there is limited evidence to support this association, which may be explained by the lack of in-field assessment methods to evaluate sprint running mechanics.

This study aimed to investigate whether a new qualitative screening tool, the Sprint Mechanics Assessment Score (S-MAS), can identify differences in running mechanics between players who have sustained a HSI in the last 12 months (Prior HSI), those prospectively sustaining a new HSI, and controls.

Materials and Methods Maximal velocity sprint running videos (240fps) were collected from 79 elite football players (18 female, 61 male) in the English Football League. A blinded assessor scored all videos using the S-MAS (12-point qualitative screening tool for sprint mechanics).

Mann-Whitney U tests were used to compare S-MAS between injured groups (Prior HSI, n=12 and New HSI, n=3) to sex-matched controls (n=41).

Results Mean S-MAS for the Prior HSI group (6.2, SD 1.9) were significantly greater than controls (4.4, SD 2.4) (p <.05, Effect size (ES) = 0.76). Players sustaining a new HSI also displayed greater S-MAS scores compared to controls (mean 6.3, SD 0.6, ES = 0.8), however this was non-significant (p = .187).

Conclusion S-MAS scores are higher in footballers with HSI’s compared to controls, suggesting sub-optimal sprint mechanics are associated with previous and possibly future HSI. The easy-to-use nature of the S-MAS means screening sprint running mechanics can be simply integrated into routine practice, potentially identifying footballers at HSI risk.

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