Investigating neural representations in response to posterior thigh pain – a potential risk factor for hamstring injury recurrence?

      Background: Recurrent hamstring injuries are a major problem in sport. Despite extensive research regarding risk factors underlying hamstring injury, recurrence rates remain high, suggesting our current understanding may be overlooking important neurophysiological factors. Recent evidence demonstrates disruptions in tactile, proprioceptive, and spatial neural (cortical) representations in athletes who develop persistent posterior thigh pain following a hamstring injury. It is possible these disruptions may contribute to poor recovery and hamstring injury recurrence. However, due to the cross-sectional nature of existing research, it remains unknown if the disruption in neural representations are driven by pain, or other factors. We explored whether experimentally-induced posterior thigh pain is associated with impairments in tasks that are thought to interrogate neural representations. If so, this may spark new investigations into potential mechanisms underlying hamstring injury recurrence.
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