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New invention could help prevent hamstring injury

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Eight English Premier League football teams are investing in a new device that can help predict and prevent hamstring injuries in elite athletes.

The NordBord Hamstring Testing System, developed at Queensland University of Technology (QUT), measures the strength of athletes´ hamstrings during a hamstring exercise known as the Nordic curl.

“We´ve shown with our research that athletes who are weak at this exercise are significantly more likely… to sustain a hamstring strain,” explained Dr. Tony Shield, who initially invented and built the portable prototype with his former QUT PhD student Dr. David Opar.

The device´s advanced sensors and data capture software enable clinicians and coaches to accurately understand the hamstring strength of each player, Dr. Shield said.

“The Nordbord tests ‘eccentric´ strength — the amount of force that a muscle can generate while it lengthens, with injuries most often occurring in athletes with poor strength or strength imbalances.”

A QUT spin-off company called Vald Performance is manufacturing the Nordbord and has received orders from elite teams and sports organisations around the world.

“Nordbords are already being sent to eight English Premier League soccer teams, nine AFL teams, five Rugby World Cup national teams, four NRL teams and five to different National Institutes of Sport,” said Laurie Malone, chief executive of Vald Performance.

“We are also sending the hamstring testing system to a range of European soccer teams, universities, National Football League (NFL), National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), and Major League Baseball (MLB) teams.”

For more information and to see the Nordbord in action, take a look at this short video from QUT: https://youtu.be/yFjPW5-4VAs