10 NOV

International interest grows for QUT hamstring device

French football giant Paris Saint-Germain is the latest top international sporting club to sign-up to trial a hamstring device developed at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT).

qutbluebox has provided several of the devices to Australian and overseas sporting teams, and has another four ready to ship overseas.

Despite still being in the prototype phase, the device is generating high levels of early interest from professional sports groups, according to qutbluebox CEO Michael Finney.

�The QUT hamstring device is attracting attention from some of the world�s biggest sporting teams, including several top English Premier League sides, and National Football League teams in the United States,� said Mr Finney.

The device recently received global media coverage, following the discovery that elite athletes may be able to reduce the risk of hamstring injuries by monitoring and increasing their hamstring strength.

With hamstring strain injuries accounting for most non-contact injuries in Australian football, rugby union soccer and sprinting, the discovery could have a major financial impact on all football codes.

Using their innovative new field device, a research team led by QUT�s Dr Anthony Shield, from QUT�s School � Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, and former QUT PhD student, Dr David Opar, now at the Australian Catholic University, measured the eccentric hamstring strength of more than 200 AFL players from five professional clubs.

The results have been e-published in leading sports medicine journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise and accepted for publication in an upcoming print edition.

"We showed, for the first time, that hamstring injury risk may be able to be quantified by measuring an athlete�s hamstring strength when they�re performing the Nordic hamstring curl exercise," Dr Shield said.

�The greater the athlete�s hamstring strength, the less likely they were to injure their hamstring, with the probability of a hamstring strain injury dropping to less than 10 per cent in the strongest athletes in the AFL trial.

�Improving hamstring strength by 10 Newtons decreased the risk of hamstring injury by approximately 9 per cent. This is a significant benefit and it is likely that players new to the exercise could improve hamstring strength by 30 Newtons in a month.

�This means it may be possible to effectively counter the additional risk conferred by having a prior hamstring injury by improving the eccentric hamstring strength through exercises such as the Nordic curl.

�This is particularly important for athletes who are already at an increased risk of injury due to their age or because they have sustained a hamstring injury in the previous season.�

Dr Shield said players considered to have weak hamstring in early pre-season testing were 2.7 times more at risk of a hamstring injury than stronger players in the AFL trial.

The QUT field-based testing device is the only known �machine� in the world capable of measuring strength during the Nordic hamstring curl. Major sports clubs in Australia are already using the device and the research team is also in the early stages of trials with rugby union, NRL, cricket and A-League clubs. Hockey Australia will also begin a trial shortly. The trial is part of a proof-of-concept project funded by bluebox to prototype and test the patent pending device in preparation for potential market entry.

For more information:

Maheshi Wadasinghe, IP and Commercial Analyst
T: +61 7 3138 9420 E: m.wadasinghe@qutbluebox.com.au

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