Problems We Treat

Hamstring Strain

The hamstring is actually a group of three muscles. Housed on the back of the thigh, the hamstring is technically a persons biceps femoris, semimembranosus, and semitendinosus. This muscle group serves as one of the upper legs primary modes of mobility. Their main function allows the leg to bend at the knee as well as aid hip extension. Additionally, they help the lower leg turn inward and outward.

What does a hamstring injury feel like?

When a person experiences a hamstring injury, it can range from minor to intense feelings of pain. Some common tells for a hamstring injury include:

  • The area being tender to the touch
  • Superficial bruising
  • Pain in the back of the thigh and lower buttock when straightening the leg, bending, or even walking
  • A snapping or popping sensation during exercise
  • Severe, sudden pain

What should you do if you experience this type of injury?

If you feel any of the above symptoms, it is imperative to cease the activity that you were doing at the time the feeling started for a minimum of 24 hours. Should the feeling persist coupled with decreased mobility, seek the help of a physical therapist in order to avoid additional damage.

Some good pointers for initial triage also include:

  • Apply ice in 20-30 minute intervals for about 2 hours
  • Apply a compression bandage to help manage any swelling that may occur
  • Don't apply heat
  • Don't massage the area or stretch

Why seek the help of a physical therapist?

Because hamstring injuries are common among most sports (i.e. soccer, track and field, football, etc.), they are also common among muscle related injuries in general as they relate to sudden changes in speed. It is critical to receive professional attention to these injuries because scar tissue can easily form, the muscles can become weak, or improper healing can result in continued injuries.