A hamstring strain is a stretching or tearing of the hamstring muscles located in the back of the thigh.
What Causes Hamstring Strains?
- Hamstring strains are usually caused by an over-stretching of the muscle.
- Continuing to run and sprint when the hamstring muscle is feeling tight.
What Are the Symptoms of a Hamstring Strain?
- Immediate pain in the back of the thigh.
- Pain with movement or activity over the back of the thigh.
- Swelling or bruising in the back of the thigh.
- Walking with a limp.
- The feeling of a “pop” or “snap” felt in the back of the thigh when the injury occurred.
What Can I Do to Feel Better?
- Rest. Do not do things that cause pain.
- Ice for 15-20 minutes at a time will help decrease swelling and pain.
- Compression can be helpful to decrease swelling and pain.
- If walking is painful, crutches are often recommended to allow for optimal healing.
- Once the pain has subsided, light stretching and strengthening of the hamstring muscle is recommended. Then progress slowly back to jogging and then running/cutting activities.
- Returning to full activity with sprinting to soon is likely to cause re-injury to those healing muscles.
When Should I See a Medical Professional?
- If rest, ice, and compression are not improving the condition.
- If you are unable to put weight on your leg.
- If you are unsure about the severity of the condition.
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