Hamstrings are the three main muscles that run in your body. They are the biceps femoris, semitendinosus, and semimembranosus. They help in bending your knee and extending your hip. A hamstring injury is common, the hamstring muscles get either too stretched or start to tear. An injured hamstring is referred to as pulled hamstring or hamstring strain. The injury may be mild and begin with a bit of pain and can be recovered in a short duration. But if the damage is severe, you might need surgery or crutches to walk for weeks.
Symptoms Of A Hamstring Strain?
If you strain your hamstring muscles during physical activity like butt exercises or oblique exercises, you will be able to immediately determine the symptoms of a hamstring injury. How can you immediately identify a hamstring injury? Hamstring injury is related to a sharp stabbing pain with a popping sensation at the back of the legs. You might even fall while performing the activity. The other most pronounced symptoms of a hamstring injury are:
- Tenderness, bruising, or swelling of the thigh’s back
- Hamstring pain while straightening and bending the thigh
- Experiencing a weak leg along with a mild hamstring pain that lasts for weeks
Diagnosis And Causes Of A Hamstring Strain
A physical therapist or a trainer can diagnose a pulled hamstring. You can also consult a doctor if you experience pain. The doctor will examine the muscle and enquire about the cause of injury and the level of pain. In addition, a doctor will be able to determine the grade of strain.
So now let us discuss the causes. By knowing the reasons, we can take preventive measures to save our health. Am I right?
A hamstring strain usually occurs when the muscle gets overloaded during physical activity. An overly stretched hamstring may also contribute to the tear. The most common activities contributing to a hamstring tear are jumping, sprinting, dancing, playing soccer, football and basketball.
A hamstring injury becomes common in teens as they go through a growth spurt while the bones grow faster than the muscles. It makes the muscles tight and more susceptible to forming an overly stretched hamstring. The other causes are:
- Improper warm-up before performing exercises. Tight muscles have a higher risk of getting strained than flexible ones.
- Overdoing any activity will lead to a hamstring tear as it cannot handle the stress and absorb energy.
- The size of the leg muscles experiences an imbalance. The quads become larger and more potent than the hamstring muscles. Therefore, the hamstring muscles become tired quickly and put the quadriceps at risk.
- Inappropriate running causes a hamstring injury as it puts the entire stress on the hamstring muscles.
- If you do not give sufficient time for your body to heal, you might develop an injury to the hamstring muscles.
Ways To Prevent A Hamstring Injury
Let us discuss the simple ways to prevent a hamstring injury. It will be of great help to you to save your health. Keeping the body fit in good shape is the primary means to safeguard a hamstring injury. However, there are a few other techniques to protect yourself. Read on.
- Warm-up properly for a minute or so with mild stretches and exercises to help the muscles recover. A dynamic stretching followed by static stretches is the ideal way to end a workout. Gently stretch the muscles and hold them for at least 30 seconds in each posture.
- Do regular physical activity every day so that the muscles are strong and flexible all through the year. A sudden shock with an intense workout is terrible and might increase the risk of a hamstring injury.
- When you are doing a daily workout, slowly increase the duration and intensity. It will ensure that your muscles are getting intense with every passing day.
- If you sense discomfort or feel pain in your thigh, halt and end the session. Give sufficient time for the leg muscles to recover and feel strong again. Once the pain subsides, you can resume your physical fitness.
Treatment Methods For A Hamstring Strain
At this point, we have some good news for you with regards to hamstring injury treatment. Only the severely injured hamstring muscles will require surgery. The other strains can heal on their own or with physical therapy, which will help and support recovery. Keep reading to know more about the hamstring injury treatment tips.
- Use the RICE formula. Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate.
- If you get injured, rest immediately. Use ice or cold compress bag for ten minutes once every three hours to subside the swelling. Wrap the ice in a towel. Take care not to place the block of ice directly on the skin as it will damage the tissue.
- The compression step is making use of elastic bandages or wraps to support the leg. It will also help resolve the swelling. Finally, always have your legs elevated during every sitting and lying posture.
- Make use of painkillers like ibuprofen and non-steroidal or anti-inflammatory drugs. It will help relieve the pain and reduce swelling extensively. Other medications like acetaminophen also might help at times. Consult with your therapist and then do things accordingly.
- Perform effective stretching and strengthening exercises. These will help to improve the leg’s flexibility and strength. It also gives time for the injury to recover and prevent it from recurring.
Finally, a doctor will advise when to resume your hamstring exercise after thoroughly evaluating you after a hamstring injury treatment.
A survey states that many people return to their physicians with a hamstring strain as they return too early to their physical activities. Therefore, it is essential at this point to follow a doctor’s advice. Never resume physical activity until you are entirely healed. and safe. Do not overdo and push yourself. A complete tear will hinder your basic activities in life. Please bear this in mind and act with patience.
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