What is a Hamstring Strain?
Hamstring strains can either be acutely injured or can be a result of a build-up of stress over time. Acutely injured hamstrings usually result after stretching it too far or with a sprinting mechanism (Askling 2011).
Cause and Symptoms
You’re likely to get a hamstring strain during activities that involve a lot of running and jumping or sudden stopping and starting. A mild hamstring strain or tear may not hurt too much. But some can be very painful, depending on the severity of the strain/tear. It may also be hard to stand or walk. Other symptoms may include:
- Loss of mobility
- Loss of strength
If you suspect you have strained your hamstrings muscle, applying ice, using a compression bandage and elevating the area can reduce your pain levels. However, movement as you can tolerate is the key – especially in the early stages of injury!
Treatment will largely depend on your impairments and what we need to get you back doing! Usually a combination of hands-on therapy and a progressive strength training program will be the main focus of your recovery.
If you are a field based sporting athlete you will be exposed to high-speed running sessions and a return to sport testing session. This is designed to ensure optimal recovery as hamstring strains have a high re-injury rate and high speed running has been shown to be one of the most effective ways to prevent re-injury! (Mediguchia et al 2020).