A hamstring injury, which is sometimes called a strain or a pull, is actually caused when someone tears one of their three hamstring muscles: the Semimembranosus, and the Semitendinosus, and the Biceps femoris.
General symptoms of a hamstring injury are when a person gets a sudden and sharp pain in the back part of their leg while they are doing some sort of exercise or sports activity that involves hard and fast movements. This develops into pain when they try to stretch out the muscles or straighten their knee and the injury will normally swell up and cause bruising to develop. An injury that is more severe will also show a breach in the area of the muscles affected.
Hamstring Tendonitis Symptoms
Tendonitis is caused by an irritation in a person’s tendons, most often the legs. If you want to lessen your chances of getting this sort of injury, then you should do stretches and warm up prior to your exercises sessions. Tendonitis causes pain in the area of the injury, as well as stiffness and soreness where it is torn and the area will also feel hot all through the leg that is hurt.
Hamstring Tear Symptoms
If someone is, for instance, jogging and suddenly they get hit on the leg then they may end up tearing one of their hamstring muscles. It also happens if you overstretch the muscle too fast because you didn’t warm it up ahead of the exercise or jogging session. Plus, if you have previously hurt your hamstring, you are more likely to have it happen again.
If you have torn a hamstring, you will get a sudden and pulsating pain on the back of the leg. Then, your muscles will spasm, swell and end up bruising.
Hamstring Pull Symptoms
Hamstring pull symptoms are different depending on how bad you have hurt yourself, but the most common occurrences are feeling a sharp pain or pulling sensation along the back of the leg or thigh area. It will also feel tight or tender to the touch. A more severe injury will also have a dull aching feeling that remains even at rest and it can hurt going up stairs or a hill.
You will also have problems with your range of motion or in bending your knee. Plus, the area will swell up and become irritated and inflamed and warm to the touch. It may also bruise and turn colors of black and blue, and you might hear a snapping noise as it tears.
Hamstring Injury Treatment
When someone injures their hamstring there are several things that can be done for immediate treatment.
How To Treat A Hamstring Injury
Using ice on a hamstring injury is a common start to treatment as it helps to bring down any swelling and helps to numb the pain. You can use either one of those blue reusable packs that you get from the drugstore and freeze it, or put some ice in a ziplock plastic bag and use that. You can also put a compression bandage, sometimes called a ace bandage, on it to reduce the inflammation and swelling.
It is also important to rest the injury and not make it worse by continuing whatever activity caused it in the first place. Only by resting it can it start healing. After that, it is important to keep your leg elevated to reduce swelling and fluid retention for at least the first couple of days after you hurt it.
Finally, if necessary, you can use crutches to take the pressure off the injury when you need to walk. In some severe cases of injury, it helps to get physical therapy.
Pulled Hamstring Treatment
A pulled hamstring happens sometimes if someone forgets to do a warmup and is one of the most common hamstring injuries. It should be treated as the above directions suggest, plus there are also special hamstring injury exercises that can help strength it.
Hamstring Injury Exercises
Isometric Hamstring Injury Exercises
Contracting your hamstrings will both increase their strength and improve your hamstrings flexibility after an injury (or any time). While sitting in a firm chair, tighten your upper leg muscles. Hold for 30 seconds. Relax. Repeat.
Lay on your back onto a flat surface. Tighten your quadriceps (thigh muscles) as you press your knee onto the surface. This exercise helps to stretch your hamstrings, according to Virginia Mason Orthopedics.
Hamstring Strengthening Exercises
Strengthening exercises can help the hamstring to heal after an injury. One kind of stretching exercise involves the person sitting in a wheeled chair. Then, they are supposed to pull themselves around using the hurt leg to propel the chair. This causes the knee to bend as you move forwards and helps it get stronger.
Another stretching exercise is with an elastic exercise band, which looks somewhat like a long, fat rubber band. You tie this to a table leg and then put your hurt leg inside the band. Then, you stretch the leg back and hold for a few moments, and let it go. This is done several times.
Stretching exercises are beneficial to help prevent hamstring injuries from happening in the first place. But they are also good to use to help make the injured hamstring repair itself as part of a physical therapy session. One example of a stretch you can use is to stand up and put your hurt leg onto the floor. Then lean the upper part of your body in the direction of your toes, but keep the knees straight and just bend at the waist area. The back also has to remain straight. Do this for 20 seconds and then repeat a few times.
Another type of hamstring stretch that is good has the person standing and using a weight. While holding the weight, the person bends with their hips and lowers the weight in their hands slowly to the floor. Keep back straight and do several times.