Treating a Hamstring Strain or Pulled Hamstring
Treating a hamstring strain can be frustrating. Hamstring strains have the highest rate of recurrence with one-third of injured athletes suffering re-injury within the first few weeks following the return to their sport. Sprinters are more vulnerable to hamstring strains and it usually takes a more aggressive rehabilitative program to stabilize their injury. When treating a hamstring strain one must consider the anatomy first. The hamstrings are comprised of four separate muscles semitendinosus, semimembranosus, and the long and short heads of the biceps femoris muscle. Each muscle has its own function and insertions. Given their dissimilar functions, all hamstring strains are not the same. When treating a hamstring strain the semimembranosus muscle appears to be injured more than the others. With hamstring strains the semimembranosus is more likely to be strained with activities that stretch the hamstrings through extreme ranges of motion such as a front or side split, but can be injured with high kicks performed in martial arts. Studies have revealed that the closer the injury is to the insertion of the ischial tuberosity or around the buttocks insertion, the more difficult it is to treat. Runners have more of a predisposition to injure the long head of the biceps femoris muscle. This type of hamstring strain tends to heal faster because the injury occurs at the proximal muscle tendon junction. North phoenix chiropractor treating a hamstring strain.
Considerations for Treating a Hamstring Strain
When treating a hamstring strain or looking to prevent or rehabilitate hamstring strains there are factors that must be considered. Previous injuries, age, type of hamstring strain, hamstring imbalance, inadequate warm-up and the presence of a hyperlordotic lumbar spine with an anterior tilted pelvis. When treating a hamstring strainthe best predictor of future injury is prior injury which can cause muscle stiffness and diminished neuromotor control. There remains some controversy about hamstring inflexibility. Askling reported that some athletes may increase the likelihood of hamstring strains by stretching before their participation in their sport. Treating a hamstring strain depends upon the severity of the injury. Due to the pain and limited ability to use the muscle, a third degree strain usually results in a visit to a physician for evaluation and treatment. Less severe hamstring strains may be treated at home. In treating a hamstring strain these general treatment steps are commonly recommended for mild or moderate hamstring injuries.
- After an injury it’s important to rest the injured muscle, sometimes for up to two or three weeks before you can return to play after your injury.
- R.I.C.E– Rest, apply Ice and Compression. Elevate the leg if possible.
- A stretching program can be started as soon as the pain and swelling subsides.
- A strengthening program should be used to rebuild the strength of the injured muscle in order to prevent re-injury. Make sure you increase this gradually.
- Kinesio tape can take the swelling and bruising down quicker.
- Physiotherapy such as ultra sound or muscle stimulation may be indicated.
this article on Treating a Hamstring Strain is informational and not to be used to diagnose or treat any medical condition