Physical therapy for hamstring: Guide for hamstring Injury Survivors

Physical therapy for hamstring Hamstring injuries: occurs when your hamstring muscles contract or pull, which consists of three muscle groups in the back of your leg that extend to your hips. It is also known as back muscle contraction among people.

You may be more familiar with hamstring injuries if you play sports like basketball, soccer, tennis, or the like that involve positions where you have to stop and start suddenly. Likewise, hamstring injuries can occur in runners and dancers.

Self-help treatments such as rest, ice, and painkillers will be sufficient to relieve swelling and pain in the hamstring injury area. Rarely, surgery may be required to treat tears.

A hamstring strain injury occurs when the 3 hamstring muscles or tendons (at the back of the thigh) are partially or completely torn. It is one of the most common injuries to the lower body that particularly affects athletes participating in sports that involve high-speed running, such as soccer, soccer or track, and field. After tearing a hamstring muscle, a person is 2 to 6 times more likely to suffer a subsequent injury. In most cases, hamstring strain injuries are successfully managed with physical therapy. In this article, we’ll explain Physical therapy for hamstring Hamstring injuries.

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Hamstring Injury Symptoms

Hamstring injuries usually occur with a sudden, sharp pain in your hip area. In addition, it is possible that you may feel torn. Generally, swelling and tenderness may occur within a few hours. However, the entire back of your leg may be hurt and discolored, as well as the loss of strength and ability if you put weight on your injured leg.

When to see a doctor

Mild hamstring injuries can be treated at home. However, if you cannot put weight on your injured leg and cannot walk more than four steps with great pain, you should go to a doctor.

What Causes Hamstring Injuries?

The hamstring muscles are a group of three muscles located on the back of your leg, extending from just above your kneecap to your hip. These muscles help you put your leg in front of your body and kneel. If any of these muscles push their limits during physical activity, injury occurs.

Risk factors for his injury:

  • Sports competitions. Injuries are more common in many activities that require much flexibility, such as jogging or sprinting, dancing.
  • Previous injuries. Once you’ve had a hamstring injury, you’re more likely to get it back. You are particularly at risk if you return to previous intense activities without allowing your muscles to fully recover and strengthen.
  • Insufficient flexibility. If you are not flexible enough, your muscles may not be able to bear all the force generated by the activity.
  • Muscle imbalances. Although not all experts agree, imbalances in the muscles can cause hamstring injuries. When the muscles in the front of your knee are more developed and stronger than your hamstring muscles, the risk of hamstring injury increases.

Resuming strenuous activities before your muscles have fully recovered can cause you to re-injure. According to some studies, the recurrence of hamstring injury is more difficult than the original injury.

Getting ready for your appointment
When you consult your physical therapist, they can refer you to qualified doctors, such as a specialist in muscle, sports doctor, or orthopedic surgeon.

Preparation for the
doctor, You can write a list that includes:

A detailed list of symptoms
Information about previous health problems

Medications and nutritional supplements
you take Questions you want to ask the doctor

What to expect from the
doctor Your doctor will likely ask questions like the following:

When and how did the injury occur? Have you ever felt
Is there a special action that alleviates or increases pain?

Physical therapy for hamstring: Guide for hamstring Injury Survivors

What are Hamstring Injuries?

The hamstring muscle group contains 3 muscles in the back of the thigh that connect the hip to the leg. It is the primary muscle group responsible for straightening (stretching) the hip and flexing (bending) the knee. 3 muscles:

  • Semitendinosus
  • Semimembranosus
  • Biceps femoris

The anatomy of the muscles includes the muscle “belly”, the part that contracts and relaxes to move a limb, and the tendon, the part of the muscle that connects the abdomen to the bone. Hamstring strain injuries occur when the muscle belly is damaged by excessive force as the muscle is stretched. This usually occurs when running at high speed, with sudden starts or changes of direction, or when the muscle is overstretched by activities such as sprinting, obstacles, kicking, or heavy lifting.

Risk factors for hamstring strain injuries include:

  • Previous history of hamstring strain injury
  • Hamstring weakness
  • Increasing age
  • Poor flexibility of the quadriceps and hip flexors (muscle tension)
  • Insufficient warm-up before activity
  • Muscle fatigue
Physical therapy for hamstring: Guide for hamstring Injury Survivors

How does it feel?

When a person experiences a hamstring strain injury, sudden pain is felt in the back of the thigh. It happens very quickly and causes the individual to stop doing an activity. Symptoms caused by a minor injury may last for only a few days; The symptoms of a more serious injury can last for weeks. Common symptoms include:

  • Sudden, sharp pain in the back of the thigh or hip
  • A “pop” or tearing feeling in the muscle
  • Bruising within hours or days after injury
  • Sensitivity to touch in the affected area
  • Difficulty sitting comfortably, lifting the leg while lying down, or straightening the knee
  • Difficulty walking or running causes limping

Hamstring tests and diagnosis

During physical tests, your doctor will check for swelling and tenderness throughout your entire leg. Determining the size and location of the pain will help understand the point and extent of the damage. At the same time, your doctor can try to find out if there is any tendon or ligament damage by moving your leg to various positions.

Imaging tests
In many hamstring injuries, muscle damage, pelvis, or shin bone dislocation may occur. Sometimes there is a small bone fragment detached from the main bone (avulsion fractures). An X-ray can check avulsion fractures, and muscle and tendon injuries can be determined with ultrasound and MRI tests.

Treatment and medications
The main goal of treatment is to reduce pain and swelling. To achieve this, your doctor may suggest:

Take a break from intense activities for recovery from the injury.

Use a cane or crutches to avoid putting all your weight on your injured knee.

Apply ice several times a day to reduce pain and swelling.

To reduce swelling and blood flow, rest with your leg above the heart level.

Wrap the injured area to reduce swelling.

Take anti-inflammatory and analgesic medications (Advil, Motrin IB, or similar) or acetaminophen (Tylenol, and similar) pain relievers to reduce pain.

Physical therapy for hamstring: Guide for hamstring Injury Survivors

Physical therapy

Physical therapy for hamstring Hamstring injuries: After experiencing pain and swelling from hamstring injuries, your doctor or physical therapist can teach you some specific exercises that explain how to give these muscles strength and flexibility.

If your muscles are separated from the points where they connect with the pelvis or shinbone, orthopedic surgeons can reassemble it. Muscle tears can also be treated this way.

Lifestyle and home treatment
If you want to treat hamstring injuries at home, you can use the DBSK (Rest, ice, compress, lift) method. If the injury is more than a minor muscle strain, then you can consult your doctor or physical therapist for assistance.

  • Take a break from intense activities to rest your hamstring muscles and repair your damaged muscles. Avoid any activity that can cause pain, swelling, or discomfort. In more severe injuries, your doctor may recommend using crutches to prevent you from putting your weight on the injured leg.
  • Immediately apply ice to the injured area, even if you seek medical attention. For several days after injury, apply ice to the injured area for 15 to 20 minutes every two to three hours when you are awake. The cold will relieve pain, reduce swelling, and burning in injured muscles, joints, and connected areas. It can also cause bleeding if the tear has occurred. In this case, if your skin color turns white, stop the treatment immediately. If you have vascular disease or diabetes or are experiencing loss of sensation, consult your doctor before applying ice.
  • Compress. Wrap your leg with an elastic bandage until the sensitivity decreases. Be careful not to wrap it tight enough to affect blood flow. Start wrapping from the farthest point from your heart. Loosen the bandage if pain increases, the surrounding area becomes numb or tenderness occurs.
  • Remove. Lie or sit down with your leg raised while resting. If possible, keep your leg above your heart level. Gravity will help you reduce blood flow and lower swelling.


Stretching and strength training as part of your physical fitness program will help you minimize hamstring injuries. Try to be fit while doing your sports, do not do sports to be fit. If you have any physical needs, regular fitness training will help prevent injuries. Consult your doctor for fitness exercises that will be beneficial.

Physical therapy for hamstring Hamstring injuries

Physical therapy for hamstring Hamstring injuries: Immediately after suffering a hamstring strain injury, seek help from a physical therapist. Before your physical therapy session, you can:

  • Rest the injured area by avoiding aggravating activities such as walking or exercising. If you have serious difficulty walking, you may need crutches. Do not force the injured area excessively.
  • Apply ice to the injured area 3 to 4 times a day for 15 to 20 minutes (by placing a towel between your skin and the ice).

Your physical therapist will design a personalized treatment program tailored to the exact nature of your injury and your goals. Your treatment may include:

Manual therapy. Physical therapists are trained in manual (hands-on) therapy to gently move and manipulate muscles and joints to improve movement, flexibility, and strength. Your physiotherapist can gently massage and move the affected area to encourage healing. These techniques can target areas that are difficult to treat on your own.

Range of motion exercises. While it’s common for your hamstring muscles to harden after an injury, it’s important not to stretch these muscles early in the healing process. Your physiotherapist will point out when it is safe and appropriate to begin gentle flexibility exercises and guide you on how to do them in the clinic and at home.

Muscle-strengthening exercises. Hamstring strengthening will be an important part of your rehabilitation program. Your physiotherapist will compare the strength of muscle groups in each leg and write and teach you specific exercises to target areas of weakness.

Functional study. As you regain strength in your hamstrings, your quality of motion will need to be assessed so that you no longer apply excessive stress to the previously injured area. Your physiotherapist will develop a functional training program for the hamstring muscle group and gradually return to more demanding activities.

If the severity of your hamstring strain injury requires surgical treatment, a physical therapist will guide your post-operative rehabilitation. Your physiotherapist will communicate with your surgeon to provide complete and consistent post-surgery care.

Can This Injury or Condition Be Prevented?

Physical therapy for hamstring Hamstring injuries: You can reduce your risk of hamstring strain injury in the following ways:

  • Always warm-up before participating in athletic activities.
  • Avoid starting a new activity too quickly; Gradually increase the frequency and intensity of the activity so that your body adapts to the new movement patterns.
  • Maintain the strength of your hamstring muscles.
  • Listen to your body (and stretch it, apply ice, rest as needed) after exercising, before re-engaging in the same routine.

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