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Hamstring injuries

Chartered Physiotherapist Simon Hawkins describes the most common hamstring injuries we see at The StoneHouse Clinic, and what can be done to help.

What is a hamstring injury?

A hamstring injury is a strain or tear to the tendons or large muscles at the back of the thigh.  The term hamstring refers to the group of three muscles that run along the back of your thigh from your hip to just below your knee.

What are the symptoms of a hamstring injury?

Hamstring injuries often occur during sudden, explosive movements such as sprinting, lunging or jumping.  If the tendons or muscles tear, you may feel or hear a pop, followed immediately by severe pain in the affected leg.  The muscle will often spasm (seize up) and feel tight and tender.  In severe cases, there may also be swelling, tenderness and bruising.  Walking may be painful.

Recovering from a hamstring injury may take days, weeks or months depending on how severe the strain or tear is.

Why does it happen?

Hamstring injuries can occur when they are being used to perform a sudden movement such as sudden sprinting. Often it can occur as a result of a more long term muscle weakness or bio-mechanical assymetry in the body.  Recurrent hamstring injuries are common in some sports people, including footballers and cricketers.

Self-help measures for a hamstring injury

During the first few days after the injury, you should rest the affected leg and follow the RICE principle - advice on this please click here 

If the pain has settled after a few days, you can consider some gentle exercise such as walking, cycling or swimming but avoid running or jumping.  

I would not recommend returning to full activities or sport until the pain has settled and your hamstring is once again strong enough to cope with the activity.

What can The StoneHouse Clinic do for your hamstring injury?

As with any injury, we can help the healing process so your return to pain-free activity is much quicker, and also advise you on a bespoke rehabilitation plan to help prevent the injury from re-occurring.  The hamstring group of muscles cover the whole back of your leg and can tear at any point between your glutes and just below the back of your knee, and there can be many different causes as to why the injury happened, and so the treatment and advice will be completely bespoke and individual to your needs.  Treatment may include:

- specific massage techniques to mobilse the scar tissue and help prevent re-occurrence
- bespoke taping to support the hamstring whilst it is healing
- mobilising the hamstring and surrounding area to aid healing and prepare it for the rehab phase of treatment
- electrotherapy to aid healing of the tissues
- bespoke graded exercises if necessary, to help address any causative factors such as muscle weakness or biomechanics assymetry
- bespoke self-management advice and advice on measures that can be taken to try and prevent a repeat of the injury 
- if applicable, an individual graded plan to allow return to sport and activity 

If you are suffering with a hamstring injury and would like to book an appointment at The StoneHouse Clinic (located at Hartham Park, Corsham, Wiltshire near Chippenham and Bath) for Physiotherapy treatment then please find our contact details by clicking here



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