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Pulled Hamstring Hamstring Strain


A hamstring strain is a tear in one or more of the hamstrings muscles. there are three hamstring muscles (Semitendinosus, Semimembranosus and Biceps femoris).


That originate from the ischial tuberosity of pelvis.


And insert into the medial (inner) aspect of the tibia while the biceps femoris inserts at the head of the fibula bone.


The hamstrings helps in extending the hip and flexing the knee joints. Acute, mild to severe hamstring strains are extremely common in sprinters and hurdle jumpers and in all sports that involve sprinting activities, such as football ,cricket hockey and rugby.


During sprinting the hamstring muscles work extremely hard to decelerate the tibia as it swings out. In addition, once the foot is on the ground the hamstrings function in extending the hip back which in turn allows the other leg to move forwards. It is in this phase just before the foot strikes the ground that the hamstrings, become injured as the muscles are maximally activated and are approaching their maximum length. There are a number of factors that increase the risk of an individual to a pulled hamstring:

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  • Age: The older the individual the greater at risk to a pulled hamstring.
  • Previous Injury: Prior injuries to the hamstrings or adductor muscles can greatly increase the risk of the hamstrings to future damage.
  • Flexibility: Research suggests that the greater the flexibility of the hamstrings the less prone they are to injury.
  • Hamstring strength: Similarly studies have shown that lack of hamstring strength is strongly linked to a susceptibility to a pulled hamstring.
  • Lumbosacral nerve impingement: Nerve impingement in L5-S1 can lead to associated hamstring muscle weakness.
  • Tiredness and fitness: When a player is fatigued he/she loses coordination between within certain muscle groups.


Symptoms of a Pulled Hamstring:

  • A sudden sharp pain at the back of the leg during exercise-most probably during sprinting or high velocity movements
  • Hamstring muscles going into spasm-will be associated with pain on stretch and contraction.
  • Swelling and bruising.
  • If the rupture is severe a gap in the muscle may be felt.


Severity of Pulled Hamstring


Strains are graded 1, 2 or 3 depending on severity. Grade 1 consists of minor tears within the muscle. A grade 2 is a partial tear in the muscle and grade 3 is a severe or complete rupture of the muscle…


In Grade 1 injury

  • May have tightness in the posterior thigh.
  • Probably able to walk normally however will be aware of some discomfort
  • Minimal swelling.
  • Lying on front and trying to bend the knee against resistance probably won’t produce much pain.


In Grade 2 injury

  • Gait will be affected-limp may be present.
  • May be associated with occasional episodes of pain during activity.
  • May notice swelling.
  • Pressure increases pain.
  • Flexing the knee against resistance causes pain.
  • Might be unable to fully straighten the knee.


In Grade 3 injury

  • Walking severely affected.
  • Severe pain- particularly during activity.
  • Maximal swelling.

Treatment of a Pulled Hamstring


See a sports injury specialists

The treatment for a pulled hamstring starts immediately following injury. In this stage the following can be carried out by the athlete them self:


  • Use Cold Therapy (Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate) technique
  • Use a compression bandage to minimize intra muscular bleeding.


What can a Sports Injury Specialist do?

  • Purchase a rehabilitation program.
  • Use Myofascial release techniques to speed up recovery- these are extremely.
  • Prescribe a rehabilitation program
  • Advise on specific stretches
  • Provide mobility aids such as crutches
  • In severe ruptures surgery may be needed to repair the damage


Prevention of Pulled Hamstrings:

  • One of the most important methods of preventing a pulled hamstring is to warm up correctly which should consist of some light aerobic exercise.
  • A specific strengthening program for the hamstring muscle group is vital in those athletes regularly undertaking sprinting and high velocity sports.
  • It is extremely important to continue to strengthen all other muscles in the region of the thighs, pelvis and lower back to ensure correct muscle balance
  • Stretchingng both before and after exercise
  • Regular deep tissue release techniques
  • Thermal pants are thought to decrease the risk of injury.