Hamstring muscles are a group of large, powerful muscles stretching to the back of the thigh, from the lower pelvis to the back of the tibia. The hamstring muscles play an important role in extending the hip joint and bending of the knee joint.
The hamstring injury usually occurs from sporting activities that involve a sudden change in direction such as football and basketball.
What are the Common Symptoms of a Hamstring Injury?
The symptoms depend largely on the severity of the injury. The hamstring injury is usually sudden and painful. Other common symptoms include:
- Muscle spasm
- Difficulty with Muscle Contraction
What Causes Hamstring Injuries?
Stretching of the tendons or muscles beyond their limit has been found to be the major factor in the development of hamstring injury.
These injuries usually occur amid sudden and tense movements, examples of which include sprinting, lunging or jumping. However, sometimes they can appear gradually, or during slow movements that result in overstretching of the hamstring.
In the event that you want to reduce the risk of a hamstring injury, ensure that you engage in regular stretching and strengthening exercises as well as warming up before exercise.
Examination of the affected limb is done by the physiotherapist. Make sure you reveal to your physiotherapist exactly what caused your hamstring injury. The degree of your injury can be detected by doing some imaging tests such as x-rays or an MRI scans.
Hamstring injuries are treated as an outpatient procedure usually on an individual basis. The extent and location of your injury are very important as they help in bespoking the treatment that is suitable for you. Most cases of hamstring injury are treated with non-surgical methods.
You should rest and raise your leg. The physiotherapist will recommend an icing program and a compression bandage for the thigh. The use of crutches is also important for temporary support. Your doctor can direct you to a physiotherapist for exercises with the goal of regaining movement and strength. Your doctor will tell you when you can safely continue with sports.
Surgery is done when there are complete tears in the middle of the hamstring muscles that have detached from the bones. Orthopedic surgeons make use of sutures to join the muscles in the mid hamstring tears. Sutures, anchors or staples can be used to re-connect the hamstring muscles with the bones.
After surgery, there is a need for you to rest; at this time you can be given a brace to put on and you can also make use of crutches. You can be advised to engage in physiotherapy rehabilitation exercises as they are important to regain flexibility, range of motion and function. The type and location of the injury determine the period of the rehabilitation program and last between three to six months.