Physiotherapy Treatment for a hamstring strain

Hamstring Injury Pulled Hamstring

Physiotherapy Treatment for a hamstring strain

Hamstring Injury Pulled HamstringPhysiotherapy Treatment for a hamstring strain

Where are the hamstring muscles located?

The hamstring muscles are the three strong muscles that form the bulk of the back of your your thighs.  There are three hamstring muscles:

  • Semitendinosus
  • Semimembranosus
  • Biceps femoris

They attach at the base of the pelvis on your sit bones, they cross over the knee and attach to the bones on the back of your lower leg.

What are the hamstring muscles function(s)?

The hamstring muscles are responsible for extending your hip and pulling back your legs while walking as well as bending your knees.

What is a hamstring strain also known as a “pulled hamstring”?

A hamstring strain occurs when there is muscle overload such as when the muscle is stretched or loaded beyond its capacity and tissue fibers become torn.   Following the injury, the symptoms of a hamstring strain can include; sharp pain in the buttocks or back of the thigh, tenderness, swelling, weakness, and bruising. In mild cases, you may simply feel pulling in your muscles. In more severe cases, you may be able to walk but heavy exercises would be agonizing.

Hamstring strains are graded according to the severity, and classified as a pull, partial tear, or complete tear.

Generally, the hamstring muscles injuries are categorized as:

  • Grade One: No remarkable damage to the muscles, mild swelling and strain
  • Grade Two: Partially torn muscles, sudden twinges in the back of the thigh, swelling, and tenderness
  • Grade Three: Completely torn muscles, may result in a “lump” on the back of the thigh, severe pain and weakness in the muscle, bruising

Causes of a hamstring strainToronto Physiotherapy Hamstring Strain

Typically, these muscles can be damaged during any movement where the hamstring becomes overstretched or overloaded which is common high speed running and kicking sports. To a lesser extent, the injuries can occur during stretching maneuvers. Hamstring muscles injury or a “pulled hamstring” is common and if left untreated, the recovery period may take long; therefore proactive treatment and rehabilitation is imperative.

 Other potential causes of hamstring strains or pulled hamstrings include:

  • Sudden twisting: Dancing, ice skating
  • Sudden starts and stops: Running
  • Muscle overstretching: Weight-lifting, kicking, sprinting, jumping
  • Low level of fitness
  • Muscle and neural fatigue and poor flexibility
  • Imbalance of the different muscles of the leg
  • Improper warm-up before activity
  • Inappropriate technique

Hamstring strains and pulled hamstring treatments include:

Hamstring muscle injuries come in a variety of sizes, sorts, and locations. Therefore, two people can tear exactly the same muscle but have a totally different recovery process. It is crucial to treat a hamstring injury treatment appropriately, otherwise, it will become a lasting problem.

The initial care and physical therapy treatment for a hamstring strain may comprise of one or a combination of:

  • Rest: Rest for two weeks (more in severe cases), use of crutches in severe cases
  • Ice: To control the inflammation and pain, 10 minutes four times a day for the first two days, no direct application of ice to the skin
  • Compression: Wrapping the muscles in an elastic bandage by a physiotherapist
  • Elevation: Diminishes the swelling
  • Physiotherapy exercises: Gentle passive and active-assistive range of motion, flexibility exercises, stretching exercises, strengthening exercises, isometric exercises
  • Dry needling / Acupuncture
  • Massage / Hands on therapy: Manipulating the muscles and the joints to improve motion, flexibility, and strength
  • Ultrasound Therapy
  • Electrotherapy / Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation
  • Aquatic therapy
  • Shockwave Therapy treatments for hamstring strains may be used on chronic hamstring strains to help break down scar tissue and facilitate the healing of the hamstring muscles and tendons.

Our Toronto Physiotherapists provide expert Physiotherapy Treatment for a hamstring strain to book an assessment and treatment call us now at 416-900-6653

About the Author

Brad SaltzBrad is a Registered Physiotherapist at Ace Physio, a highly respected Physiotherapy clinic in downtown Toronto. Ace Physio provides high quality one on one Physiotherapy that combined state-of-art technology such as; Shockwave Therapy, Laser Therapy, and Spinal Decompression with traditional Physiotherapy.View all posts by Brad Saltz