Hamstring Strains – What Do You Need to Do?

Hamstring strains are a common injury that can occur in athletes, particularly in those who participate in sports that involve running, jumping, or sudden changes in direction. This type of injury can be painful and can lead to a decrease in physical activity. It’s important to understand the causes and treatment options for hamstring strains to minimize the risk of recurrence and maintain an active lifestyle.

Causes of Hamstring Strains

Hamstring strains occur when the muscles at the back of the thigh become overstretched or torn. This can happen due to sudden movements or excessive force being placed on the muscle. Common causes of hamstring strains include inadequate warm-up, muscle imbalances, overuse, and fatigue. Although less common, sometimes the pain at the back of the thigh is related to referred pain from your lower back.

Symptoms and Diagnosis

The symptoms of a hamstring strain can include pain, tenderness, and swelling at the back of the thigh. The severity of the strain can vary from mild to severe. We can help diagnose a hamstring strain by conducting a physical examination and assessing your medical history. If your pain is at the back of your thigh, but there was no acute reason for your pain to start, you might consider referral from your lower back.

Treatment Options

Treatment for hamstring strains can vary depending on the severity of the injury. Mild to moderate strains can often be treated with relative rest, compression, elevation and a personalised rehabilitation program. More severe strains may require longer physiotherapy treatment, which can include manual therapy, running programs and strengthening exercises.

The Benefits of Physiotherapy for Hamstring Strains

Physio can be an effective treatment option for hamstring strains. A physio can provide a personalised treatment plan that includes stretching and strengthening exercises, a running program, load management, return to play planning, as well as manual therapy to help alleviate pain and discomfort. Physiotherapy can also help reduce the risk of recurrence by addressing any underlying muscle imbalances and correcting faulty movement patterns.

Exercises for Hamstring Strains

These exercises can include stretches or mobility and strengthening exercises, such as hamstring bridges, nordics or Romanian deadlifts (see examples below). We can provide guidance on specific exercises that are appropriate for each patient’s needs.

Strategies to Prevent Hamstring Strains from Recurring

Preventing hamstring strains from recurring involves addressing any underlying muscle imbalances and adopting appropriate warm-up and cool-down routines before and after physical activity. A physio can provide guidance on exercises to help maintain healthy/strong muscles and reduce the risk of injury.

Conclusion

Hamstring strains can be painful and limit physical activity, but with proper diagnosis and treatment, individuals can recover and reduce the risk recurrence. Seeking physiotherapy treatment can provide personalised care that can help alleviate symptoms and promote long-term recovery. By incorporating exercises and strategies to prevent recurrence, individuals can maintain an active and healthy lifestyle.

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We believe that modern physio should offer you care across the entire treatment journey to achieve your goals, from pain relief, to strengthening and reducing injury risk. This is why we created our purpose-built facility with access to state of the art technology and equipment.