Know the basics
What is hamstring injury?
Hamstring injury occurs when the hamstring muscles are pulled or strained. Depending on the level of damage of your hamstring, the injury is divided into 3 grades:
- Grade 1: a slight strain in the muscle;
- Grade 2: tear in a muscle part;
- Grade 3: tear in the entire muscle.
How common is hamstring injury?
Hamstring injury is extremely common in athletes who perform strenuous sport activities such as runners, sprinter, soccer and basketball players. You can learn to manage this health condition by reducing your risk factors. Please discuss with your doctor for further information.
Know the symptoms
What are the symptoms of hamstring injury?
The symptoms of hamstring injury can vary depending on the severity or the grade of injury:
- Grade 1: you might feel mild pain and tenderness in the back thigh or hardly to move your legs.
- Grade 2: you will feel more painful and tender, the back of thigh can be swollen and bruised in some cases.
- Grade 3: you may feel extremely painful and tender with the swelling and bruises, there can be a sensation of bouncing in injured leg and you cannot use it.
There may be some symptoms not listed above. If you have any concerns about a symptom, please consult your doctor.
When should I see my doctor?
Mild hamstring strains can be cured with home remedies. However, you should seek for medical help if you cannot put any weight on your leg or you cannot take any steps without pain.
Know the causes
What causes hamstring injury?
Hamstring injury occurs when the hamstring muscles are pulled and strained beyond their limit.
Athletes are more prone to hamstring injury, but it can happens to everyone. You may experience hamstring injury there is a sudden movements to your muscle, such as jumping, lunging or any activities that can overstrain the muscles.
Know the risk factors
What increases my risk for hamstring injury?
There are many risk factors for hamstring injury, such as:
- Playing any sports that can overstretch the hamstring muscles.
- Previous hamstring injury can put you in a higher risks of reoccurring.
- Weak flexibility can affect the muscle to react to the movements during activities.
- Imbalance muscle between the front and the back of thigh can cause hamstring injury.
Understand the diagnosis & treatment
The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.
How is hamstring injury diagnosed?
Your doctor will do a physical exam to test for the movements as well as the presence of swelling and bruises of the thighs. They may also require you to do certain movements to detect the site of injured muscles or tendons.
If the hamstring injury is severe, imaging test will help your doctor to check for any damage inside your bones and muscles.
How is hamstring injury treated?
Your doctor will help to ease pain and swelling with these following tips:
- Rest the injured leg;
- Provide a cane or crutches to prevent your injured leg from carrying your weight;
- Apply ice packs to relieve pain and swelling;
- Wrap the injured leg in bandage to reduce swelling;
- Provide over-the-counter (OTC) medications to reduce pain and inflammation.
If your muscle unfortunately moved from its position, a surgery will be required to replace the muscle and correct other muscle tears.
Lifestyle changes & home remedies
What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage hamstring injury?
The following lifestyles and home remedies might help you cope with hamstring injury:
- Rest your hamstring muscles after taking part in activities to avoid pain and swelling;
- Apply an ice pack onto the painful area immediately;
- Wrap your leg with a compression bandage to reduce swelling;
- Elevate your leg while resting, raise the leg higher than the heart if possible;
- Try pain relievers with over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen.
If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Review Date: May 30, 2016 | Last Modified: December 6, 2019
Hamstring injury. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hamstring-injury/basics/lifestyle-home-remedies/con-20035144. Accessed July 22, 2016.
Hamstring injury. http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/hamstring-injury/Pages/Introduction.aspx. Accessed July 22, 2016.
Hamstring injury. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00408.Accessed July 30, 2016.