Hamstring Strains (Video)

By Jon Stiffler PTA/Sports Center Manager

Hamstring Strains

Watch this muscle strain VIDEO to learn more about Hamstring Strains. These types of strains or pulled muscles are very common in sports. They are very difficult to heal and often people will injury their hamstring again. To make an appointment to see a JOI MD, please call 904-JOI-2000 or schedule online.

Hamstring strains

Exercise For Legs Hamstrings

The hamstring muscle is a group of muscles in the back of the thigh.  The group of 3 hamstring muscles sits at the back of the thigh and allows for the knee to bend.  These muscles are responsible for lifting your foot to walk.  The hamstring muscles can suffer a strain or tear during sport activities. A common characteristic for a hamstring strain is, the athlete appears to be “pulling up” while running.  This is a classic sign of a hamstring strain. The muscles names are the semimembranosus, biceps femoris and the semitendinosus.

Pull a Hamstring Meaning

Hamstring strains are also called pulled muscles.  Often when the hamstring suffers a strain, the athlete feels a “pop” or a grabbing sensation in the back of the thigh.  All activities should be stopped if you strain the hamstring muscle.  A pull of the hamstring is the same as a hamstring strain.  The muscle fibers are strained or pulled apart or torn.

Pulled Hamstring Test

A hamstring muscle is tested with a manual muscle test.  This test determines the grade of the strain or pull.  This should only be done by an individual with medical training.  Often, an MD will order an MRI in more severe cases to assess the level of the strain.  Palpation of the muscle is also important to assess a strain.  Lumps or divots in the muscle are signs that the muscle is compromised.  A strain to the muscle is very common with many sports including football, basketball and running.  The return to the sport is a very important aspect in the rehab process.  Returning to sport too soon can result in re-injury.

Hamstring Anatomy Pic

Hamstring Muscles Image


Torn Hamstring Muscle Treatment

You can treat most muscle strains with the RICE method at home.  The most frequently used, and most effective treatment for minor muscle strains is the RICE method.

  • Rest: Avoid using your muscle for a few days, especially if movement causes an increase in pain
  • Ice:  Ice will help minimize pain and swelling. Apply a pack or bag for about 20 minutes
  • Compression: This will help minimize swelling and provide stability to the affected muscle
  • Elevation: Try to keep the injured muscle above the level of your heart when possible

Other Treatments: 

  • Laser or Massage Therapy
Picture of FXi Laser Therapy Unit at JOI

JOI Rehab has Laser Therapy which can help reduce pain

  • NSAIDs: Anti-inflammatories can help reduce pain and swelling
  • Heat: You can use moist heat after 2-3 days post injury to facilitate circulation to the area and promote healing.
  • The Graston Technique.  These tools can help in the healing process. In addition to, helping with soft tissue mobilization
  • Physical Therapy: your MD may prescribe formal physical therapy to help your strain heal.  Therapy to include flexibility and strengthening of the hamstring muscles.  The team at JOI Rehab works with your physician to ensure the best possible outcome.

Prevention of Hamstring Strains

The best prevention program for hamstring strains are as follows:

  • A good warm-up before any activity
  • Stretching the hamstring group of muscles.  This can be a static or dynamic stretch. 
  • Maintain good hamstring strength and endurance in the muscle.  Additionally, it is important to maintain a proper strength relationship between the hamstring and quadriceps muscles.
  • Proper cool down or stretching after exercise.

Related Articles: Quadriceps Injuries and Psoas Strain.

Book an Appointment with The Jacksonville Orthopaedic Institute Today!

JOI Physicians continue to offer online new patient appointments. This is another option to make it more convenient to make new patient appointments with less phone hold times. Follow the link below to select your JOI MD and schedule online.

You can still call 904-JOI-2000 to make new patient JOI Physician Appointments if that is your preference.

New To JOI: You now can make and cancel follow-up appointments for your JOI Physician through the JOI Portal.

Finally, to make appointments with JOI Rehab, please call 904-858-7045.

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