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January 14, 2015

Injury Report: Hamstring Strains

The Hamstrings run from the ischial tuberosity (or your butt bone) down to your lower leg (tibia/fibula) below the knee joint.

They do 2 actions: Hip Extension + Knee Flexion

hamstring anatomy

Hamstring injuries are common in athletes who sprint a lot.  They are even more common if you do not get a proper warm-up in before your workout or training.

A strain or pull of the hamstrings can be minor and just cause some pain and stiffness. Or if it is more serious, there may be bruising. And if there is a full tear, the muscle can even ball up!!

hamstring bruise

So let’s discuss how to treat it if this happens to you.

#1 Rest. No hamstring workouts. No running. No sprinting.

#2 Ice. With the ice on the back of the thigh and knee. 4-5x/day for 15-20minutes. Elevate your leg as well.

#3 Stretch. Gentle stretching only. Stretch the hamstrings, glutes, and calves. Avoid foam rolling at this point.

#4 Strengthen.  If it is a minor injury, after 5-7 days you may begin gentle strengthening. This means without weight. Try exercises like the following:

  • Bridgesbridging
  • Band Abductionbandabd
  • Straight Leg Raiseslr
  • Face Down Leg Curlspronecurl
  • Stool Scootsstool
  • Leg Extensionslegext
  • Face Down Leg Liftspronehipext

#5 Strengthening progressed. Once the exercises above are easy and pain free, you may begin the following without weight:

  • Squats
  • Calf Raises
  • Step-ups
  • Lunges
  • Deadlifts

#6 Ease back into things. Once the exercises above are easy and pain free, you may slowly ease back into your normal workouts.  If it was sprinting, then test out a jog and slow run. If it was weightlifting, then test out lighter weight than usual. Etc.

The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

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