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 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!!
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:
- Band Abduction
- Straight Leg Raise
- Face Down Leg Curls
- Stool Scoots
- Leg Extensions
- Face Down Leg Lifts
#5 Strengthening progressed. Once the exercises above are easy and pain free, you may begin the following without weight:
- Calf Raises
#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.
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