The hamstrings are a group of 3 powerful muscles that run down the back of the thigh and attach just below the knee. They work to bend the knee as well, as providing the knee with a lot of support and stability. They are commonly injured and torn during sporting activities and when this happens it can be very painful and debilitating.
When muscles are torn or strained they are classified in the following way:
Grade 1 – a few fibres of the muscle are torn. Likely recovery time 2-6 weeks
Grade 2 – a lot of the muscle fibres are torn. Likely recovery time 6-12 weeks
Grade 3 – the muscle is completely ruptured. Surgery likely to be needed.
Common sports that cause hamstring tears:
- Running – especially sprinting
Common Signs & Symptoms
Following this injury the common signs and symptoms are:
- Pain in the back of the thigh
- Swelling in the back of the thigh
- Bruising down the back of the thigh
- Inability to walk properly
What should be done following this injury:
- Attend the Emergency Room or your Doctor depending upon the severity of the pain
- Consult with a chartered physical therapist
- Use ice or a reusable cold pack to reduce the swelling (the recommended time is 10 minutes on with 1 hour off) Never apply ice directly to the skin.
- Use a support to help provide stabilization