Hamstring muscle group consists of 3 muscles: biceps femoris, semimembranosus and semitendinosus. The biceps femoris has a long head and a short head. Hamstring muscles act on hip to extend the leg and it is the main muscle at the knee which helps with bending of the leg. Hamstring injuries are common in sports like soccer, football, hockey, cricket and athletics
There are two types of strains, Type 1 occurs in high speed running, kicking, twisting, jumping and hurdling and type II occurs with maximal stretching during high kicking, sliding tackling and forward split. Type I injuries happen at the muscle tendon junction where as type II injuries happen close origin of the muscle on your pelvic bone. An injury closer to the pelvic bone has been reported to have longer period of rehabilitation.
Signs and symptoms
Sudden onset of severe pain in the back of your thigh after the injury
Difficulty in walking and unable to run
Local bruising, swelling and tenderness.
Your Physiotherapist will complete a detailed assessment of your Injury and the treatment is planned based on you extend of injury.
Initial management focusses on reducing the pain and minimize scar tissue formation by using ice, compression, elevation electrotherapy modalities and controlled muscle activation as tolerated after the rest period. When you are able to walk without any pain and able to maintain a resisted muscle contraction without pain, active rehabilitation phase starts which includes stretching program, soft tissue techniques/ manual therapy and progressive strengthening. The next stages are functional Phase or return to full training and return to play. The time frame of each stage depends on the type of Injury, extend of Injury and the tasks involved for return to function. Your Physiotherapist will assess you in each stage and progress through these stages to help with return to sports or other activities.
You have high chances of re injury because of inadequate rehabilitation and premature return to competition before complete recovery takes place. Eccentric strength training, balance or proprioception exercises and sports specific training is necessary to reduce or prevent re injuries.