Ever got a sudden sharp pain in a part of your body, and you didn't know what it was, but it sure hurt like hell? There are all kinds of injuries that can have a significant effect on our sports performance and workout sessions. This is why we will talk about hamstring injuries, what they are exactly, and the best ways of treating them. So, let's get right into it.
What is a Hamstring Injury?
A hamstring injury is a strain or a tear in the three muscle groups located in the back of your thighs. It is one of the most common injuries an athlete can get during their career. You are most likely to get a hamstring strain if you play basketball, football, tennis, and any other sport that involves sudden high-speed movements. They are also known to occur to dancers and runners as well.
The hamstring muscles are comprised of a group of 3 muscles that go through the back of your thigh. They go from the hip to just below the knee. Because of these muscles, we can extend our legs straight behind our bodies and bend our knees. The most typical way of injuring these muscles is by making them stretch beyond their limits during physical activity. They can usually be easily treated, but if you get a severe hamstring injury, the consequences can be permanent. This would mean being unable to do certain exercises and walking with crutches.
How to Tell Whether You Have a Hamstring Injury
A hamstring injury causes you to feel a sharp, sudden pain in the back of your thigh. There is a high chance of also feeling a tearing sensation there. A few hours after tearing the hamstring muscles, you will start to develop swelling. Then, you can also experience bruising or a loss of color along the back of the affected leg. You will also struggle to put any weight on your injured foot and will feel a sense of muscle weakness.
What Can Cause a Hamstring Injury?
Hamstring injuries can occur due to many things (most notably overstretching). However, there are other reasons why you could get this. They include:
• Training too hard
• Not warming up before a workout session
• A hard blow to the thigh
• Reopening a previous hamstring injury
Hamstring Injury Treatment
For lesser hamstring injuries, the protocol is fairly simple. Most importantly, you need to give it time to heal without forcing the muscles to be active. To speed up the healing, you can also:
• Get Good Amounts of Rest
Avoid putting weight on the leg at all costs. The muscles are injured and need to be completely stress-free to have a speedy recovery. If the pain is too severe, you will have to temporarily walk on crutches or go see the doctor again and decide how to treat it from there.
• Keep Cooling the Leg
Keep reapplying ice on the leg to reduce swelling and maintain optimal temperature. We recommend you keep doing this every 4 hours in intervals of 30 minutes. If you keep doing this properly and stick to the schedule, the pain should be completely gone in 3 days.
• Keep Applying Pressure to Reduce the Swelling
This can be done by putting an elastic bandage around the leg to control the swelling.
• Use Anti-Inflammatory Painkillers
Using drugs like ibuprofen can help control both the pain and the swelling. There is a risk involved, though, as you might risk bleeding or getting ulcers. To minimize this risk, you should use painkillers only in small doses and not for long.
If the muscle is completely torn, you might need to have surgery performed on it to have the muscle reattached. These types of injuries (especially if they are more severe) can have serious effects on the psyche. So it's important to have support while going through the treatment.
Hamstring Strain Prevention Methods
Since you see now that hamstring strains can be a real pain, it is best to never experience them in the first place. This is why we will go over several ways of reducing the chances of getting a hamstring injury. These methods have been advised by sports podiatry specialists and are proven to be quite effective.
• Consistently do pre-workout warm-ups for at least 10 minutes and stretch before and after the workout;
• Slowly increase the intensity of your workouts, don't do bursts of intensive workout sessions;
• Prioritize jogging over running;
• If you feel any pain in the back of your thighs, you should stop exercising immediately;
• Eat a balanced diet;
• Stretch and strengthen your hamstrings to make them less prone to strains
Hamstring injuries are very common in athletes and can cause significant time away from the sport. Acute hamstring strains can occur due to high-speed running or excessive hamstring lengthening. Athletes with chronic proximal hamstring tendinopathy frequently report a gradual increase in posterior thigh pain rather than a specific inciting event. Professional athletes should always have valid health insurance plans readily available for when these kinds of unfortunate accidents happen to them in the field.
Written by Frank Robertson
About the Author
My name is Frank Robertson. I’m a writer. I choose my topics carefully and try to write about topics that can help my readers. Connect with me on Twitter.
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