Hamstrings

Hamstring Injuries
Ryan Whitford

The hamstring muscle group is the most frequently strained (or torn) in the body. Hamstring strains may be caused by a rapid contraction of the muscle during a rapid ballistic action, or a violent stretch.  A common site for the muscle to tear is high up the back of the leg. The higher the strain, the longer the healing time.

Hamstring strains have a reputation for being both chronic and recurring.  This is not necessarily due to neglect of hamstring stretching after injury, quite the contrary.  Most runners are fully aware of limited motion after a strain and concentrate on regaining flexibility through an aggressive stretching program. However, these individuals fail to adequately re-strengthen the hamstrings, setting up a muscle imbalance with the quadriceps.

Most strains can be prevented by early detection of inflexibility, poor posture, and muscle imbalance. Other factors, such as muscle fatigue, lack of neuromuscular control, overuse, and improper technique also contribute to a higher risk for injury.

Treatment for strains generally involves immediate icing, compression, rest, elevation, and NSAIDs (e.g. ibuprofen, Aleve). When possible, an injured muscle should be iced in a stretched position.  After the acute phase (a couple of days to a week or more) has pasted, pain-free stretching, along with some isometric contractions should begin. One should see a physician if pain and swelling persist. And of course, a well trained Physical Therapist!

Congratulations to those of you who ran the Applefest run: a beautiful day for a run!!

Any questions, please email at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Have a great week and many happy days to all,
Ryan Whitford

Additional information on hamstring injuries and their treatment can be found at the May Clinic web site.