How to Recover From a Hamstring Strain
Feb 11, · How To Heal a Hamstring Strain FAST – R.I.C.E and Rehab Step 1 – R.I.C.E.. Rest – there’s no getting around it, you need to rest up to start with. The rest period will vary Step 2 – Get a Sports Massage. Want to know the “secret” behind how to . Sep 30, · Treat your mild to medium hamstring pull using the RICE method: rest, ice, compression, elevation. Rest means that the less you do with your leg, the .
Last Updated: March 18, References. This article was co-authored by Julian Arana, M. Julian has over 12 years of personal training and coaching experience. There are 19 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewedtimes. Even a minor strain on your hamstring should be treated immediately to reduce swelling and encourage the healing process as soon as possible.
It can be tough for an athlete to accept the need to rest and return to exercises gradually, but pushing oneself too hard greatly increases the chance of re-injury. In most cases, the injured person is back to normal within a few weeks, but in severe cases surgery may be required. Be very what did the costanoan tribe eat when coming back into your activities.
If you feel like something's wrong, stop immediately. Watch this premium video Upgrade to watch this premium video Get advice from an industry expert in this premium video. Treating a pulled hamstring muscle involves reducing inflammation and resting it until it heals.
Apply an ice pack or a bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in a towel to your hamstring and hold it there for minutes. Repeat this every hour for the first day, then once every 2 or 3 hours for the next couples of days to reduce inflammation.
Keep your leg elevated above your heart and rest as much as possible. You should also wrap an elastic compression bandage or athletic tape around your thigh to help with inflammation. After a few days, stop using ice and switch to a heating pad or hot water bottle to improve your blood circulation and help your tissue heal. If you experience severe pain or difficulty walking, visit your doctor to get it checked out.
For more tips, including how to ease yourself back into exercise after pulling your hamstring, read on. Did this summary help you? Yes No. Log in Social login does not work in incognito and private browsers. Please log in with your username or email to continue. No account yet? Create an account. Edit this Article.
An injury very close to the buttock or knee. A large amount of bruising. Difficulty walking. Severe pain or weakness in injured leg. See Warnings, below, for symptoms that require medical attention at any point in the healing process. Evaluate the injury. If the location of the injury is not obvious, gently press along the length and circumference of your thigh to locate it. Stretching injuries tend to involve the upper thigh, while sprinting is more likely to tear muscle near the knee.
Contact a doctor if you think this might be the case. Get off your feet as soon as you can after injury, even if you only feel mild twinges. Some pulled hamstrings, especially those in the upper thigh, involve damage to a tendon.
These feel less painful than muscle injuries, but take longer to heal and still require rest. Walk as little as possible for the first few days, and avoid all running and leg exercises.
If walking involves any pain at all, shorten your stride to a non-painful distance. Apply an ice pack once an hour. Use a cold pack, or wrap ice in a wet towel, what does apostille mean in english place it on the injury site.
Leave this on for 10 to 15 minutes, then take it off. Repeat this once an hour during the day you pulled your hamstring. To avoid damage, do not apply ice directly to skin, and do not leave it on for more than 15 minutes. Do not use this treatment if you have Raynaud's phenomenon or other blood circulation issues. Compress your leg. Wrap an elastic compression bandage or athletic tape around your thigh, starting above the knee and ending about 3 inches 7.
The end result should be snug, but not uncomfortably tight or cutting off circulation. You can purchase a slip-on thigh wrap from a sporting goods store instead. Elevate your leg. To reduce swelling, sit or lie down and prop your leg up on a tall object, so the site of the injury is higher than your heart. Do this as how to install h.i.d lights as possible for the first 24 hours after the injury.
Take painkillers only if necessary. In order to manage pain and potentially reduce swelling, take an NSAID painkiller such as ibuprofen, naproxen, or acetaminophen. Some doctors discourage their use during this period, due to the possibility of slowed healing.
Talk to a doctor first if you have high blood pressure, how to talk in tongues disease, or kidney disease, or if you have had stomach ulcers or internal bleeding issues in the past. Avoid making it worse.
Besides avoiding running and other exercise, stay away from the following for the next few days, until you can walk without pain: Avoid heat take lukewarm baths or showers Avoid alcohol Avoid massages. Continue on when daily activities are pain-free. Until you can walk without pain or twinges, ice your injury once every two or three waking hours, for how to draw the bulls logo to 15 minutes, and minimize the amount of activity involving your leg.
This usually lasts for three or four days after the injury. Part 2 of At this point, instead of icing the injury, you can apply a hot pack for 3 minutes, then a cold pack for 1 minute. Repeat this six times, for a total of 24 minutes. Perform this treatment twice a day until your leg is recovered enough to jog for five minutes without pain. Increased blood flow encourages healing but also increases swelling, so heat should not be used while the injury is still painful and significantly swollen.
Begin gentle stretching exercises. Cautiously begin using one or both of the following stretches, but stop or reduce the amount of stretching immediately if you feel pain at any point. The goal is to slightly stretch the injured area, not to increase your flexibility, so keep these stretches lighter than they normally would be.
Do this several times per day. Lie on your back and lift your leg vertically, or as high as is comfortable. Gently pull back on your thigh with your hands, with your knee slightly bent. Perform muscle strengthening exercises. If you can stretch without pain, begin additional exercises to get your muscles back to full strength. Ideally, you should consult a doctor to learn which exercises will focus on your injured muscle with minimal risk of damage.
If you do not have access to a doctor, try the following once every one to two days, but stop immediately if you experience pain: Lie on your back and bring your knee up to a slight angle. Sit on a wheeled chair or stool and place both heels on the floor, flexing your hamstrings to pull yourself forward.
After a few days of this, try using just the heel of the injured leg. Continue once you've almost reached normal function. After this stage is done, you should be able to jog for a few minutes without pain, and have an almost normal range of movement.
A slight pulled hamstring can get through this stage in one to ten days, while a more significant injury can last two to three weeks. An injury that involves a massive tear and severe pain can take many weeks to heal, or may even require surgery. Part 3 of Stretch dynamically and with full range of motion. Once the injury is essentially healed and you are trying to regain former flexibility, your stretching exercises should involve dynamic motion once every other day, with the leg swinging during the stretch.
If you feel pain, stop and return to gentler stretches.
Jul 23, · How to Self-Treat a Hamstring Strain/Pull: Mobilize the fascia and muscle tissue. As you progress through the initial acute phase (typically 10 to 14 days), work on restoring normal pain free movement of the leg. Mobility issues and myofascial restrictions are very likely to . Apr 13, · Lying on your back, lift your injured leg up as fast as you can through full range. Negative test: No pain OR apprehension. If there is apprehension, the rehab exercises need to be done for a further days and re-tested. So, if you have a hamstring strain – Get started on your rehab now, and get back to what you love faster. Mar 23, · A hamstring strain is an excessive stretch or tear to the muscle fibers. Gentle stretching and light resistance will also help recover your hamstring muscle. Here are two effective stretches you can do at-home.
A hamstring strain, also known as a hamstring pull, is a relatively common injury that can occur in almost any sport: running, CrossFit, ice skating, and weightlifting. The injury typically happens when one of the hamstring muscles which are located in the posterior or back of the thigh become overloaded. This causes a strain or small tear of the muscle and a complete tear in severe cases.
The pain is typically located in the back of the thigh near the site of injury. This area can range from the back of the knee to the buttock area specifically near the bones of the pelvis you sit on called the ischium. Discover the factors that increase your risk of straining your hamstring and learn how to self-treat this condition. The strain most commonly occurs during running or jumping in particular during sudden movements or when quickly starting and stopping.
However, you could just as easily pull your hamstring while weightlifting or working in the yard. The following factors increase your risk of straining your hamstring:.
Although hamstring strains are relatively common, they can be very debilitating. Depending on the severity of the sprain, you may have to discontinue your sport. A minor strain is classified as Grade I.
Grade I injuries tend to be mild. With proper care and rehabilitation, the healing time can be shortened. Grade II tears are partial ruptures. Grade II tears can often be rehabilitated, but the time frame for healing is longer. A complete rupture is classified as a Grade III tear. Grade III tears may require surgical intervention.
Severe Grade II and Grade III tears cause impaired muscle function and usually have associated bruising that occurs near the site of injury. The course of treatment is dependent on the severity of the pain and the location of the injury. A professional can assess the severity of the strain and address how to handle the injury. During the acute phase, gently move the leg as you can tolerate. Walking is usually the best way to keep the area moving.
Be sure to keep your steps shorter if you are experiencing pain. You may also try gently floating or walking in a pool as long as the pain does not worsen. As your pain decreases and after your hip and hamstring range of motion has returned to normal, slowly start tapering back into your training routine.
During this time, you remain at a higher risk of injury. As you continue working through your rehabilitation and your return to activity, implement the following strategies:.
The American Physical Therapy Association offers a wonderful resource to help find a physical therapist in your area. Which treatment was the most effective for you? Additional discussion can help others to manage this condition more effectively. Please leave your comments below. Looking for that exercise or book I mentioned in a post? Check it out today! If you have a question that you would like featured in an upcoming blog post, please comment below or submit your question to contact thePhysicalTherapyAdvisor.
Disclaimer: The Physical Therapy Advisor Blog and its information is for general informational purposes only and does not constitute the practice of medicine or other professional health care services, including the giving of medical advice. The use of information on this blog or materials linked from this blog is at your own risk. The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
Do not disregard, or delay in obtaining, medical advice for any medical condition you may have. Please seek the assistance of your health care professionals for any such conditions.
In this case, rest would indicate tapering down from your regular exercise activity or any activity that involves using your hamstrings bending over, walking uphill, squatting or activities involving hip extension or bending your knee. Apply ice to the painful area—typically the sooner, the better.
The rule for icing is to apply ice no more than twenty minutes per hour. Do not place the ice directly against the skin, especially if you are using a gel pack style. A bag of frozen peas can be ideal. Individuals with poor circulation or impaired sensation should take particular care when icing. Compression helps to prevent and decrease swelling. Swelling can cause increased pain and slow the healing response, so limit it as much as possible.
You can utilize a common ACE wrap. If you have a friend who is medically trained, many different taping techniques can also assist in decreasing swelling. Many physical therapists or athletic trainers can apply KT Tape , Rock Tape or Mummy Tape for you or you can find application techniques online. Compression and elevation may not be fully possible if the injury is located higher into the buttock region.
If there is swelling in the lower leg, then elevating the leg may be helpful. Gentle Movement During the acute phase, gently move the leg as you can tolerate. As you progress through the initial acute phase typically 10 to 14 days , work on restoring normal pain free movement of the leg.
Mobility issues and myofascial restrictions are very likely to occur following a hamstring injury. Along with tightness in the hamstring, you are likely to have tightness throughout the lower leg including the buttocks, quadriceps, IT Band or in the deep hip internal or external rotators. You may also have more spine tightness or pain due to altered movement patterns in the lower extremity.
I recommend using a foam roller to address tightness in the lower leg. To learn how to use a foam roller, please refer to Foam Rolling for Rehabilitation. I also recommend using a Thera-Band Standard Roller Massager , which is very firm and allows for a deep amount of pressure.
You may also utilize a tennis or lacrosse ball to mobilize the deeper hip and buttock muscles or to more deeply and aggressively mobilize the restricted areas appropriately. As you progress through your rehabilitation, care should be taken when stretching the hamstring. I tend to utilize both mobilization and gentle stretching to help maintain hamstring and lower leg motion. Hamstring Rehabilitation Exercises demonstrate my recommended stretches, foam rolling, and self-mobilization techniques.
Strengthen your glutes, hamstrings, and hip muscles. Weakness in the glutes, hamstrings, and hip muscles is common after injury and was likely a contributing factor to the injury itself. Strengthening of these muscle groups can help avoid future hamstring and even low back pain issues as well as reduce your risk of re-injury. Please refer to Hamstring Rehabilitation Exercises for additional exercises.
The human body is primarily made of water, which is critical for all body functions. I highly encourage you to hydrate more frequently during recovery. Adequate water intake is critical as your body attempts to heal and flush out metabolic wastes. Dehydrated tissues are prone to injury as they struggle to gain needed nutrients to heal and repair. Dehydrated tissues are less flexible and tend to accumulate waste products. Water is best. Start a supplement. A hamstring strain is typically associated with a specific event and an active inflammatory process typically occurs.
I am a supporter of natural supplements and remedies. Many supplements include herbs which are designed to help reduce inflammation and support the healing response.
My most recommended supplement to help recover from injury is CapraFlex by Mt. Essentially, it combines an organic glucosamine and chondroitin supplement with other natural herbs which are designed to reduce inflammation and support healing.
CapraFlex can be taken long term or intermittently. Phenocane Natural Pain Management combines the following: Curcumin, an herb that reduces pain and inflammation; boswellia, a natural COX2 inhibitor that also reduces pain and inflammation; DLPA, an amino acid that helps to increase and uphold serotonin levels in the brain; and nattokinase, an enzyme that assists with blood clotting and reduces pain and inflammation.
If you are taking blood thinner medication, please consult with your physician prior to taking these supplements. Return to Activity As your pain decreases and after your hip and hamstring range of motion has returned to normal, slowly start tapering back into your training routine.
As you continue working through your rehabilitation and your return to activity, implement the following strategies: Warm up prior to exercise. I recommend that you increase your normal warm up time.
You should warm up at least 10 minutes in order to increase blood flow to the area. This allows for better mobility and also prepares the tissues for exercise. You can use a self-massage tool or a foam roller to roll up and down the hamstring as part of your warm up.
If you perform hamstring stretches, be mindful that prolonged static stretching before exercise may worsen performance. Warm up exercises may include light jogging, bicycling, rowing or any activity to get the heart rate up and the blood flowing in the lower legs. Be careful when performing any movement that puts the hamstring in a stretched positon with speed or force. Cool down. After performing your exercise or activity, take the extra time to cool down and stretch.
Focus on hamstring stretching as well as general lower extremity mobility stretches. Use the same self-massage tools as you did during your warm up. Initially avoid potential high risk activities. As your recovery progresses and you return to activity, initially avoid high risk activities that put the hamstring muscle under heavy load or a very quick load.