Overcoming a Hamstring Injury

Hamstring injuries are one of the most common things we see at our physical therapy practice in Greenville. The hamstring muscle group includes 3 muscles along the back of the thigh that connect the pelvis to the leg. They are the primary muscle group responsible for straightening the hip and bending the knee.

A hamstring strain injury occurs when one or more of the hamstring muscles or tendons (at the back of the thigh) is torn, either partially or completely.  It is one of the most common injuries of the lower body.   At our office, we see these type of injuries in Crossfitters, runners, and hikers.   After injuring a hamstring muscle, a person is more likely to suffer a subsequent injury.  However, in most cases, hamstring strain respond well to physical therapy.

Hamstring strain injuries occur when the muscle is overloaded. This can happen during high-speed running, with sudden starts or changes in direction, or when the muscle is overstretched by activities such as sprinting, hurdling, kicking, or heavy lifting.  It can also result when the muscle is fatigued, yet activity (e.g. lifting, running, or hiking) continues for an extended length of time.

Typically, hamstring strain injuries are classified as Grade I, II, or III depending on the severity of the injury:

  • Grade I: Mild strain with minimal tearing; usually feels like a pulled or cramping muscle.
  • Grade II: Moderate strain with partial tearing; may cause a stinging or burning sensation at the back of the thigh.
  • Grade III: A severe, complete muscle tear; may result in a “lump” on the back of the thigh where the muscle has torn.

The physical therapists at Movement Solutions design individualized treatment program specific to their goals of getting back to activity again.  Treatment often includes:

Manual therapy.  We use manual (hands-on) therapy to gently move and manipulate muscles and joints to alleviate pain and improve mobility.

Mobility exercises. Although it is common for your hamstring muscles to feel stiff after an injury, it is important not to stretch these muscles early in the recovery process. We typically start with gentle mobility exercises, and will guide you through how to do them in the clinic and at home.

Activation exercises. Hamstring strengthening will be an essential part of your rehabilitation program. We compare the strength of the muscle groups in each leg, and prescribe and teach you specific exercises to target areas of weakness.

Strength training. As you regain the strength in your hamstrings, your movement needs to be integrated into functional patterns.  We develop a program that includes hinge, squat, and lunge exercises with resistance.

When addressed with a well designed rehabilitation plan, a full recovery following a hamstring injury is possible.  If you have a hamstring injury, the physical therapists at Movement Solutions would be glad to be a resource for you.

We have a free guide on athletic injuries that can give you further insight into hamstring problems and help kickstart your recovery.  We are available for a free 15-minute phone consultation to talk about how your hamstring injury and discuss your treatment options.

If you prefer an in-person consultation, we offer a limited number of free Discovery Visits at our office.  This type of appointment of for those who are interested in working with us.  It is an opportunity to ask questions, obtain clarity about your surgery, and foster confidence in our ability to help you.

If you’re certain that we’re a good fit and ready to book an appointment, you can inquire about cost and availability and get the process started.

If you’re unsure about what your next steps should be, call us at (864) 558-7346 and ask how we can help.

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