Hamstring Strain Physio Toronto
A hamstring strain injury occurs when 1 or more of the 3 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, particularly affecting athletes participating in sports involving high-speed running, such as football, soccer, or track. After tearing a hamstring muscle, a person is 2 to 6 times more likely to suffer a subsequent injury. In most cases, hamstring strain injuries are successfully managed with physical therapy.
What are Hamstring Injuries?
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 (extending) the hip and bending (flexing) the knee.
Risk factors for hamstring strain injuries include:
1.A history of prior hamstring strain injury
4.Poor flexibility of the quadriceps and hip flexors (muscle tightness)
5.Inadequate warm up before activity
How Does It Feel?
When a person experiences a hamstring strain injury, a sudden onset of pain is felt in the back of the thigh. It happens very quickly and causes the individual to stop performing an activity. The symptoms caused by a mild injury may only last for a few days; symptoms of a more severe injury can last for weeks. Common symptoms include:
1.A sudden, sharp pain in the back of the thigh or in the buttocks
2.A feeling of a "pop" or tearing in the muscle
3.Bruising within hours or days after the injury
4.Tenderness to touch in the affected area
5.Difficulty sitting comfortably, lifting the leg when lying down, or straightening the knee
How Can a Physical Therapist Help?
Immediately after experiencing a hamstring strain injury, seek help from a physical therapist. Prior to your physical therapy session, you can:
Rest the injured area by avoiding aggravating activities, such as walking or working out. If you are having notable difficulty walking, you may need crutches. Do not overstress the injured area.
Apply ice to the injured area 3 to 4 times a day for 15 to 20 minutes (with a towel placed between your skin and the ice).
Your physical therapist will design an individualized treatment program specific to the exact nature of your injury and your goals. Your treatment may include:
3.Muscle strengthening exercises.