What is a Pulled Hamstring?
Hamstrings are muscles that you see at the back portion of the thigh which is responsible when one flexes or bends his or her knees and it is also used in straightening of the hips. When one experiences pulled hamstring or otherwise known as hamstring strain, it involves the tearing of either one or more muscles of the hamstring. Other experts define it as a stretching excessively or tearing of the fiber of the muscles and the tissues related near the hamstrings. It is commonly reported in athletes
The Hamstring Muscles
Pulled Hamstring Symptoms
Those who develop a pulled hamstring will experience the following signs and symptoms:
- Severe rupture or a popping or snapping feeling
- Sudden sharp pain
Although people with mild pulled hamstrings will not complain that much because the pain can be relieved or it does not hurt that much and only the severe kind of this condition are the ones that complain most often. Severe kind of this condition makes it impossible for them to stand or walk.
Causes of a Pulled Hamstring
The reason why pulled hamstring occurs is basically because of the strain of the muscles located at the hamstring area. It can be strained especially during: kicking, running or simply walking down the stairs. When, for instance, the muscles of the hamstrings become pilled, the fibers of the muscles located on it become stretched. There is a time that the tear can either be felt or heard as something that has just popped out when the muscles becomes damaged.
Pulled Hamstring Treatment
When a person has either minor or moderate kind of pulled hamstring, it will begin to heal by itself. It just needs some time. In speeding the treatment, you can be suggested to do the following procedures:
There is a need for you to be able to rest the injured area completely. When you rest, you must make sure that you will avoid any weight bearing kind of activities. You can use crutches temporarily. It is advised that you should rest for about 48 hours or at least until your injured hamstring will eventually feel loose.
It is necessary to reduce the inflammation, you need to apply an ice pack in which you need to cover a cloth which is soft against your injured hamstring. You need to apply it for about 10-20 minutes and never beyond 20 minutes.
In compression, you need to wrap the affected injured hamstring. The compression should at least be firm but never too tight. It is preferred that you use ace bandage which will also aid in the reduction of the swelling episodes of the pulled hamstrings.
There is a need for you to elevate your own leg with the use of pillows. You need to make sure that you elevate just above the heart or chest area. Elevation is needed for the circulation to be stimulated and when there is circulation, it will lead to the recuperation of the muscles.
Medications such as pain reliever and anti inflammatory are needed or prescribed often to be able to reduce both the pain and the inflammation.
Stretches or Stretching Exercise
Stretching is another treatment done to patients who encounter the condition called pulled hamstring. When you are to engage in such activity, you should make sure that you are able to do it every day. Also, you must know that exercise should start with stretching prior to undergoing the exercise itself. You can consult a physical therapist or any licensed in sports masseuse to help you with the kind of stretching exercise that will be good for you. It is also important that you do not over stretch your injured hamstring, as it may lead to the increase in the pulls and strains.
The following are some of the effective remedies which one can use at home:
- Moist Heat
- Epsom Salt to warm water
In the home remedy treatment, as mentioned, you need to remember the abbreviation R.I.C.E which stands for Rest, Ice, Compression of the injured hamstring, and Elevation of the injured area. Aside from that, you can also use moist heat from the warm shower or bath which can soothe the pulled hamstring and lead to pain reduction. Aside from that, it also helps in the improvement of the person’s circulation and his or her metabolism. In addition to that, it will relax the pulled hamstring which will decrease the stiffness and spasms of the muscles in the hamstrings. On the other hand, you can also opt to add Epsom salt to the warm water bath which is beneficial for a pulled hamstring. It is known to ease the pains and aches of the muscles found in the hamstrings which will lead to the pain reduction felt by the patient.
Pulled Hamstring Recovery Time
The recovery of the persons who are dealing or undergoing pulled hamstring injury will depend on the classification or grade of their condition. The severity of the pulled hamstring is graded with 1, 2, or 3. Grade 1 is given to people who have minimal or minor symptoms and Grade 3 is given to people who have severe form of the condition, which will hamper the ability of the person to walk. Hence, with the different grading, the recovery time per grading will also differ.
- Grade 1
When a person has a pulled hamstring that is graded as 1, he or she will expect that this kind of injury or condition will take for about a week to a month to be able to reach recuperation. Since this kind of injury under this grade is minimal or minor in severity, it does not often require much medical assistance.
- Grade 2
On the other hand, a persons with pulled hamstrings Grade 2 will expect that the recovery time for such will take one month – 2 months.
- Grade 3
Lastly, Grade 3 pulled hamstrings, which is the severe kind of the disease severity, will need both medical and surgical treatment which will need 6 months to completely heal.