Updated: Jul 23
The infamous hamstrings strain, it happens to a lot athletes and people who push too fast to soon. A hamstring strain usually occurs as a result of muscle overload, the muscles can get stretched too far and they may start to tear. Now it can happen for a couple of reasons which include:
• Not warming up properly before working out. Tight muscles are more susceptible to straining
• Being out of shape and trying to push like you were in your prime the body just can't push like it use to.
• Poor technique will definitely put excessive forces on the Hamstring when running or jumping leading to a strain
• Returning to activities to soon after you had previously hurt it. The Hamstring need a long recovery time and its important to let it heal before you get back to training at 100% Another thing people should be aware of, and this applies to when you first strain your hamstring is DO NOT stretch it. Stretching may have helped to prevent it but at that point stretching it will only make it worse. Think of it like this your muscles just suffered some tearing either micro or severe the last thing you should stretch the area that has been hurt.
There are three grades when it comes to a Hamstring strain
• Grade 1 is mild, limiting your range of motion with some swelling and discomfort
• Grade 2 is a partial tear of one or more of the Hamstring muscles, this may cause you to limp when you walk cause some pain while doing some activity. There can be some bruising and swelling and you might not be able to straighten the leg out entirely.
• Grade 3 is a complete tear of one or more of the muscles, you won't be able to straighten out the leg and will probably need some crutches Here are some things you can do to help your recovery. Initially just rest like I mentioned before Do Not try to stretch any injured muscle. Next, I would recommend that you have a Physical Therapist or qualified Strength Coach Slowly start to work on mobility and Strength training using exercises like Hip Extension, Hamstring Curl, Single leg balance and Glute Bridges.
Stretching should be introduced slowly so as to not overstretch and injuring the muscle again. Also getting a sports massage will help with the process as increased blood flow bringing rich nutrients that the muscle needs.
Now if there is one thing that I ask, for anyone who pulls their Hamstring please do not stretch it! Stretching a strained muscle after it has been injured is asking for trouble. Consider this the muscles has been hurt because it was stretched to its limit, pulling the injured muscle is not going to help.
If you find yourself hampered by a lingering hamstring injury or any muscle strain, then contact me for complimentary phone consultation to guide in the right direction.