Hamstring Injuries & Care
An hamstring is any of the five tendons behind a person’s knee. A hamstring muscle consists of three types of muscles of the semi trendiness, semi membranous and biceps femoris.
A hamstring injury is the tear of the tendons or the muscles at the back of the knee and thigh. During sprinting these muscles work extremely hard and it is then that the hamstring is likely to occur. There are three types of hamstring tears namely mild, partial and complete muscle tears these are also known as grade 1, grade 2 and grade 3 respectively.
An hamstring tear occurs when there is a sudden enlargement or untimely stretch in the muscles that is beyond the limit. They also occur during aggressive moments like sprinting, running, stretching or jumping. They also occur during slow moments which over stretch your muscles. The sudden jerking pulls may also lead to hamstring muscles and these are known ‘pulled hamstring’.
Mild hamstrings would not hurt much but the pulled hamstrings or grade 3 hamstring pain is unbearable and would make it impossible for a person to walk or even stand.
- Sudden pain during warm ups and exercises.
- Pain in the back of the thigh or even at the lower buttocks, when walking, straightening the legs, bending and even sitting.
- Feeling of pain or soreness in the leg
- Bruising, this is when there are purple-black color marks on the body even when the skin is not broken.
Most of the hamstring injuries can be cured using simple home techniques. Hamstring injuries cannot be cured in one day or two. It requires weeks or a month or two to recover depending on how severe the tear is. The initial treatment of hamstring tear will be cured in 4 easy steps. These steps are also known as RICE therapy.
- R stands for rest, where the injured leg is required to be kept still for 2-3 days. In this stage, immense care has to be taken of the leg and in extreme cases the doctor may recommend using crutches.
- I stands for ice. Apply ice cubes covered in towel or cloth on the injured area for 15 minutes and continue this procedure at an interval of 2-3 hours. Do not apply ice directly on the skin.
- C stands for comprehension, which refers to bandaging the injured thigh or knee to avoid further damage or movement of the portion.
- E stands for elevation, which means to rest your leg using a support such as a pillow. This is done to reduce swelling.
- Apart from the above methods, regular painkillers like paracetamol will also work well. Certain creams and gels recommended by doctors can also ease pain.
- Practice stretching and strengthening exercises as recommended by doctor and
- As rightly said prevention is better than cure, a part of precaution is adequate warm up. Bicycling for 5 to 10 minutes will make a change. The muscles should adequately be warmed up before or prior to this type of exercise.
- Stretching before exercises and sports should be controlled and geared up during playing sports.
- Part of a good hamstring injury prevention is a regular and healthy amount of exercise. The more the muscles are strengthened, the more is the connective tissue strengthened. Resistance exercises are used to strengthen the masculinity, the strength of the muscles and also to increase the size of muscles.
- The Nordic Hamstring exercise uses concentric and eccentric contradictions which improve the vertical jump, the strength and the amount of flexibility of a person. This is a very intense exercise and is to be practiced only under doctor’s supervision and guidance. To perform this exercise, follow the below instructions:
- Start kneeling with the hips and chest in the straight position.
- Have your trainer hold your heels to keep your feet in contact with the floor throughout the exercise.
- Slowly lower your body towards the floor using your hamstrings and touch the floor, let this step be as slow as possible.
- Once you are on the floor help yourself get up slowly using your hamstrings and come back to the vertical position.