Hamstring Muscle Injuries
• Tight muscles
• Imbalanced muscle groups, for example if the muscle group at the front of the thigh (quadriceps) are stronger than the hamstring muscles
• Tired muscles
• Deconditioned muscles
• Adolescents during growth periods
• Older athletes
• Participation in football, soccer, basketball, running, sprinting, dance
A hamstring strain causes a sudden pain in the back of the thigh. You may fall or will be unable to put weight on your leg. Over the next few hours, your leg will swell. You may also experience:
• Bruising on the thigh and below the knee in the days following an injury
• Weak hamstring muscles for several weeks
Most hamstring injuries occur in the thickest part of a muscle or where the muscle joins a tendon. Tendons connect muscles to bones.
• Pull or strain
• Partial tear
• Complete tear, tears from the pelvis bone are more common than tears from the leg
• Avulsion, a piece of bone pulls away when the tendon detaches from a bone
Surgery is followed by a period of rest, during which time you may wear a brace and use crutches. Physical therapy rehabilitation exercises are important for regaining flexibility, range of motion, and function. The rehabilitation period may last from three to six months depending on the type and location of injury. Most people recover fully from hamstring injuries.
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This information is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of an individual consultation or examination or replace the advice of your health care professional and should not be relied upon to determine diagnosis or course of treatment.
The iHealthSpot patient education library was written collaboratively by the iHealthSpot editorial team which includes Senior Medical Authors Dr. Mary Car-Blanchard, OTD/OTR/L and Valerie K. Clark, and the following editorial advisors: Steve Meadows, MD, Ernie F. Soto, DDS, Ronald J. Glatzer, MD, Jonathan Rosenberg, MD, Christopher M. Nolte, MD, David Applebaum, MD, Jonathan M. Tarrash, MD, and Paula Soto, RN/BSN. This content complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information. The library commenced development on September 1, 2005 with the latest update/addition on February 16, 2022. For information on iHealthSpot’s other services including medical website design, visit www.iHealthSpot.com.