Preventing Hamstring Pain: How to Treat a Pulled Hamstring
If you feel a sudden, sharp pain at the back of your thigh, you have probably experienced a hamstring strain, also known as a pulled hamstring. This painful hamstring injury is one of the worst conditions that can affect the thigh muscles. Since the hamstrings are crucial for walking, running, and almost all other important leg movements, you will doubtlessly want to recover as quickly as possible.
Below, we’ll discuss the best pulled hamstring treatment options that can help to reduce your hamstring pain as you recover.
Where is my Hamstring?
Your hamstring isn’t actually a single muscle. It’s a group of three muscles that runs along the back of your thigh. The muscles begin as a tendon that inserts in the ischium, one of the pelvic bones, and then run the length of the thigh bone, crossing the back of the knee to attach to the tibia and fibula. A small portion of the hamstring crosses the hip joint. This is why hip pain can sometimes be attributed to hamstring injuries, in addition to knee pain [http://www.orthosleeve.com/shop/knee-compression-sleeve] and leg pain [http://www.orthosleeve.com/shop/calf-compression-sleeve/].
The hamstring muscles are mainly responsible for allowing you to bend your leg at your knee. Together with the quadriceps muscles [http://www.healthline.com/human-body-maps/quadriceps] on the front of the thigh, the hamstrings maintain stability of the knee joint, allowing you to walk, run, jump, squat, and more.
What is a Hamstring Strain/Pulled Hamstring?
Hamstring strains occur when the muscles become overloaded. This most often occurs during activities that involve extensive running and jumping, or sudden stopping and starting. You are likely to get a strained hamstring if you:
- Don’t warm up before exercising.
- Have tight quadriceps [http://www.healthline.com/human-body-maps/quadriceps].
- Have tight hamstrings.
[link to our post about tight hamstrings, once it’s posted]
- Have weak glute muscles.
All the muscles in the legs and pelvis work together to support and propel the body during movement. If the quadriceps, glutes, or hamstrings are underutilized, the hamstrings will become overloaded and strained. In extreme cases, you might even receive a torn hamstring. [http://patient.info/health/hamstring-injuries]
Pulled Hamstring Treatment and Recovery
A severe hamstring pull can be agonizing, making it impossible to walk or even stand. Along with pain in the thigh and lower buttock, you may also experience a snapping or popping sensation when you exercise, tenderness, and bruising.
However, minor to moderate hamstring strains usually heal by themselves. To speed the healing process, you can:
- Rest the leg. Avoid putting weight on it as best as you can. You may need to use crutches until the pain goes away.
- Ice your leg. Apply ice for 20-30 minutes every 3-4 hours until the pain is gone.
- Wear a compression sleeve. Compression sleeves are safer and more comfortable than elastic bandages, and will provide the support and stability you need to recover. We recommend Orthosleeve’s QS4 Compression Thigh Sleeve. [http://www.orthosleeve.com/shop/thigh-compression-sleeve/]
- Elevate your leg on a pillow when sitting or lying down.
- Practice hamstring stretches and strengthening exercises.
Making an appointment with a doctor or physical therapist will also help you to better determine the degree of hamstring injury. Be sure not to return to your previous level of physical activity until you are able to move your leg as freely as your uninjured leg.
To learn more about how compression sleeves can help an injured hamstring to recover faster, click here. [http://www.orthosleeve.com/calf-sleeves/]