Hamstring Strain

A hamstring strain is also commonly known as a pull. Hamstring injuries are common in sport.

Types of strain

Generally hamstring strains are categorised into three different groups depending on the severity of the injury. First degree strains are minor and a person may not even know they have strained the muscle until after they finish exercising; after a period of time they may feel mild pain but this will usually pass quickly with the help of over the counter pain relief. Second degree strains are more serious and will be a lot more painful, especially when weight is put on the muscle. Third degree strains are severe and the person will usually feel stabbing pains and a burning sensation; often people who suffer a third degree strain will pull up mid-movement and will experience extreme pain.

Treating a hamstring strain

All hamstring strains should be treated with ice immediately; this will help to ease swelling. Further treatment depends on the nature of the injury; mild strains may heal quickly with a combination of rest, ice and anti-inflammatory medication. More serious strains will require prolonged periods of rest, regular ice compressions and medication; many people with this condition will be advised to use crutches to prevent the hamstring from bearing weight. Once the muscle starts to heal, it may be beneficial to have physiotherapy to strengthen the muscle and ease swelling. Recovery can take several weeks and should be gradual to prevent any further damage.

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