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Hamstring Strain

General Description

Hamstring strains happen when one of your hamstring muscles gets pulled or strained. This can happen in any of the three muscles, but it is mostly the middle one. This is more likely to happen if you play tennis, football, basketball, soccer, sports that involve sprinting with very sudden starts and stops. These strains can happen overtime from an overuse injury, or suddenly.

Causes

There are quite a few things that can cause hamstring strains. Weak muscles that are imbalanced are much more prone to straining later on. However, muscles that are overworked are also at a risk. Not making it a habit to always warm up and stretch adequately before a workout, as well as cooling down after. Poor footwear has also been known to be a cause.

Typical Treatment

Treatment initially aims to reduce the existing pain and swelling. You will likely be advised to halt any activity to give the injury time to heal. You may require the use of a cane to help avoid putting all of your weight on the injured leg. Applying ice packs throughout the day is helpful in decreasing swelling. Pain medication also goes a long way in helping manage the pain and inflammation. After the initial pain and swelling have decreased, your doctor will show you a specific exercise routine made to help you regain flexibility and strength in the affected muscles. If your muscle was pulled from where it connects on your shinbone or pelvis, orthopedic surgeons are able to reattach it. Very severe tears are also able to be fixed.

How to Prevent it

To prevent hamstring injuries from happening, regular stretching and strengthening exercises are vital. Remember the rule: be in shape to play your sport; don’t play your sport to be in shape. Making it a point to train daily can help prevent injuries like this. You can also ask your doctor for specific exercises you can do to keep you in shape for your activity.