|Posterior Thigh Muscles|
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- Stretching the muscle too fast and/or too far
- Suddenly putting stress on the muscles when they are not ready for the stress
- Participation in sports that require bursts of speed. This includes track sports like running, hurdles, or long jump. Other sports include basketball, soccer, football, or rugby.
- Previous hamstring injury
- Tight hamstrings
- Imbalance of hamstring and opposing quadriceps muscle strength
- A direct blow to the muscles
- Pain and tenderness in the back of the thigh
- Stiffness in the hamstrings
- Weakness in the hamstrings
- Bruising on the back of the thigh, if blood vessels are broken
- Popping or snapping sensation as the muscle tears
- Grade 1—Some stretching with micro-tearing of muscle fibers
- Grade 2—Partial tearing of muscle fibers
- Grade 3—Complete tearing of muscle fibers; this may also be called a rupture or avulsion
- Rest—Activities will need to be restricted at first. Normal activities will be reintroduced gradually.
- Ice—Ice therapy may help relieve swelling. Heat or cold may be advised throughout recovery if they provide benefits.
- Compression—Used for a limited time, compression bandages can provide gentle pressure to help move fluids out of the area.
- Elevation—Keeping the area elevated can help fluids drain out or prevent fluids from building up.
- Keep your hamstrings strong so they can absorb the energy of sudden physical stress.
- Learn the proper technique for exercise and sporting activities. This will decrease stress on all your muscles, including your hamstrings.
- Warm up and stretch before vigorous activity.
American Council on Exercise http://www.acefitness.org
Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians http://www.familydoctor.org
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Healthy U http://www.healthyalberta.com
Hamstring muscle injuries. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Ortho Info website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00408. Updated July 2009. Accessed March 10, 2015.
Hamstring strain. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what. Updated October 28, 2014. Accessed March 10, 2015.
Heiderscheit BC, Sherry MA, et al. Hamstring strain injuries: recommendations for diagnosis, rehabilitation, and injury prevention. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2010;40(2):67-81.
Mendiguchia J, Brughelli M. A return-to-sport algorithm for acute hamstring injuries. Phys Ther Sport. 2011;12(1):2-14.
Mendiguchia J, Alentorn-Geli E, Brughelli M. Hamstring strain injuries: are we heading in the right direction? Br J Sports Med. 2012;46(2):81-85.
10/26/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Massey T, Derry S, Moore R, McQuay H. Topical NSAIDs for acute pain in adults. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010;(6):CD007402.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 03/2015 -
- Update Date: 02/17/2014 -