Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Hamstring injury

My PT diagnosed me with a 1.5 degree hamstring strain.  It was not a surprise.  Hoping to keep running slowly and get over this quickly.  Info on hamstring injuries (red highlights for my injury).

Hamstring Injury - Pulled Hamstring Muscle

How to treat hamstring injuries, pulls, and strains

By , About.com Guide

Severity of a Hamstring Injury

Hamstring strains are classified as 1st (mild), 2nd (moderate), or 3rd (severe) degree strains depending on the extend of the muscle injury. Mild (Grade I) Hamstring Injury
  • Muscle stiffness, soreness and tightness in the back of the thigh.
  • Little noticeable swelling.
  • A normal walking gait and range of motion with some discomfort.
  • Flexing the knee to bring the heel up
Moderate (Grade II) Hamstring Injury
  • Gait will be affected-limp may be present .
  • Muscle pain, sharp twinges and tightness in the back of the thigh.
  • Noticeable swelling or bruising.
  • Painful to the touch.
  • A limited range of motion and pain when flexing the knee.
Severe (Grade III) Hamstring Injury
  • Pain during rest which becomes severe with movement
  • Difficulty walking without assistance.
  • Noticeable swelling and bruising.

Common Causes of Hamstring Injuries

Hamstring pulls or strains often occur during an eccentric contraction of the hamstring muscle group as an athlete is running. Just before the foot hits the ground, the hamstrings will contract to slow the forward motion of the lower leg (tibia and foot). Less commonly, a hamstring injury is the result of a direct blow to the muscle from another play or being hit with a ball. Some of the factors which may contribute to a hamstring injury includes:
  • Doing too much, too soon or pushing beyond your limits
  • Tight hip flexors
  • Weak glutes (butt muscles)
  • Poor flexibility
  • Poor muscle strength
  • Muscle imbalance between the quadriceps and hamstring muscle groups
  • Muscle fatigue that leads to over-exertion
  • Leg Length Differences. A shorter leg may have tighter hamstrings which are more likely to pull
  • Improper or no warm-up
  • History of hamstring injury

Treating Hamstring Injuries

Treatment for hamstring injuries depends upon the severity of the injury. Due to the pain and limited ability to use the muscle, a third degree strain usually results in a visit to a physician for evaluation and treatment. Less severe hamstring strains may be treated at home. These general treatment steps are commonly recommended for mild or moderate hamstring injuries.
  • After an injury it's important to rest the injured muscle, sometimes for up to two or three weeks before you can return to sports after your injury.
  • R.I.C.E - Rest, apply Ice and Compression. Elevate the leg if possible.
  • An anti-inflammatory can be helpful to reduce pain and inflammation.
  • A stretching program can be started as soon as the pain and swelling subsides.
  • A strengthening program should be used to rebuild the strength of the injured muscle in order to prevent re-injury. Make sure you increase this gradually.
  • A thigh wrap can be applied to provide support as the muscle heals.

Preventing Hamstring Injuries

  • Warm up thoroughly. This is probably the most important muscle to warm-up and stretch before a workout.
  • Preforming specific movement prep exercises that activate the glutes and lengthen the hip flexors may help. Try these Two Exercises to Prevent Hamstring Injuries
  • Stretching after the workout may be helpful.
  • Try adding a couple sessions per week of retro-running or backward running which has been should decrease knee pain and hamstring injuries.
  • Follow the "Ten Percent Rule" and limit training increases in volume or distance to no more than ten percent per week.
  • Other ways to prevent injury are to avoid doing too much, too

1 comment:

Mike Dixon said...

This is ironic. I had just pulled my hammy last Wednesday while doing some flying 150's on the track. I was thoroughly warmed up and everything but I guess because I haven't touched base with that kind of speed in awhile my hammy couldn't handle it. Good news it that after a couple days completely off and some XT/easy jogging, I am now back to near 100%. Mine was 1.5 as well so keep your head up, take 2 Aleve twice a day and RICE the heck out of the area. Be patient... good luck.