Hamstring injuries

Hamstring injuries result from a high impact on the back of the thighs. These injuries range from pulls to tears to complete muscle separation.

What You Need To Know About Hamstring Injuries

What is a Hamstring Injury?

Your hamstring is formed by three powerful muscles (the semitendinosus, the semimembranosus, and the biceps femoris muscle) along the back of your thigh. These muscles help bend your knee and extend your leg behind your body. Because these muscles handle high loads of stress, they are susceptible to stretching and tearing. This is commonly referred to as a muscle "strain."

Hamstring injuries commonly occur in athletes, dancers, runners, and others who participate in a physically demanding activity with sudden starts and stops.

Hamstring injuries vary in severity with a slow healing rate. The severity of injuries is ranked on a scale of 1-3:

  • Grade 1 hamstring injury: slight muscle strain or pull

  • Grade 2 hamstring injury: moderate tear of the muscle

  • Grade 3 hamstring injury: complete tearing of the muscle

Most people who experience a hamstring tear risk an additional injury if they return to their activities too soon.

Getting the best hamstring injury treatment starts with a visit to Resurgens Orthopaedics. Schedule an appointment at one of our many Metro Atlanta locations now!

What Causes Hamstring Injuries?

While many factors cause hamstring injuries, often high-impact activities contribute most directly to this type of injury. Sports like running, sprinting, gymnastics, dancing, and similar athletic activities are leading causes of hamstring tears.

Lack of flexibility in a patient's muscles or muscle imbalance may also contribute to muscle strain in the hamstring injuries. Typically, strains caused by weakened muscles develop gradually, while strains caused by physical activity occur suddenly.

Returning to such activities after a hamstring injury has occurred may put you at risk of developing consecutive injuries.

Hamstring Injury Symptoms

While symptoms vary based on injury severity, most people find hamstring injuries debilitating. Patients experiencing a hamstring tear may experience one or all of these symptoms:

  • Discomfort or pain while running

  • Discomfort or pain during physical activities

  • Trouble and pain while sitting

  • Difficulty or pain when standing or walking

  • Swelling

  • Bruising

  • Tenderness in the strained area

How is a Hamstring Injury Diagnosed?

To diagnose a hamstring muscle injury, your Resurgens Orthopaedics physician will ask you about your daily activities and how your injury occurred. Then they will do a physical examination and ask you to After considering your medical history and injury acquisition, the physician will have you perform certain specific movements to demonstrate your pain and range of motion. This exam is usually short and only causes brief discomfort.

In order to rule out other conditions, your physician will order diagnostic imaging and assess what type of hamstring injury you have. Your physician will likely order diagnostic imaging and assess what type of hamstring injury you have to rule out similar conditions. Then they will create a unique treatment plan for your specific needs.

Hamstring Injury Treatment

Resurgens Orthopedics offers non-surgical and surgical options for hamstring injuries. After a diagnostic consultation, your physician will determine the best option for you.

Non-Surgical Treatment

The most important thing to do after a hamstring injury is rest. Resting relieves the affected area of any excess weight that could cause further tearing.

Your physician may recommend the following treatment methods, especially in early cases of hamstring injuries:

  • Icing your leg to prevent swelling.

  • Compression bandages to prevent swelling.

  • Elevation to prevent swelling.

  • Anti-inflammatory drugs to prevent swelling and alleviate pain.

  • A break from physical activities to prevent further injury and restore the muscles.

  • Crutches to keep weight off of the injured area.

  • Stretches to restore muscle strength.

If these do not properly address the hamstring injury, then your physician may recommend surgery.

Surgical Treatment

Your physician may recommend hamstring injury surgery if the muscle is severely torn or detached from your pelvis, shinbone, or knee. Hamstring tear surgery will restructure the muscles and other affected areas, restoring mobility and strength to your hamstring.

In most severe cases, a hamstring injury will require a cast to heal properly. The cast works to hold your muscles in their appropriate location, keeping swelling down and muscles from moving and further damaging your hamstring. Once you are ready, your physician will clear you for your normal activities.

We want to help you get moving again. Schedule an appointment with one of our hamstring injury treatment experts now!

Virtual After-Hours Access

Resurgens Orthopaedics has partnered with the HURT! app to offer FREE virtual after-hours access to orthopedic specialists right when you need it.

Download the app to receive immediate guidance on your injury.