Hamstring Muscle Injuries

Hamstring muscle injuries occur when the muscles and tissue in the back of the thigh become inflamed. The hamstrings can handle high loads of stress but are susceptible to stretching, tearing, and strain.

What You Need To Know About Hamstring Muscle Injuries

What Are Hamstring Muscle Injuries?

The hamstrings are a set of three muscles that run along the back of the thigh. These three muscles are called the semitendinosus, the semimembranosus, and the biceps femoris. When functioning properly, this anatomy allows you to bend your knee and extend your leg behind your body.

Because the hamstrings are made of soft tissue and tendons that are under a lot of stress, they are susceptible to stretching and tearing. ​​Injuries may range from hamstring tears, hamstring tendonitis, or hamstring tendinopathy.

If you're struggling with hamstring pain, schedule an appointment with the knee experts at Resurgens today.

What Causes Hamstring Muscle Injuries?

Hamstring injuries usually occur as a result of overuse and repetitive motion. They can also be caused by extreme changes in position while in motion or as a result of improper muscle warm-ups.

Some people are more at risk for these types of injuries. Hamstring muscle injuries are common among athletes, dancers, firefighters, EMTs, or people with active occupations. They also tend to affect older people. Hamstring muscle injuries are common and easily treatable with non-surgical methods.

Hamstring Muscle Injuries Symptoms

The symptoms of a hamstring muscle injury can be painful and debilitating. When the injury occurs, you may experience a sharp and sudden pain along the back of the thigh. Some additional symptoms include:

  • Swelling and inflammation

  • Bruising

  • Weakness in the hamstring muscle or knee joint

  • Burning or sharp pain

  • Pain that radiates into the knee joint

  • Stiffness

  • Limited range of motion in the knee

These symptoms are exacerbated by overuse, as well as extended periods of inactivity. If you're struggling with intense hamstring pain or if you persistently experience any of the above symptoms, make an appointment with one of our knee specialists.

How Are Hamstring Muscle Injuries 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 perform certain 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. Then they will create a unique treatment plan for your specific needs.

Hamstring Muscle Injuries Treatment

No hamstring muscle injury is exactly the same, and treatment will be dependent upon your specific case. Luckily, hamstring tears, hamstring tendonitis, or hamstring tendinopathy are highly treatable with non-surgical methods. Here are some things you can do to treat a hamstring injury.

  • Rest your leg and abstain from walking or intense activity.

  • Ice the affected area two to three times per day.

  • Do physical therapy and light stretching as recommended by your doctor.

  • Use over-the-counter NSAIDs to manage pain.

It may take a few weeks for your hamstring injury to heal properly. If the injury is not responding to these treatments, your doctor may recommend corticosteroid injections to help manage pain. Serious cases of chronic hamstring tendinopathy may require surgical intervention. In most cases, diligent rehabilitation can help heal this type of injury.

Your doctor will help you determine the most appropriate treatment for your condition. Book an appointment with a Resurgens knee physician today!