A hamstring is are the three posterior thigh muscles between the hip and the knee, and are quite disposed to injuries. A hamstring injury occurs when a strain or a tear occurs to the tendons or the large muscles present at the back of our thigh. An athlete from the fields of soccer, basketball, football and other similar sports is highly probable to suffer from this injury.
A hamstring injury can occur in three different severities , that are:
Grade 1 – A minor muscle pull or strain
Grade 2 – A part of muscle tear
Grade 3 – A full muscle tear
The time taken for the recovery of the injury depends on the severity of the strain, pull or tear. A grade 1 injury can take up to a few days to heal, a grade 2 or a grade 3 injury can take a few weeks or months to recover completely.
A hamstring injury can be a result of sudden and powerful movements such as lunging, jumping and sprinting that tend to overstretch the muscles and tendons during its course. It can also be caused by gradual and slow movements, in some cases such as with dancers.
If one has already sustained a hamstring injury in the past and resumes their sports activities with the previous intensity, then the injury might occur again. Poor flexibility can also make the hamstrings vulnerable to injuries as the muscles are not capable of bearing activities that have a high impact.
Grade 1 – Sudden pain and tenderness at the back of the thigh, and painful leg movements, while the strength of the muscle remains intact.
Grade 2 – More painful and tender than grade 1 injury. The injured area could be swollen or bruised, and there might be a loss of strength in the muscles of the leg.
Grade 3 – The muscles get extremely painful and tender making it very difficult to walk or stand. One might sense a ‘pop’ when the injury occurs and the affected leg would be impossible to use.
During the initial days of the injury, for about 2-3 days, the care can be done through the RICE method, that is rest, ice, compress and elevate the affected leg, or the affected area. One can opt for painkillers to deal with the pain. To maintain the flexibility of the leg, you should practice gentle stretches and exercise so that the affected muscle does not shrink during the period of rest. Surgery is rarely required for such injuries.
Call us today for a consultation. Our very own specialist, Dr Reetadyuti Mukhopadhyay is at your service to assist you.