Hamstring (posterior thigh) injuries are a frustrating injury that can cause an inability to run or even walk properly for a number of days to weeks. If not rehabbed correctly they can happen again and again and again and leave you away from your sport for far longer than necessary. Unfortunately rest is not the cure as muscles get tight and weak leaving you more at risk when you go back to play.
If you have recently strained your hamstring the best thing to do initially is RICER. Rest it, Ice it, Compress it, Elevate it, Referr to a physio. Once we have assessed the degree of injury we can then tailor a plan specific for the type of hamstring strain.
Hamstring injuries can range from mild inflammation to large degree tearing and bleeding. They can also occur in the muscle, tendon, and have implications on your sciatic nerve. Each level of tearing and where the tear has occurred requires a different rehabilitation process. Some require stretching quickly others stretching needs to be delayed otherwise you can make it worse and increase your chance of re-strain.
A good physiotherapist will assess your hamstring and its function and establish the level of damage sustained before coming up with a rehabilitation plan. There may be some soft tissue work required to clear swelling and reduce muscle tone. You will usually be given a series of exercises to not only restrengthen your damaged hamstring but build strength in other areas to take pressure off your hamstring when you return to sport. Lastly when returning to sport our physiotherapists and S&C coaches will look at your running gait to ensure that your running action isn’t the underlying cause behind your hamstring injury