The hamstring muscles are the three muscles that move the leg below the knee. They are the ones that involves such activities as walking, hiking, running and dancing. Hamstring injury is quite common and the injury is graded on a scale of one to three in severity. In the most severe injury the tendon is torn away from the bone.
If the hamstring is injured it is very important to get treatment immediately to determine the severity of the injury and to prevent more damage to the hamstring muscle. Treatment should include resting of the injured muscles to avoid further damage to the hamstring muscle. Treatment usually involves ice to the leg for 10 to 15 minutes and repeated two or three times a day. Often times a sports cream called Bio freeze is used. It is supposed to cool the injured muscle. The injured leg should also be propped up to help reduce the swelling and so the blood flows away from the torn muscle to also reduce the swelling. Heat should be applied for at least three to four days after the injury. Heat too soon can cause the blood vessels to swell.
Timing is everything
With an injury of this type timing is very important an anti-inflammatory treatment should continue for at least 48 to 72 hours so that the injured muscle has time to begin the healing process sufficiently.
Signs of injury to the hamstring muscle
A torn hamstring muscle will be very painful with a throbbing sensation to the back of the leg along with swelling of the leg.
When the damaged hamstring begins to heal and is not so tender, doctors encourage stretching exercises to prevent the muscles from becoming too tight. This needs to be done slowly at first so the hamstring is not damaged. Lean forward and feel the muscle stretch in the leg. Try to repeat this exercise. Another exercise is to pull the ankles up toward the buttocks and try to repeat 10 to 15 times.
A torn hamstring is very painful and care must be given to do warm-up exercises before running, dancing, walking or hiking to prevent an injury to the hamstring.