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April 2017: Hamstring Strains

By Adam Tysoe -- April 26th, 2017

Hamstring strains happen when any of your hamstrings muscles or its tendons is stretched beyond what it can withstand or torn when substantial stretching of the muscle occurs. Hamstring strains are fairly common in sports activities requiring the athlete to forcefully run or jump. A hamstring strain is also called a pulled hamstring or hamstring tear.

An inflamed hamstring tendon is called hamstring tendonitis. Your hamstrings or hamstring muscles are located at the back of your thigh. You have three hamstring muscles. Together, they help bend your knees as you lie face-down; lift your foot toward your back (without bending your hip); and help you walk normally.

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Causes of hamstring strains

Hamstring strain occurs when any of your hamstrings or its tendon is overstretched, overused, or overexerted during a sports or recreational activity such as sprinting, kicking or jumping. Exercising improperly, such as increasing the duration or intensity of your workout too much or too soon, may also lead to hamstring strains.

Physiotherapy Treatment Options for Hamstring Strains

Depending on the severity of your hamstring strain, you may be receiving a combination of the following

  • Recommend rest
  • Ice and or heat application
  • Electrotherapeutic modalities such as ultrasound or TENS
  • Recommend crutches / Crutch walking training
  • Gentle range of motion exercises
  • Gentle stretching (manual or active)
  • Progressive strengthening exercises
  • Work or sports-related strengthening program
  • Patient education
    • o About your condition
    • o Precautions to observe
    • o Activity or work modification
    • o Injury prevention
  • Rehabilitation program

When you can return to your usual activities will be based on whether you achieve a full range of motion that’s pain-free and maximum muscle strength or not. Your Physiotherapist will be able to help you determine whether you are at your maximum performance or not.

Stretch of the Month

The Cross-Over Stretch
Start in a standing position, then:

  1. Cross your right leg over your left, with your feet close together.
  2. Slowly roll your upper body down toward the floor until you feel a gentle stretch (not pain!) along the back of left leg.
  3. Hold for 30 seconds.
  4. Switch legs, repeating twice on each side.

Towards Wellness

Positive Attitude

The mind is responsible for controlling many factors that affect our health. This includes things like managing stress, exercising to lower blood pressure, not smoking, limiting alcohol use, eating a good diet, and the way we naturally respond to various stressors in our lives. All of these things are controlled by the mind, but have a direct effect on the health of the body.

A person who does not have a positive attitude towards health will often let the mind take over and do things that are not good for the body.

Having a positive attitude towards health and wellness will help lead you to your goals of optimal health and wellness.

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