Hamstring strains are one of the most common and painful injuries in sport. Those most affected by hamstring strains are teens and older athletes who play sports which require a high level of power, speed and agility such as running, soccer, dancing and basketball. Other risk factors include muscle tightness, muscle imbalance, muscle fatigue or poor conditioning.
The hamstrings are made up of three large muscles which are located on the back of the upper leg. These muscles are the biceps femoris, semitendinosus and semimembranosus. Each of these muscles attach to the lower aspect of the pelvis (ischial tuberosity) and pass the knee joint to connect with the tibia and fibula.
The hamstrings are responsible for flexion (bending) of the knee and extension (straightening) of the hip.
WHAT CAN CAUSE A HAMSTRING STRAIN?
During contraction of the hamstrings, tension is placed through these muscles. When the tension is excessive due to high force or too much repetition, at least one of the hamstring muscles has the potential to tear. The degree of tear can range from a small partial tear to a complete rupture. As mentioned above other risk factors include muscle tightness, muscle imbalance, muscle fatigue, poor conditioning or sudden movement or force applied to the muscles.
Muscle injury is graded –
Grade 1: minor stretching of the muscles and tendons. This is usually accompanied by mild pain and minimal loss of strength and movement.
Grade 2: some stretching and also some tearing of the muscles. This causes some swelling, bruising and pain and results in a loss of strength and function.
Grade 3: This is the most severe of the grades and is when there is a complete tear of one or more of the muscles. A grade three will result in extreme pain, inability to weight bear and a larger amount of swelling.
Additionally, there can also be what is called an Avulsion Fracture. This is where the tendon of the hamstrings separates completely from the bone, sometimes even taking a small piece of bone with it.
REHABILITATION AND RECOVERY
Regardless of the severity of the injury, rehab and recovery from a hamstring injury should be overseen by a health care professional like a Chiropractor or Physiotherapist. It is important to seek advice promptly after the injury in order to determine the source of pain, degree of injury and the best treatment to achieve ideal recovery.
If you have a hamstring injury or pain the area, call us today at Body Care Health and Chiropractic 0409 712 075