|Posterior Thigh Muscles|
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- Stretching the muscle too fast and/or too far.
- Suddenly putting stress on the muscles when they are not ready for the stress.
- Participation in sports that require bursts of speed. This includes track sports like running, hurdles, or long jump. Other sports include basketball, soccer, football, or rugby.
- Previous hamstring injury.
- Tight hamstrings.
- Imbalance of hamstring and opposing quadriceps muscle strength.
- Using the muscles too much in one day.
- A direct blow to the muscles.
- Pain and tenderness in the back of the thigh.
- Stiffness in the hamstrings.
- Weakness in the hamstrings.
- Bruising on the back of the thigh, if blood vessels are broken.
- Popping or snapping sensation as the muscle tears.
- Grade 1—Some stretching with micro-tearing of muscle fibers.
- Grade 2—Partial tearing of muscle fibers.
- Grade 3—Complete tearing of muscle fibers. This may also be called a rupture or avulsion.
- Do not do activities that cause pain. This includes running, jumping, and weight lifting using the leg muscles.
- If normal walking hurts, shorten your stride.
- Do not play sports until your doctor has said it is safe to do so.
- Over-the-counter medication, such as aspirin , ibuprofen , or acetaminophen
- Topical pain medication—creams or patches that are applied to the skin
- Prescription pain relievers
- Keep your hamstrings strong so they can absorb the energy of sudden physical stress.
- Learn the proper technique for exercise and sporting activities. This will decrease stress on all your muscles, including your hamstrings.
- Warm up and stretch before vigorous activity.
American Academy of Family Physicians Family Doctor http://familydoctor.org
American College of Sports Medicine http://acsm.org
Public Health Agency of Canada http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca
Canadian Physiotherapy Association http://www.physiotherapy.ca
Hamstring muscle injuries. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Ortho Info website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00408 . Updated July 2009. Accessed April 11, 2013.
Hamstring strain. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php . Updated February 28, 2013. Accessed April 11, 2013.
Heiderscheit BC, Sherry MA, et al. Hamstring strain injuries: recommendations for diagnosis, rehabilitation, and injury prevention. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther . 2010;40(2):67-81.
Mendiguchia J, Brughelli M. A return-to-sport algorithm for acute hamstring injuries. Phys Ther Sport . 2011;12(1):2-14.
Mendiguchia J, Alentorn-Geli E, Brughelli M. Hamstring strain injuries: are we heading in the right direction? Br J Sports Med . 2012;46(2):81-85.
10/26/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php : Massey T, Derry S, Moore R, McQuay H. Topical NSAIDs for acute pain in adults. Cochrane Database Syst Rev . 2010;(6):CD007402.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 02/2014 -
- Update Date: 02/17/2014 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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