Hamstring Injury Treatment

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Hamstring Injury Treatment

A hamstring injury is a strain or tear to the tendons or large muscles at the back of the upper leg or thigh. This is a very common injury among athletes and is placed in three categories:

  • Grade 1 – A mild muscle pull or strain.
  • Grade 2 – A partial muscle tear.
  • Grade 3 – A complete muscle tear.


There are many different symptoms of a hamstring injury depending on the severity of the injury itself including:

  • Sudden pain and tenderness at the back of the thigh.
  • May be painful to move the leg.
  • Swelling and bruising at the back of the thigh.
  • Loss of strength in the leg.
  • Difficult to walk or stand.
  • Some may experience a “popping” sensation at the time of the injury (severe hamstring tear), and the inability to use that leg.


Depending on the severity of the injury, treatment may take days to months. Recovery times vary; a severely torn hamstring may take several months to heal and you will be unable to resume activities during this time.

To start treatment, it is important within the first few days to practice RICE therapy; Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. Depending on the type of injury, treatment may also include:


  • Over-the-counter medications, such as ibuprofen, help reduce swelling and inflammation.
  • Some may wear a knee splint for a brief time to help stop the leg from moving to help the hamstring heal.
  • Start doing gentle hamstring stretches after a few days when pain has started to decrease.
  • In some cases, it is beneficial to participate in physical therapy to help gradually introduce exercise and stretching to help increase mobility.

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