The Fall is a prime season for many sports like soccer, football, volleyball, tennis, dancing, cross country, ice and field hockey, and basketball. Unfortunately, this also means that these athletes are at increased risk of a hamstring injury. The more you are competing hard, the more you will expose yourself to the risk of breaking a bone, straining a muscle or tendon, and other unpredictable conditions. One of the most common, however, is an injury to the hamstring.
Research and statistics suggest that hamstring strains occur in approximately 11-15% of athletes who participate in the above mentioned sports. For those who have already injured their hamstring once, the risk of reoccurrence is believed to be between 25-35%. However, with proper physical therapy care, hamstring injuries can be prevented and rehabilitated effectively.
What is the Hamstring?
The hamstring is a muscle that originates at the bottom portion of the pelvis. It runs down the back of one’s leg and inserts below the knee joint onto two bones, the tibia and fibula. Because of this, the hamstring is considered a two-joint muscle – increasing its workload and heightening its risk for potential injury.
What is the Function of the Hamstring?
The hamstring assists with the bending, or flexion, of the knee. However, the hamstring will slow down, or decelerate, the tibia and fibula once the heel makes contact with the ground.
How do I know if I injured my hamstring?
If you think you have injured your hamstring, the most common signs and symptoms include:
- Sudden sharp pain on the back of your thigh
- Popping and/or tearing sensation
- Swelling and tenderness
- Possible bruising in the area
- Muscle weakness
- Inability to put weight on the injured leg
What caused my hamstring injury?
Wondering what may have caused you to injure your hamstring? Though there are many ways that our muscles can be injured, some common ones include:
- Muscle overuse (not enough rest)
- Poor strength
- Poor flexibility
- Poor conditioning
How can a physical therapist help prevent or treat hamstring injury?
To assist with hamstring injury prevention, your physical therapist with examine several components of your pelvis and lower extremity. These may include joint mobility, muscle length testing, range of motion, static and functional strength, and gross functional movements like squatting or running. Once the physical therapist has identified these elements, they can begin working with you to create a personalized care plan designed to help you prevent injury or rehab to better health.
Prevent or Recover from Hamstring Injury Today
If you have any questions regarding consultation or initial evaluation, please contact the Pro Staff Institute offices or visit our website.