A hamstring strain or tear is also referred to as a torn hamstring muscle or pulled hamstring.

What is a hamstring strain/tear?

A hamstring strain/tear is the name given when there is a complete or partial tearing of one or more of your hamstring muscles which are found at the back of your thing.

The hamstrings are made up of 3 muscles:•Biceps femoris•Semitendinosus•Semimembranosus These muscles all insert into the top of the lower leg and originate in the pelvis. They cause the knee to bend and the hip to straighten and are most active during kicking, jumping and running.

A hamstring tear can vary in severity:

Grade 1: a few fibres are torn
Grade 2: a significant number of fibres are torn
Grade 3: all muscle fibres are torn causing a large loss of function

What causes a hamstring strain/tear?

When the hamstring muscle contracts, tension is put through the hamstring muscles. If this tension is too high due to a large force or high repetitions then the hamstring muscle can tear.

Hamstring strains usually occur when they are put in a stretched position and when there is a rapid acceleration for example running or such as a footballer performing a long kick.

What are the symptoms of a hamstring strain/tear?

There are a few common symptoms of a hamstring strain tear:

  • A pulling sensation or sharp pain around the back of the thigh during the activity causing the strain
  • In severe cases you may be unable to continue with the activity and may be unable to walk off the playing field
  • Pain or stiffness after the activity causing the strain
  • Pain doing activities such as walking, going up or downstairs, running, kicking, jumping and performing a hamstring stretch or another activity putting stress on the hamstring muscle.

Other symptoms include:

  • Swelling
  • Muscle spasm
  • Weakness
  • Pain touching the affected region
  • Bruising at the back of the thigh

How is a hamstring strain/tear diagnosed?

A thorough assessment can be carried out by your physiotherapist to diagnose a hamstring strain/tear. Occasionally, an ultrasound or MRI scan may confirm a diagnosis.

What treatment can Farrell Physiotherapy offer for a hamstring strain/tear?

Following your assessment, you will be provided with an exercise programme individual to you based on your problems.

Physiotherapy can include:

  • Ice
  • Ultrasound
  • Passive stretching exercises
  • Active stretching exercises
  • Muscle strengthening exercises
  • Soft tissue massage
  • Graded exercise programme

Benefit of physiotherapy for a hamstring strain/tear?

Physiotherapy is an effective treatment for a hamstring strain/tear in order to ensure you make the greatest recovery possible in the shortest space of time.

There are a few benefits of physiotherapy including:

  • Reduced swelling
  • Reduced pain
  • Accelerated recovery
  • Improved range of movement and prevention of stiffness
  • Prevention of re-injury
  • Facilitation of return to sporting activities as quickly as possible

If you would like to book an assessment or enquire further, please call 01245 615 051 or e-mail: infofarrellphysiotherapy@gmail.com.