What is a hamstring or quadriceps strain/tear?

Your hamstrings make up the back of your thigh and the quadriceps make up the front of your thigh.

When either your hamstrings muscle or quadriceps muscle is torn partially or fully then this is called a strain.

There are 3 grades of a hamstring or quadriceps strain/tear:

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 or quadriceps strain/tear?

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

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

Quadriceps strains often occur following an activity such as kicking, sprinting or jumping.

What are the symptoms of a hamstring or quadriceps strain/tear?

There are a few common symptoms of hamstring and quadriceps strain/tears:

Hamstring strain:

  • A pulling sensation or sharp pain at the back of your thigh during the activity which causes the strain

Quadriceps strain:

  • A pulling sensation or sharp pain at the front of your thigh

Both:

  • If severe enough you may not be able to continue with the activity you’re doing and might not be able to walk off the playing field
  • Stiffness or pain after the activity causing the strain
  • Pain with activities such as walking up stairs, walking, kicking, running, jumping or other activities putting stress on the hamstring or quadriceps.

How is a hamstring or quadriceps strain/tear diagnosed?

Your physiotherapist can carry out a full subjective and objective examination to diagnose a hamstring or quadriceps strain/tear. An ultrasound or MRI scan may be used to confirm diagnosis and extent of injury.

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

Following assessment your physiotherapist will provide you with a tailor made treatment programme based on what was found on assessment. There are several treatment options for a hamstring or quadriceps strain/tear.

Your physiotherapist will choose the most appropriate treatment options for you based on your symptoms and goals and usually a combination of treatment methods are used.

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 quadriceps or hamstring strain/tear?

Physiotherapy is an effective treatment for a quadriceps or 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.