Pulled Hamstring

A pulled hamstring is a common sports injury. While there is often a risk of injury in sports, learning what causes a problem, how to rehabilitate such injuries and also sound preventative measures can decrease the risk of serious damage.

The hamstrings are located in the back of the thigh. These three muscles that run from the pelvis to the back of your knee at the tibia, allow you to bend your knees. Hamstrings also cross over your hips at the joint, participating in hip extension. Without this configuration the human body would not be able to run or jump. It is these very actions, however, that also can lead to hamstring strains and tears.

© K.M. Klemencic
Getting the runner at second is about concentration

Having a pulled hamstring means simply that your muscles were stretched very suddenly. Not only does this hurt, but you may hear a popping sound at the time of the injury. Any part of your hamstring can strain or tear, but the area at the highest risk is in the middle of the muscle. What you experience depends heavily on the strain’s severity. A mild hamstring strain (grade 1) only stretches the muscle. The next level up (grade 2) creates a partial hamstring tear, while grade three is the most severely torn, possibly detached. Generally speaking, however, a pulled hamstring will swell, bruise, and sometimes spasm.

When an athlete experiences a mild pull they may not realize it immediately until they continue with heavy activity. At that time pain slowly increases. Someone with a medium sprain feels pain immediately and will likely experience difficulty walking. With significant tears the symptoms are likewise immediate and more severe.

© K.M. Klemencic
After a great tag play, show the umpire the ball

To treat a pull, step one is getting off your feet! Put ice on the injured area and elevate your leg. Resting and staying off the injury is very important. If you must get up and move around use some type of support like an ace bandage. You can use over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen to lessen swelling and ease the pain.

Since a pulled hamstring is such a common sports injury, attention is being given by coaches toward teaching athletes sound prevention methods. Tight muscles are at the heart of the problem, so any activities that improve flexibility and prepare the muscle for the upcoming work also offset the likelihood of injury. Stretching, yoga and other exercises that tone muscles are highly recommended. Ask your physician, gym trainer or sports trainer for suggestions.

© K.M. Klemencic
Sometimes great effort still comes up a little short

NOTE: The information provided above, as with everything on Fastpitch-Softball-coaching, is subject to the Disclaimer. This is not intended to be medical advice, and we suggest you consult with your physician prior to altering any course of action.

More on Hamstring Injuries and Recovery

Below you will find additional information on hamstring injuries as well as hamstring braces to help stabilize and enable the recovery. There are also books on the how to handle sports injuries. If you do not find exactly what you are looking for, click on the store name to go directly to the store's website to search more easily.

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