Hamstring Strain - Volleyball.Com - Volleyball related sports injuries, sports medicine
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Sports Injuries


Hamstring Strain


What is a hamstring strain?

A hamstring strain or a pulled hamstring as it is sometimes called is a tear in one of the hamstrings muscles (Semitendinosis, Semimembrinosis and Biceps femoris). It often results from an overload of the muscles or trying to move the muscles too fast. If you have taken an impact in the back of the leg it must be treated as a contusion. Otherwise read on. Strains are common in all sports especially ones where sprinting is involved. Running injury to the hamstring is very common. They range from a complete rupture of the muscle to small micro tears that the athlete will probably not notice at the time.


Symptoms include:

  • A sudden sharp pain at the back of the leg.
  • Muscles going into spasm.
  • Swelling and bruising.
  • If the rupture is very bad you may feel a gap in the muscle

    Strains are graded 1, 2 or 3 depending on severity. A grade 1 might consist of small micro tears in the muscle. A grade 2 would be a partial tear in the muscle and grade 3 is a severe or complete rupture of the muscle.

    Grade 1: What does it feel like?

  • Might have tightness in the thigh.
  • May be able to walk properly.
  • Probably won't have much swelling.
  • Lying on front and trying to bend the knee against resistance probably won't produce much pain.

    What can the athlete do?

  • Use a compression bandage or heat retainer until you feel no pain.
  • See a sports injury professional who can advise on rehabilitation and strengthening.

    What can a Sports Injury Specialist or Doctor do?

  • Use sports massage techniques to speed up recovery (very important).
  • Use ultrasound and electrical stimulation
  • Prescribe a rehabilitation programme.

    Grade 2: What does it feel like?

  • Probably cannot walk properly.
  • May get occasional sudden twinges of pain during activity.
  • May notice swelling.
  • Pressing in causes pain.
  • Bending the knee against resistance causes pain.
  • Might be unable to fully straighten the knee.

    What can the athlete do?

  • Ice, compress, elevate, use crutches for 3 to 5 days.
  • See a sports injury specialist who can advise on rehabilitation.

    What can a Sports Injury Specialist or Doctor do?

  • Use sports massage techniques to speed up recovery (very important).
  • Use ultrasound and electrical stimulation
  • Prescribe a rehabilitation programme including stretching and strengthening exercises.





    Grade 3: What does it feel like?

  • Unable to walk properly without the aid of crutches.
  • In severe pain.
  • Bad swelling appear immediately.
  • A static contraction will be painful and might produce a bulge in the muscle.
  • Expect to be out of competition for 3 to twelve weeks or more.

    What can the athlete do?

  • Seek medical attention immediately.
  • R.I.C.E. (Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate.) Use crutches.
  • See a sports injury professional who can advise on rehabilitation and prevention.

    What can a Sports Injury Specialist or Doctor do?

  • Use sports massage techniques to speed up recovery (very important).
  • Use ultrasound and electrical stimulation.
  • Prescribe a rehabilitation programme and monitor it.
  • Operate if needed.

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