Hamstring injuries are a common musculoskeletal injury we see on a weekly basis at Trained Physio in East Perth. With patients who participate in running, football, soccer, gymnastics and powerlifting especially prone to these injuries given the demands of these sports. In this blog I will break down everything you need to know about hamstring strains and the best exercises for hamstring rehabilitation.
What Causes Hamstring Strains?
Before I dive into the causes of hamstring strains, let me first explain what the hamstrings are and what they do. The hamstrings are a group of muscles on the back of the upper leg that consist of the biceps femoris (long head and short head), semimembranosus, and semitendinosus muscles. All of these muscles (except the BF short head) originate at the ischial tuberosity (sit bones) and cross the knee and insert on the back of the shin bone (tibia). Because the hamstrings cross the hip and knee joints, they contribute to movement both at the hip (hip extension) and the knee (knee flexion). That’s all for the technical words, now let me explain to you about Hamstring Injuries!
A hamstring strain is tearing of the hamstring muscle fibres due to excessive force/stretching of the muscle fibres.
The 3 Grades of Hamstring Injuries:
Grade 1 – A mild muscle pull or strain approx. recovery 2-3 weeks
Grade 2 – A partial muscle tear approx. recovery 4-6 weeks +
Grade 3 – A complete muscle tear may require surgery, however this is rear
Symptoms of Hamstring Tear
- Sudden and severe pain during exercise, along with a snapping or popping feeling
- Pain in the back of the thigh and lower buttock when walking, straightening the leg, or bending over
- Tenderness and bruising
Strengthening Exercises For Hamstring Rehab
- Nordic lowers (as a progressive rehab exercise)
- Glute bridges
- Stiff leg deadlift (as a progressive exercise)
- Split stance hip hinge
- Isolated leg curls
How Physio Can Help!
As the head Physio for Wests Scarborough Rugby Club I see many hamstring injuries every week as well as in our East Perth Trained Physio clinic – all of our Physio’s have a special interest and experience working with hamstring strains and you can expect the following:
- Assess and treat muscular weaknesses
- Injury assessment and diagnosis
- Addressing the cause of the injury
- Manual therapy or dry needling and other specific injury treatment
- Exercise rehab and return to training plan
- Training modifications to prevent you from stopping training
- Helping you remain injury free
- Assessment of technique optimisation
Written by: Matthew Finber
- BSc. Physiotherapy
- Masters in Sports Physiotherapy (Currently)
- Masters in Exercise Rehabilitation Science