Hamstring Injuries


The ‘hamstrings’ are a powerful muscle group located at the back of the thigh and comprise of three muscles; biceps femoris, semi-membranosus and semi-tendinosus. There are a wide range of hamstring injuries that can take place from minor bruising to partial & complete ruptures. The hamstrings are vital for extending the leg/hip and flexing the knee so all injuries to these muscles must be treated promptly to help restore full functional use and the return to sport & exercise.

Causes: Impact sports such as rugby can result in bruising (contusions). Acute strains, tears and pulls can occur when an athlete needs to change direction or speed quickly. Such ruptures (partial or complete) may occur when the muscle is put under an excess level of pressure with movement or when the muscle group is involved in sudden tensile forces which overstretch the muscle (e.g. kicking a football or slipping whilst running). Injuries tend to be more prevalent if the athlete has failed to conduct a thorough warm-up or the athlete performs with poor technique during exercise. Underlying biomechanical problems can contribute to recurrent hamstring injuries.

Symptoms & diagnosis: Pain, swelling, bruising and redness (erythema) at the back of the leg may indicate a hamstring injury. The symptoms can range from mild bruising to severe pain and crutches may be required to assist with walking during the initial stage of the injury. Diagnosis is usually made by a physical examination by a skilled physiotherapist. An ultrasound or MRI scan may be required to investigate the extent of the rupture. A careful examination is required to exclude sciatic nerve involvement which can mimic various symptoms of a hamstring injury.

Management: Physiotherapy will enhance and accelerate the healing process. The correct rehabilitation will allow an efficient return to sport, exercise and daily activities. A biomechanical examination may be required to investigate underlying problems that may have contributed to the injury.

Please feel free to contact the G4 Clinic to speak to a member of the team for any questions that you may have.

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