How to Recover and Prevent from Acute Hamstring Injuries

How to Recover and Prevent from Acute Hamstring Injuries

Hamstrings are the strong tendons located at the back of thigh connecting muscles with bone. Hamstring name is also given to 3 muscles that start from the hip to just below the knee. These muscles are not used when person is sitting or standing but are used in all activities like running, jumping and climbing. Hamstring injuries is tear in these tendons and muscles which happens more often in athletes but can occur in any situation to a common person.
Cause of these injuries is the overstretching of hamstrings in all of a sudden jerky movements like jumping, lunging and sprinting but they can also happen gradually. Chances of recurring injuries are more in sports people specially if there is such injury before.
These injuries are of three types—
Grade 1— Mild muscle pull with feeling of pain while moving
Grade 2—Partial tear are painful with swelling at thigh back and loss of strength in the affected leg.
Grade3—Complete muscle tear is highly painful with swelling and tenderness so much that person cannot even move his/her leg affected.
Diagnose—
While diagnosing, an expert doctor physically examines the patients and MRI scans are needed only when the injury is severe or exact location is to be detected. These scans are very beneficial as they are a standardize diagnose to determine the grade of hamstring injury. Many times symptoms of hamstring injuries are visible so diagnostic tests can be avoided.
Physiotherapy evaluation and treatment —
Physiotherapy must be taken on time to prevent this injury from becoming severe. It starts with a diagnose by an expert physiotherapist where patients is asked to describe his/her symptoms. Hamstring muscles are examined by touching the surface and the tissues of surrounding areas.strength of hamstring muscles is checked by asking patient to move, run and climb stairs.
After proper diagnose physiotherapist makes a customized treatment plan to reduce pain,swelling,tenderness and restoration of normal activities .different methods can be used in physiotherapy like—
Ultrasound—This therapy involves the deep heating treatment to the tissues of hamstring with an aim to improve the blood circulation to the injured area so that healing can start. However recent researches shows that use of this therapy does not produce good result in musculoskeletal problems.
Massage— Soft hand massage of the affected area produces results as it removes mobility of scar tissues and heals the soft tissues.
Electrical stimulation—This therapy is used to manage pain,reduce swelling and contraction of muscles-stimulation is used by physiotherapist for rehabilitation of hamstring muscles.
Kinesiology taping—Kinesiology taping can be used by physiotherapist to improve the functioning of hamstring muscles by reducing swelling and bruises around the affected area.
Assisting in walking—Patients with severe hamstring injuries are educated as to how to use crutches and walk with precaution .main motive is to keep on walking slowly initially few steps by external help to enhance healing.
Ice therapy— This therapy can be used in mild injuries to manage pain and swelling with an aim to help in leg movements.
Heat therapy—Moist heat therapy can be used to relax the hamstring muscles and soft tissues.
Besides these therapies physiotherapist will suggest the following exercises like—
Hamstring stretches— Main purpose of these stretches is to better the functioning of hamstring muscles. Person while doing this exercise should feel a pull in the affected area but overdoing this exercise can create problem so it should be done in the supervision of expert.
Strengthening the lower extremities— Physiotherapist will suggest strengthening exercises for the benefit of hamstring muscles but initially,exercises must be done slowly as not to hurt the affected area.
Hip and core strengthening exercises will help a lot in rehabilitation process.
Exercises, like hopping and jumping with an aim to learn the proper way of jumping and landing, can not only heal but is a way to protect the hamstring injuries.
Patient can be asked to learn the balancing exercises to ensure that the hips,knees and ankle are in perfect balance while doing any type of movement.
Preventing Hamstring injuries—
Sports people must do warming up exercises to start playing any sports.
Making a habit to do flexibility exercises before and after each playing session.
Doing exercises to strengthen the hamstring muscles,core area and lower legs can help a lot in avoiding such injuries.
Making hamstring muscles tough by doing resistance exercises so as to prevent these injuries.
Doing stability exercises to improve the coordination between quadriceps and hamstrings is very important to avoid such injuries.

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