The hamstring muscle is the most commonly strained muscle in the lower extremities for high-level athletes. The hamstring muscle group consists of the semimembranosus, semitendinosus, and the biceps femoris (which is most commonly affected). Common symptoms include a popping or sharp sensation at the back of your thigh, bruising or swelling at the posterior thigh, and loss of range of motion in your hip and/or knee.
There are various factors for why this is the case, including a significant increase in volume or intensity, insufficient warm-up, or prior history of hamstring inflexibility or weakness. It is important when getting evaluated by a provider to distinguish between hamstring strain and other diagnoses which could present similarly like lumbar radiculopathy, adductor strain, or piriformis syndrome.
The initial phase of treatment should be focused on reducing pain and swelling post-injury. A few modalities of ours that are effective at targeting this are Winback Tecar therapy, Laser Therapy, and Shock Wave Therapy. Utilizing these can decrease the amount of pain you are in but also use that window to begin incorporating exercises that can more permanently give you relief. Other aspects we would be addressing are hip dysfunction and trunk stabilization as you become more active with treatment.
As we progress and heal sometimes people ask what they can do if they don’t feel 100% ready to run or return to sport but are in much less pain due to treatment. It can also be a frustrating experience if you have ever had chronic pain in your hamstring(s) and feel like it limits you, whether from stealing 2nd base or trying to hit a deadlift personal record. Properly rehabbing your injury can decrease your odds of re-injury and diminished performance overall. We love to use tools like the NXPro (electrical stimulation) and Blood Flow Restriction training to incorporate some of these movements back into your training safely and progressively. Utilizing this not only helps strengthen the areas of pain or dysfunction but also gives the patient confidence in their affected hamstring.
Are you interested in how we can help with managing your hamstring pain and helping you return to doing what you love? Give us a call today at 727-228-3030 or schedule an appointment online at strengthchiro.com