Don’t Postpone Treatment for a Hamstring Injury
Regardless of how much you may stretch and strengthen your hamstring muscles prior to any fitness activity, the risk of pulling or tearing your hamstring is a risk that all athletes take. Hamstring injuries are typically associated with sports that involve rapid acceleration or deceleration, as well as jumping, pivoting, cutting, and kicking. Such sports include football, baseball, basketball, soccer, track, and more.
Too often athletes postpone treatment for a hamstring injury assuming it will heal on its own, but a delay in treatment may significantly delay a return to sport activities. Some athletes suspect they’ve pulled their hamstring when they’ve actually torn it. In such cases surgery may be necessary for a full recovery.
Our Sports Medicine Center is equipped with an experienced team of fellowship trained physicians and surgeons that can determine the extent of your hamstring injury and recommend proper treatment.
Steps to Avoid Injury
Stretching is by far the best way to prevent a hamstring injury. Athletes should perform daily stretching exercises to avoid muscle tightness. Poor conditioning and fatigue is something that all athletes should be especially aware of because hamstring muscles can’t hold up under stress when they’re not in shape or rested. Although hamstring injuries often suddenly occur without warning, it is important to pay close attention to your body and understand its limits.
Treatment for Hamstring Injuries
The most important part of any treatment plan for hamstring injuries is rest. The muscles simply cannot heal if they are continually being worked. Treatment will naturally vary based on the severity of the injury and your need to return to activity. For most hamstring injuries we recommend rest, ice, compression, and elevation – followed by physical therapy. Such treatment aims to reduce inflammation and swelling.
A physical therapy program will consist of stretches that promote flexibility and range of motion. Strengthening exercises will slowly be incorporated as part of treatment. You should only return to sport activities once your physician says it is safe to do so. Returning too quickly may delay your recovery.
If you wish to visit our Sports Medicine Center to evaluate a possible hamstring injury, you can schedule an appointment online. For additional questions feel free to call us at 904-825-0540.
CASEY McCLONE, MD
Board Certifications in Family Medicine and Sports Medicine. Dr. McClone specializes in treating musculoskeletal pain for patients of all ages with ultra-sound guided injections.