The hamstring muscles are the large, powerful muscles at the back of the thigh, from the lower pelvis to the back of the shin bone. The hamstring is the important muscle that functions to extend the hip joint and flex the knee joint.
The hamstring is used in normal daily activities and in many sporting activities, Sports that commonly cause a hamstring injury are sprinting sports that involve sudden accelerations. These include track and field, football, cricket and rounders etc.
What is a hamstring strain?
A hamstring strain, is a tear of the hamstring muscle fibres. In less severe hamstring strains, Grade I injuries, the tearing is microscopic. The muscle fibres are essentially stretched too far, and some bleeding occurs within the muscle. In very severe hamstring strains, severe Grade III injuries, the hamstring muscle can completely rupture, and may require surgery to repair the torn ends of the muscle.
Muscle strains and tears most commonly occur because of what is called “eccentric contraction” When this occurs, the muscle is trying to contract while another force (the ground, another player, etc.) is forcing the muscle in the opposite direction. This creates tremendous force on the muscle, and if the force is strong enough, it will tear the muscle fibres.
What are the symptoms of a hamstring strain or tear?
The symptoms of a hamstring strain and tears depend on the severity of the injury. The hamstring injury is usually sudden and painful. Other common symptoms include:
What can be done about it?
Treatment follows the following steps:
Other causes of thigh pain commonly would be sciatic type pain or referred pain from the lumbar region. This may be helped by osteopathy and physiotherapy.
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