How to Mangange a Hamstring Strain
Here’s what happens when you are assessed by a Physio after a Hamstring Strain:
Hamstring strains are a common injury we see here at Physio and Fitness Clinic. These commonly occur in sports that require a lot of change of pace and direction (such as team sports). It is common that these take over four weeks to heal, and often six weeks from games before an athlete is safe to resume their sport.
Assessment of this injury involves touching the area of soreness, to feel for tight sections within the muscle, noting any bruising that can often occur with significant strains or partial tears. We will also test the length of the muscle with hip and knee range of movement tasks.
From here we move to functional assessment, which (depending on severity) will include walking/ running assessment, step up if relevant, single leg squat, bridging quality and knee bend strength. This all depends on the goals for the client and can change from person to person.
Here’s what to expect with a Physio managing your hamstring strain rehabilitation:
Your Physio is best placed to guide your rehabilitation in terms of building up the muscle strength and recovery post injury.
If the injury is very painful in the initial stages, and particularly if you are limping still a few days later, your Physio will likely commence with non-weight bearing exercises to stimulate improvement within the muscle tissue that does not cause the healing cells further damage. Put simply, if you try to overdo it in the initial stage, you will likely cause further issues to the muscle and slow recovery. This might be as simple as just laying on your tummy and bending your foot towards your glutes and holding.
Once you can walk without a limp (and hamstrings generally improve quickly), this is the stage you can commence heavier load exercises. This might include squats, bridges, and hamstring curls against the opposite leg.
Once the movement patterns have continued to improve and the range of movement is normal, then heavier load tasks are added (more like things you might do in a gym setting) before adding some gentle straight line running.
Following this, then you move on to faster pace (plyometric) work and change of pace running before returning to training 🙂
Here’s what to expect with a Myo (Massage) managing your hamstring strain:
It is best with a hamstring muscle strain to complement the rehabilitation you are doing with the Physio with massage treatments to ensure best care.
With these sessions, you will be assessed by the therapist, where they will address the injured tissue itself (which might respond best to massage, cupping, or dry needling depending on the stage of rehab, location of strain and client contraindications). These techniques are designed to release tightness within the muscle and nerve tissue, reduce any fascial adhesions and generally help you to feel good in the region (and therefore move better for your rehab program).
The Massage team will also address any other areas of tightness that might have contributed to the injury occurrance in the first stage. In our hamstrings this can often include the lower back, glutes and calves.