When it comes to the most common sports injuries, one that most of us are pretty familiar with are hamstring strains. While they are fairly common among athletes, a strained hamstring can also be extremely painful. They can be so painful, in fact, that they can sometimes lead us to believe we have just had a major injury, believing something much more serious has happened.

What is Your Hamstring?

Well, your hamstring is the name of a group of four muscles that run down the back of your thigh. Those particular muscles allow you to bend your leg at the knee. When you suffer a strained hamstring, one or more of these muscles have become overloaded. Some tearing may have occurred, as well.

What Causes a Strained Hamstring?

You are also more likely to suffer a strained hamstring if you A) forget to warm up before intense activity, B) have weak glutes, or C) if your quadriceps are very tight (the muscles in front of your thigh). Some common activities that can lead to a hamstring strain are starting and stopping abruptly, jumping or even intense running.

Strained Hamstring Symptoms

Sometimes mild hamstring pulls aren’t that bad, with you experiencing very little pain that fades rather quickly. Other more severe pulls can result in symptoms such as:

Severe pain accompanied by a sudden snap or pop
Extreme tenderness or bruising
Severe pain in the lower buttocks or back of the thigh

Sometimes the pain can be so severe, walking, let alone running, may be impossible.

Strained Hamstring Treatment

If you feel you may have a mild pull, simply rest your leg and try icing the tender area for about 20 minutes every 4 hours or so. However, if your symptoms persist, or if you are experiencing severe pain make an appointment with our sports medicine doctor. We’ll diagnose the injury and discuss sports injury treatment options with you right away. Dr. Bob Meyer has been practicing sports medicine for over 21 years and can help get you on the road to recovery fast.