Hamstring Strains

The hamstrings are located in the back of the thigh.  Hamstring or other muscular strains are common among the sporting population.  There is usually a sudden onset of pain during when the hamstring is stretched out.  Fortunately, muscular injuries tend to have an excellent blood supply, and hence tends to heal well within a relatively short period of time.  Recurrent injuries may occur if insufficient time is spent rebuilding its strength or flexibility.  Occasionally recurrent tears to tears that take a while to settle may have referred symptoms from other body parts such as the lower back.


The best thing to do after a hamstring tear is to ice it, compress it with a bandage and elevate the leg.  Occasionally crutches are required to rest the leg.  Do not massage heavily, stretch, apply heat and minimise alcohol intake for at least 3-5 days, depending on the severity of the strain.


Light stretching and strengthening can be commenced after this time.  Stretching and strengthening should never be painful.  The exercises should be gradually progressed until the muscle regains its original flexibility and strength.


Anti-inflammatories such as nurofen has been shown to potentially settle your current symptoms quicker, but may increase your risk of recurrent tears.