The Hamstring muscle is made up of three long muscles at the back of the thigh. Together they bend the knee and extend the hip, giving them two functions. Therefore its easy to pull them by putting them on a quick over-stretch. This can happen by bending the hip and extending the knee at the same time, e.g. by taking a powerful kick during a match .This happens particularly if the muscle is tight and not stretched out.
When the muscle tears, it is extremely painful, and it will bleed internally. If it happens, try to get a cold compress on it straight away and elevate the leg.
You can visit your Chartered Physiotherapist the next day for assessment, advice and treatment. After a few days, depending on the extent of the tear, bruising will be visible along the back of the thigh. Physiotherapy treatment aims to reduce the bruising and assist in the healing process. Judging when to get the leg moving again and taking your weight fully, is assessed regularly during treatment.
Strengthening up the torn muscle is very important, otherwise it can tear again, or not be as strong as the other hamstring muscles in the complex, causing an imbalance.
In a longstanding problem, it is often the case that there is weakness in one of the 3 hamstring muscles when it is trying to function at a particular angle of bend of the knee. Chartered Physiotherapists can assess which of the hamstring muscles it is, and at which angle the weakness is occurring. From here they can prescribe focused exercises to strengthen up the muscle again.Appointments