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How to Identify and Treat Pulled Hamstring

A pulled hamstring is a common injury among athletes who run track. It’s true that sprinters or hurdle jumpers seem to suffer this injury more often but any sport where there is sprinting involved can result in a pulled hamstring.

If an athlete experiences pain in the back of the leg or upon stretching or contracting the muscle and especially if there is swelling or bruising, chances are there is some sort of trauma to the hamstring.

Hamstring strains are graded 1, 2, or 3 with grade 1 being a minor tear in the muscle; grade 2 a partial tear in the muscle; and grade 3 a sharp tear or rupture of the muscle.

If an athlete suspects that they have pulled their hamstring, treatment should begin immediately. This treatment consists of the RICE treatment, which involves resting, icing, compression and elevation of the leg.

If the injury doesn’t seem to be healing, the athlete needs to visit select physical therapy in Downer’s Grove for treatment specializing in this injury. Ultrasound, electrical stimulation, massage, and specific stretches, designed to help the hamstring, will all be incorporated into the rehabilitation.

Keeping the hamstring flexible is key in preventing an injury. A physical therapist will give you the proper stretching technique to not only help heal the injury, but also to increase flexibility and prevent another hamstring injury.


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