How to treat hamstring injury
A hamstring injury happens when straining or pulling one of the hamstring muscles which are a group of muscles that are found along the back of the thigh. People who are susceptible to hamstring injuries include those who play basketball, football, soccer, tennis and other sports that will involve sprinting and sudden stops and starts. It can also happen to runners and dancers. Self-care measures such as resting, application of ice and over-the-counter pain medications are needed in relieving swelling and pain caused by hamstring injury. You can learn more by enrolling in a first aid class today.
A hamstring injury causes sudden, sharp pain in the back of the thigh. There is swelling and tenderness that happens within a few hours and a feeling of popping and tearing sensations. Bruising or discoloration can be experienced along the back of the leg and the muscles are weak or could not put weight on the injured leg. Hamstring injuries can be treated at home but if there is difficulty in bearing weight on the injured leg or there is difficulty in walking, it is time to seek medical help.
Hamstring muscles are group of three muscles that are found along the back of the thigh from the hip going below the knee. These muscles make the leg extend straight behind the body and to bend the knee. When one of these muscles will stretch beyond its limits, it will cause an injury.
Some factors that can also cause hamstring injuries such as sports that requires sprinting or running and dancing that requires stretching since these activities are susceptible to hamstring injuries. If the muscle has poor flexibility, the muscles cannot bear the kind of force that is required during certain activities.
Treatment and home remedies
- Rest the hamstring muscles from strenuous activities and allow the tissues that are damaged to heal. Avoid engaging in activities that will cause swelling, pain and discomfort. The person can use crutches so that he/she cannot put weight on the injured leg.
- Put ice on the injured area immediately. Put ice packs on the injured area for about 15 to 20 minutes every two to three hours while the person is awake. Cold compresses minimizes swelling, pain and inflammation in injured muscles, connective tissues and joints and also slows down bleeding if there is tearing. If the color of the skin turns white, stop the treatment since it might be another cause of conditions like diabetes, decreased in sensation and a vascular disease.
- Wrap the injured leg with an elastic compression bandage until the swelling is minimized. Start wrapping at the end far from the heart and if pain increases, loosen the bandage.
- Sit or lie back and elevate the leg higher than the level of the heart. Gravity helps in reducing swelling by draining the excess fluids.
- Take over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen.