So you were enjoying a nice run, training for your next football or soccer match, cutting out of a pick and roll, or rounding hard around second trying to stretch a triple and you pulled up a little ginger. No matter the sport the incident of a pulled hamstring can be incredibly painful out of the gate and if not properly tended to can turn into a nagging issue. Chronic hamstring injuries create not only a physical barrier but a mental barrier as well. The best piece of advice following a hamstring strain is to give it some days of rest combined with some frequent icing for 20 minute intervals. By definition a pulled hamstring is a microscopic tear of tendon and/or muscle fibers of the muscles of the back of the thigh.
A pulled hamstring can be incredibly painful out of the gate and if not properly tended to can turn into a nagging issue
Depending on the severity of the tear, you're going to be down and out for a few days or weeks. So it's best to first get into the mindset of resting the leg. Don't hold your breath we know you're ready to get back into action so let's follow some basic rules. Give the tissue 1-3 days of rest depending on the severity of your pain. After the initial days of rest from your activity and icing as much as possible, let's get the leg moving. Two things are a near certainty following a hamstring strain. The muscles and nerves will tighten in attempt to reduce additional injury. These are the key tissues that we are now going to try and overcome. At this point it's time to start implementing in the following 3 keys to overcoming your pulled hamstring.
After a few days of rest and ice,
it's time to get the leg moving
First we'll want to reduce the tightness and tension of your sciatic nerve. This nerve bundle supplies your hamstrings with their control. You'll want to implement in The Glider exercise to stretch this nerve. Perform this exercise twice a day 2 sets of 20 repetitions. The exercise should be performed to tolerance and in a pain free range of motion. You should discover improved range of motion each day.
Next you'll want to implement The Diver exercise to start to improve balance and control of the hamstring. This exercise should be performed in a pain free range of motion as well. Don't worry about touching the ground with your fingers. Keep your back straight and lean toward the ground as far as comfortably allowed. Perform once every other day 3 sets of 10 repetitions.
Finally you'll want to implement in The Slider exercise to improve strength, balance, and control. This exercise is the most demanding on your injured hamstring so it is imperative to perform in a pain free range of motion. Only reach as far as tolerated and be sure to give rest periods in between applications. Perform on every third day 3 sets of 10 repetitions.
These three hamstring tools should help decrease pain and improve range of motion and strength. As stated earlier in this article, the length of time required for full recovery varies based off of many factors. If your symptoms have not steadily improved over the course of a week then you should seek further assistance. The team at Total Physical Therapy is well voiced in hamstring rehabilitation and have been serving our local athletes since 1998. Send us an email at email@example.com for further information.
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