Sports Medicine and Exercise Information  

Dr. Allan Mishra | Knee Pain Diagnosis



(Pulled Hamstring)

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Definition Partial or complete rupture of the hamstring muscles  
Details The long, powerful hamstring muscles--semimembranosus, semitendonosus, and biceps femoris--span the back of the leg and insert into bone around the knee. This series of muscles functions together to help bend and control the knee. Hamstring strains are very common and typically occur while running or jumping, among other activities.
Causes When one or more of the hamstring muscles violently contracts, the muscle(s) can tear, resulting in a "hamstring strain." Tears usually occur at the junction between the muscle and the tendon that attaches the muscle(s) behind the knee. Hamstring strains can lead to decreased flexibility and an imbalance in leg strength. Sprinting and football are sports commonly associated with hamstring strains.

100 meter Start
Diagnosis A hamstring strain typically causes sudden onset of pain in the back of the leg above the knee. Pain while walking and tenderness around the area of the muscle strain are common. If the strain is severe, a balled up portion of the muscle may be seen under the skin along the back part of the thigh.

X-rays may be taken to rule out fractures.
Treatment Nonoperative: Almost all hamstring strains can be treated without surgery. Treatment is given in phases:

(24-48 hours)
RICE (Rest, Ice, Elevation, Compression-elastic wrap)
3-7 days Control of pain, swelling, restoration of range of motion
7-14 days Increase flexibility and strength with quadriceps and hamstring stretching
14-28 days Return to sport/work specific drills
Avoid reinjury
Consider using antiinflammatory medication

Rarely, surgery is needed to reattach muscles.

Maintain excellent hamstring flexibility.

Ensure strength and balance of hamstrings and quadriceps muscles in each leg by exercising regularly.

Warm up and stretch prior to activity.