Sprinting and any other sport that requires a ton of stress on the legs put participants at risk of hamstring pulls. Running, jumping and kicking sports bring about the most hamstring injuries. Like quad strains, hamstring pulls can vary greatly in severity, from muscle pulls (Grade 1 injuries) to complete hamstring tears (Grade 3).
When a hamstring injury occurs, oftentimes a “pop” is heard or felt in the back of the thigh. A varied amount of pain is felt immediately. Often, athletes must stop their activity and may not even be able to stand. Muscle spasms, tightness, and tenderness will occur and sometimes a raised defect can be felt when palpating (touching) the hamstring muscle. With more severe injury, swelling and a bruising appearance will follow.
A big part of recovery from hamstring injuries is making sure to do exercises that rebuild muscle instead of scar tissue, effectively preventing re‐injury. The active rehabilitation process starts with isometric exercises that contract the muscles but don’t move the joints, then moves onto exercise with light weights before starting with more strenuous exercise to steadily return to pre‐injury health, and hopefully with some extra strength to prevent future problems. Optimal Health Chiropractic and Physical Therapy specializes in Active Release Technique (ART), Graston, and corrective exercises to help accelerate healing by working to manage scar tissue and muscle restrictions.