Hamstring Strain

What are the hamstrings?

The hamstrings are a group of 3 muscle on the back of the thigh.  When the shorten or contract they flex/bend the knee and extend the hip.  They also work to slow down hip flexion and knee extension (i.e: as the leg swings forward before it hits the ground in walking or running).

What happens when they are strained?

A strain occurs when the hamstring muscles cannot sustain the demands placed on them.  Depending on the severity of the overload, there can be overstretching, microscopic tearing, or large scale tearing of the muscles as well as their fibrous coverings.  The symptoms include localized pain and swelling, bruising with more severe cases, pain with resisted knee flexion or hip extension, and pain with stretching (knee extension and hip flexion).  Depending on the severity, a hamstring strain can limit your walking or stair ambulation and most likely limits your running, especially as you pick up speed.

How long until I can play?

It depends on the severity.  Small, microscopic strains can heal and you can be playing in 2-4 weeks.  Larger tears can take 3-4 months.

How can 3 Planes help?

We can determine why the injury occurred in the first place.  Is the hamstring not strong enough to sustain the demands you put on them?  Or are you overusing your hamstrings to compensate for weak or underutilized muscles elsewhere?  To answer this question we would:

  1. Assess muscle strength with a handheld dynamometer to compare not only your hamstring, but other lower extremity muscles (glutes, quads, calf) to the other side as well as expected norms to determine if they have sufficient strength.

  2. Perform a movement assessment with high speed cameras and 3D modeling to determine if there are movement dysfunctions placing unnecessary demand on your hamstrings.

  3. EMG – nerve activation analysis to determine if required musculature is being utilized during aggravating activity.

  4. Develop a specific home program to address impairments.

If you constantly feel like there is too much demand being placed on your hamstring, this technology is for you. Utilizing the technology we can use real time feedback to get you to tap into the right muscles groups. Contact us today!