How To Cope With An Injured Hamstring


The hamstring muscle is one of the muscles in the human body which receives punishment most often. Hamstring strains and tears are amongst some of the most common injuries on the sporting field. Hamstring tears can often bring the victim to tears; presenting as pain at the back of the thighs and the associated weakness, swelling and occasionally bruising of this area.

How Is The Hamstring Structured?

Hamstring muscles attach from above the back of the hip all the way down the knee, passing and actioning two joints: the hip and the knee. Hamstrings are biarticular muscles.

How Do Hamstring Injuries Occur?

Hamstring strains occur when the muscle does not have the strength, resilience or flexibility to meet a demand in sport. Whenever a hamstring becomes too tense, too pressured or undergoes large friction it can swell up and tighten causing pain. 

Hamstrings are particularly prone to injury as, due to its critical function in human movement, there are more opportunities to load and lengthen the muscle during exercise.

Am I Likely To Suffer A Hamstring Injury?

Hamstrings are often injured during bouts of sprinting. You may be susceptible to a hamstring injury if you:

  • Have a previous history of hamstring injuries.
  • Have poor hamstring flexibility and strength.
  • Have hip weakness.
  • Have reduced core staibility/strength.
  • Reach when running.
  • Have undergone poor conditioning and are therefore unable to maintain optimum biomechanics.

If you do suffer a hamstring injury, there are a few ways you can recover with a little time and patience.

How To Treat A Hamstring Injury

For the first few weeks following your injury, you should treat your hamstring to a little rest and recuperation. Don’t cause it to load or lengthen during this R&R time. After this time, you must place a little load on the muscle and cause it to work at about 20% capacity. The following exercises are designed to do just that.

Active Hamstring Stretch

Holding your leg to 90 degrees, try to straighten your leg out as far as you can. Do this 2-3 times and hold your position at the top for 2 seconds.

Isometric Heel Digs

Holding your leg out at 100 degrees. Dig your heel into the ground. Hold for 45 seconds throughout three sets, with a minimum of 2 minutes’ rest between reps.

Isometric Hamstring Walks

Get into a bridge position, resting on your upper back so your glutes are raised above the floor. Take 203 steps forward on each leg until you are fully extended and again laying on the ground. Perform 3 sets of 6-12 repetitions.

Hip Hinging

Keep your knees perpendicular to the ground and your hips high. Bend at the hips and lean forwards to feel your hamstring stretch! Perform 3 sets of 20 repetitions.

The Diver

Standing on one leg, lean forwards and stick your opposite leg out to get into the diving position. Perform 3 sets of 6 repetitions.

Contact Erko Physio

With over 10 years of experience treating patients through recovery and rehabilitation, Erko Physio are the local experts when it comes to healing  hamstring tears. Our Alexandria physiotherapy is easily accessible from Erskineville, Newtown and Marrickville too. If you need a physiotherapist in Alexandria, Newtown or Marrickville, trust the experts at Erko Physio to tend to your injury with due care and attention to detail. Our staff will help you regain full strength and motion and get back on the playing field (or gym, bike or yoga mat) in no time at all!