Hamstring Muscle Injuries Are Notoriously Slow In Healing
And the Chances of Hamstring Muscle Injuries Recurring are High
Once you've had one before, that is.
These types of injuries are common among exercisers (like you and I).
If you exercise regularly, you've probably pulled your hamstring muscle one time or another. This is especially so when you tone and exercise hard but neglect to condition or stretch your hamstring.
Your hamstring gets strained or pulled when it's stretched too far, too fast.
Microscopic tears in your hamstring create minor strain, while more severe tears may rupture your muscle.
Either way, you'll feel swelling, tenderness and sometimes stiffness in your hamstring.
Bruising caused by tearing blood vessels close to the stretched muscle is also common.
Hamstring muscle injuries are generally caused by:
- Low level of fitness that contributes to weak leg muscles
- Poor flexibility in your hamstring due to lack of stretching and conditioning . This lack of strength and flexibility increases the likelihood of small tears, which in turn causes your hamstring to shorten and get tighter, hence more prone to the injuries
- Not properly doing a warm up before exercising
- Muscle fatigue, especially in your legs will enhance the occurrence of the injury
- Imbalances in the strength of different leg muscles e.g. the hamstring muscle of one leg may be much stronger than your other leg, or the quadriceps muscles on the front of your thigh may be more powerful than your hamstring
In very bad cases, you'll suddenly become lame or even fall down.
You can still walk with some mild pain even in a severe injury. But taking part in strenuous exercise will be difficult, and the pain will continue.
In less severe cases, you'll feel a tight sensation or a pulling in your hamstring.
This type of hamstring injury often turns into a long-lasting problem. In this case, you could have pulled or torn your hamstring.
In the rare case of a complete tear, you could have excruciating pain.
The torn tissues may form a hard bunch in the back of your thigh when your leg is bent. The skin may also bruise, turning purple due to bleeding under the skin.
The best way to treat hamstring muscle injuries is to apply ice immediately. Then use a compression bandage. Also keep your leg elevated. And remember to use crutches to keep pressure from being put on the injured muscles.
If the injuries don't get better over time, seek medical help.
Just want to say that hamstring injuries can take pattern of a vicious circle. The best way to break the circle is to administer prompt and appropriate initial treatment.
After the initial treatment per above, you can then start to do gentle stretching.
Don't overstretch into the pain area, since this will contribute to muscle damage. As your recovery progresses, you'll need to throw in rehabilitation exercises too.
You can return to full normal activity but should do it slowly as a fast return may cause a recurrence.
The best way to prevent hamstring muscle injuries is to stretch your hamstring thoroughly before exercising and to keep in shape.
Stretching is necessary if you've pulled your hamstring before. This is because hamstring heals with scar tissue, so it's going to be tighter than it was before. Hence it's very crucial that you stretch to prevent re-injury.
Before stretching, it's good to do a proper warm up.
And remember to stretch again after you've exercised.
Hamstrings are notoriously slow in healing, so when you've injured them, brace yourself for long period of rest and recovery as they can take 6 weeks on the short side, 6 months on the long side, to heal!
To avoid this, remember your warm up and stretching every time you exercise. These 2 are the insurances to healthy strong hamstring.
Still, Prevention is the Thing to do
Hamstring muscle injuries aren't insignificant injuries that you can overlook and let be.
You won't be happy to have them as healing could be slow and long for you. This really impacts your regular exercise routine as the injuries incur you lots of negative training time......
So, you'd be smart to prevent them.
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