What Causes Sore Hamstrings And How To Treat And Heal Them

Sore hamstring is a common leg problem faced by many sport persons especially athletes. The hamstring muscle is situated on the posterior of the thigh. The three hamstring muscles are primarily responsible for bending the leg at the knee joint and pulling back the leg. Hamstring is the longest muscle in the body.

Due to its action of bending at the knee joint and extension of the leg, hamstring muscles are susceptible to injuries, especially while kicking and running or jumping. An injury to the hamstring muscles leads to soreness and pain, sometimes excessive soreness and pain prevents the patient to walk normally. A strained hamstring is usually sore to touch.

Causes Of Sore Hamstrings

People of any age may suffer from sore hamstring.

  • Any sport activities where there are chances of over stressing and overstretching your hamstrings such as in soccer, long jump, running or jumping may lead to pain and soreness in the hamstrings.
  • Besides overstretching, if you start playing without proper warm up of the muscles, lack of flexibility may cause strain and muscle cramps which may cause sore hamstring.
  • A direct blow to the hamstring muscle from a kick from another soccer player can injure the hamstring and lead to pain and soreness.
  • Difference in leg length. If one leg is shorter than the other it may cause tightness of the hamstrings in the shorter leg. The short leg is more vulnerable to hamstring muscle pull.
  • Similarly if the heel of your shoes is not in level, it may put strain on your hamstrings leading to soreness and pain at the back of your thigh.
  • Weakness in gluteus muscles (muscles of your butts) can cause sore hamstring.

How To Treat And Heal A Sore Hamstring?

Treating a sore hamstring depends on the extent of damage to the hamstring muscles. In case if the injury is severe with extreme pain and immobility, the person may require to be checked by a physician. If the soreness and strain is moderate or of mild degree, it can be treated at home, following steps will help in relieving sore hamstring.

  • Begin the treatment of sore hamstring as soon as possible to prevent further damage to the hamstring muscles.
  • Rest: After an injury to the hamstring muscle, the first step is to give complete rest to your leg. Apply ice on the affected area. Take few pieces of ice in a clean cloth and apply it over the area for 15 minutes. Do this frequently for first few hours, after that once or twice in two hours. While resting keep your leg elevated.
  • You can take pain relieving medicines after consulting your doctor if the pain is severe.
  • Compression bandage is very effective in reducing swelling and internal bleeding in the hamstring muscles.
  • Once the pain and swelling in reduced, it takes usually two to three days, start stretching your legs gently. The affected muscles and tendons will become lose. The intention behind gentle stretching is to keep your leg muscles flexible and prevent stiffening. Stretching exercise helps in strengthening the injured muscles, it also helps in preventing recurrence of sore hamstring in future.
  • Usually it takes 3 to 4 weeks for complete recovery from the sore hamstring. During this period the patient has to avoid all sports activities and strenuous workouts, or rather he should consult the physician before taking part in any sports activities.

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