Hamstring injuries are one of the most common and painful sports injuries, and while that can happen to athletes of all types form amateurs to professionals, there are some people that are at greater risk of injuring their hamstring that others.
If you do suffer a hamstring injury, there are several treatment options available including pulled hamstring therapy, massage and stretching exercises that can help you to recover.
1. Previous injuries
The group most likely to experience hamstring injuries are people who have already suffered a previous injury to the area as the muscles may have become weakened.
People who have also suffered an injury to another area of the lower body are also prone to hamstring injuries as your hamstring may be compensating for weakness and inflexibility in the injured muscles adding increased stress to your hamstrings.
People over the age of 25 are more likely to experience hamstring injuries as muscles, and connective tissue become less pliable as we age.
If you are over 25, make sure to perform a thorough warm-up and stretching routine before any activity as well as a conditioning routine can keep hamstring muscles supple and flexible.
3. Muscle weakness
The hamstrings are made up of three separate muscles which work together with the surrounding muscle groups. Weakness in any of the hamstring muscles or the quadriceps muscles and glutes can leave the hamstrings prone to injury due to muscular overload and increased strain.
Inflexibility in the hamstring muscles and the connected muscle groups can also leave you prone to injury. This is often due to poor conditioning and posture which leaves muscles tight and tense. Incorporate stretching and strengthening exercises into your workout to improve your hamstring flexibility.
5. Poor warm-up
One of the main causes of hamstring injuries is a poor warm-up or no warm-up at all. A short 10-minute cardiovascular warm-up followed by a thorough stretching routine increases blood flow to the muscles and makes the muscle more pliable.
6. Muscular imbalance
The quadriceps at the front of the thigh and the hamstring at the back work together to provide power and stability to the lower body. If one of these muscles is more developed or injured, then the other muscles need to compensate leading to increased pressure and an increased risk of injury.
If you include a resistance workout for your lower body into your exercise regime, ensure that you exercise both these muscle groups equally to avoid any imbalance.
Inadequate hydration during strenuous activity can lead to dehydration. This can cause the hamstring muscles to cramp and leave the area more prone to injury.
Ensure that you rehydrate often during your workout or when playing sports. This is especially important during warm weather. Occasionally, water may not provide enough hydration, but an electrolyte drink can replenish any lost mineral salts to help you avoid cramps.
Treating hamstring injuries
Immediately following the injury, apply a cold pack to the area to prevent inflammation and swelling. This can reduce the severity of the injury and decrease the pain.
The most effective way to treat a hamstring injury is with rest. Immobilizing the area and using crutches can help to ease the pressure on the muscle while still allowing you to move around. A compression bandage can also help to immobilize the upper leg and reduce inflammation.
If you continue to experience pain from your injury, there are many effective treatment options including pulled hamstring therapy, physiotherapy, and chiropractic care.
Here at Michigan Chiropractic Specialists we can help you to heal from your hamstring injury and get you back in the game.