The hamstrings consist of a group of 3 muscles that are located at the back of your thighs, running from your hips down to your knees. They help us in everyday movement like standing, walking and running. Hamstrings are often pulled by failure to warm up properly before activity. Simply stretching the muscles before any activity or exercise can prevent this type of injury.
Pulling a hamstring can be a very painful event. There are 3 different stages of hamstring pulls. The first stage is tenderness and tightness to the injured hamstring muscle. The second is tenderness, tightness and bruising to the injured muscle. The third and most serious is tenderness tightness bruising and actual tearing to the injured muscle.
The best way to treat a pulled hamstring is using the R.I.C.E method. (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.)
Resting is the best way to treat most injuries. After pulling a hamstring it is best not to overuse it for 3 to 4 days. Give your muscles a break and relax.
Ice your muscle for 10 to 20 minutes every few hours; this will help to reduce the swelling. Wrap some Ice in a cloth and pace it under your leg while sitting.
Compressions will also help with the swelling. Wrap your leg using an ace bandage. Make sure not to wrap to tightly as this can reverse the effect and cause even more discomfort.
Elevate your leg; this will help with circulation to the pulled hamstring. Fluff up some pillows and put your legs up. Make sure your legs are elevated over your chest. This helps with blood flow which plays a huge roll in repairing muscles.
These tips will help a great deal with stage one or two hamstring pulls. Stage 3 is a very serious pull and will require more serious treatment by your doctor. If you are unsure of the severity of the pull do not hesitate to visit your doctor. Unfortunately pulling your hamstrings can be a reoccurring injury. Talk to your doctor on how to rehab your muscle by straightening your hamstrings to prevent further injury.