Firstly let’s look at what the hamstrings do. The hamstring muscles are located on the back of the thigh and are basically three different muscles being the biceps femoris, semitendinosus and semimembranosus. Each of these muscles attaches to the lower section of the pelvis and the bottom part of the muscles cross over the back of the knee and attach to the lower leg. This makes the hamstring responsible for flexing the lower leg.If you get a hamstring sprain it can slow you down a lot.
As with most injuries use the RICER Method– Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation and Referral. Most people won’t bother with Referral unless they don’t improve but professional assessment can be very important. Rest the injury, apply ice to the muscle, apply a bandage for compression, and elevate the limb if possible. Lie down with your foot up. Do this for about 48-72 hours after the injury. What you do during the first hours after a muscle injury could be the difference between making it better or worse.
If you do choose Referral consult a sports injury doctor or your GP to make sure the injury isn’t serious. They’ll evaluate the injury and send you to a therapist to rehabilitate the muscle which may include massage, ultrasound or assisted stretching.
To prevent future injuries make sure you are warming up and cooling down properly. To warm up your hamstrings start a slow walk or do gentle lunges. Do not stretch a muscle while it is cold as this increases the risk of injury.
While cooling down include some stretches while the muscles are still warm. The stronger and more flexible the muscles the less chance of injury.
For a range of hamstring supports click the website link.