Hamstring Strain

Harris & Ross regularly see patients who have a hamstring strain, find out more about this issue and how we go about treating it here-

The hamstrings are three muscles that run down the back of the thigh. They start at the lower end of the pelvis and cross the back of the knee where they attach into the top of the bones of the shin. Their function is to bend the knee and to pull the hip backwards. A hamstring strain is when one of the muscles tears as a result of excessive force and/or stretch put through it.

Causes of Injury

It is an injury seen across most sports – notably football, rugby and athletics. The main two provocative causes of injury are:

  • Sprinting
  • Movements such as the splits and high kicking, which put the hamstring muscles on great stretch with the hip flexed, are also common causes


Signs and Symptoms

  • Sudden onset of sharp pain at the back of the thigh
  • Bruising
  • Tenderness to touch
  • Muscle weakness
  • Pain on stretching the hamstrings
  • Pain may result in limping for a few days



If a full tear is sustained this may require surgical repair. If suspected by your therapist you will be referred for an MRI scan and consultation with a surgeon.

However, most hamstring strains will require physiotherapy based rehabilitation and treatment. Once past the first 48 hours of RICE (see below), the big focus is to gradually recondition the hamstring so that it heals strong and is able to tolerate being loaded and stretched again.

The mainstay of treatment includes:

  • RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) immediately following injury
  • Muscle activation
  • Strengthening Hamstrings and Gluteals
  • Neural mobilization
  • Soft tissue treatment
  • Stretching
  • Spinal mobilization
  • Cross training exericises
  • Return to running / sport program

Recurrence of Injury

It is important to rehab hamstring injuries well due to the high rate of re-injury. If you’ve suffered one before your chances of further hamstring injury are greatly increased.

To make an appointment for an initial physio assessment at our Wilmslow, Manchester, Altrincham or Wigan clinics, and discuss a treatment plan for your hamstring strain call Harris & Ross on 0161 832 9000 or click the book now icon below