Hamstring Strain

The “hamstring” refers to a group of three muscles at the back of the leg consisting of the semimembranosus, semitendinososus and biceps femoris. These muscles assist the hip to extend and are the prime muscles involved in the bending of the knee. They play an over-active role where buttock muscles are weak and are also often over-active where poor core stability is identified.

From the sporting perspective they are often injured with sports that involve explosive speed and quick changes in direction.

Common Symptoms

  • A sudden sharp pain in the back of the leg – it can be up at the buttock near the origin of the muscle or in the belly of the muscle and less commonly at the distal insertion end
  • Swelling and bruising in the region of the pain
  • Difficulty in straightening the knee
  • Difficulty in taking weight through the leg

Self Management

  • Follow the RICER protocol (described in the ankle sprain section) for the first 48 hours
  • Mobilise as best you can, utilising crutuches if required

Physiotherapy Management

  • Advise you on appropriate commencement of exercises
  • Return to sport advice to minimise the likelihood of reinjury
  • Rehabilitation with sport-specific strengthening
  • Acute injury management inclusive of RICE, teaching you correct stretches and graduated exercises