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Hamstring Pulls: They’ll Slow Down Your Giddyup!!

Hamstring Pulls: They’ll Slow Down Your Giddyup!!

By Kevin Cleary

                The group of muscles that run down the back of your thigh are all part of your hamstrings. Any time you have an activity that requires sprinting with many sudden starts and stops, a hamstring injury is possible. Sports like soccer, baseball, or tennis can have a higher risk of a hamstring pull or strain.

Hamstring Pulls: They’ll Slow Down Your Giddyup!!

Telltale Signs of a Hamstring Pull

                How can you tell if you have pulled your hamstring? A strain on your hamstring muscles is attributed to overstretching or even tearing the muscle fibers in the back of your leg. This can be accompanied by a sharp pain or even a popping or tearing sensation. Depending on the severity of strain, a bruise may even develop on the back of your leg and you may have trouble straightening or bending your leg. Anyone who has ever pulled a hamstring is very familiar with the symptoms.

Getting Back on the Field

Hamstring Pulls: They’ll Slow Down Your Giddyup!!While a hamstring injury can be painful, the number one thing you need to do to recover properly is have patience. The protocol of RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) is the most effective treatment for a muscle strain and is no different for your hamstring. In severe cases, surgery may be required, but that decision will come from your doctor. Applying ice to your injury can minimize swelling and start the healing process. A great way to get cold therapy to your injured hamstring is the Carex Thera-Med Ice Plus Gel Cryo Cold Pack. It allows you to target the injured area with a Velcro strap and molds to your body for more effective relief. To combine ice therapy with compression, the Aircast Thigh Cryo/Cuff is anatomically designed to fit your thigh/hamstring area and provides proper compression while allowing cryotherapy to soothe the injury. Paired with the Aircast Cryo/Cuff Cooler with Tube Assembly, you can get 6-8 hours of therapy. Another way to provide compression to your recovering hamstring is through the use of elastic bandages or neoprene sleeves such as the Thermoskin Thigh Hamstring Support. It gives light, but firm compression and provides insulation, not to mention wicking moisture away from your skin. While recovering, the use of NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen or naproxen, can be used to reduce pain and swelling.

Stretch It Out

Hamstring Pulls: They’ll Slow Down Your Giddyup!!Once you have allowed your hamstring to heal, you should be cautious not to reinjure it. One way is to use ARI Medical Flexall 454 Maximum Strength Pain Relieving Gel. It can soothe and relax sore muscles by increasing local blood flow and has been used by trainers in all major sports. This can keep the muscle loose so you don’t reinjure it. Another way to warm up your hamstring before activity is the Fabrication Point Relief Hotspot Warming Gel. This water-based formula minimizes greasy residue while keeping your muscle warm and minimizing the risk of reinjury. Your doctor may recommend a stretching regimen to strengthen your hamstring. Not only does this elongate the muscle, but it strengthens it as well. You can even do exercises to strengthen your muscles to avoid future strains and pulls. One way to help you build strengthen your hamstring is to use the All-Pro Adjustable Thighaciser Thigh Weights. Its neoprene band allows for easy adjustments and weight can be added incrementally to slowly build strength and not reinjure your leg. A stretching program or even yoga can help get you back on the field faster. Once you have restarted any exercise program after a hamstring injury, it is possible you may experience some soreness. An interesting way to deal with this is to use a TENS unit. The Chattem Icy Hot Smart Relief TENS Therapy Starter Kit has all you need for effective sore muscle relief. It’s the same technology used by doctors!! Most importantly, when getting back into your favorite activity the number one thing needed is patience. Doing too much too soon increases your risk of injury and possibly a longer recovery.