This article is provided by Teri Burgess, resident Physiotherapist from Time-to-Run Cape Town, covering Recurrent Hamstring injuries. Teri is also the contributor of the hugely popular article, covering the 5 most common running injuries, aptly named The BIG Five. Picture it… you’re gliding up your favourite long hill, breathing well, legs feeling strong. You reach the top, and happily you start running downhill. Everything is perfect: it is a beautiful morning, that hill has never felt easier, and you are even sweating less than usual. Suddenly it all changes in one simple step. You feel a sharp pulling pain in the back of your thigh, and you are reduced to a hobble – all the way home. While you do contemplate throwing your running shoes away, you are also puzzled. You can’t think of anything you have done incorrectly to cause this injury. You have been increasing your training gradually, without doing any major speed or hill sessions. You have even been stretching a bit, and certainly felt no niggling pain or stiffness in the muscle up until now. Then you remember that this hamstring gave you problems last year, and the year before, also without warning. [Read more…]
Injuries to the hamstrings are the most common soft tissue injuries to the thigh. Symptoms of a hamstring strain include pain, muscle spasm, swelling, and inhibition of movement.
Treatment of acute hamstring injury
- stop running, especially in the case of severe pain
- if pain is mild, then reduce training load and intensity, and avoid running on cambered surfaces
- take a course (5 – 7 days) of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (ibuprofen/voltaren/cataflam/mobic) available from your general practitioner or pharmacist
- apply ice to the hamstrings – for 10 minutes every 2 hours, in order to reduce the inflammation
- self-massage, using arnica oil or an anti-inflammatory gel, to the hamstrings
- stretching of the hamstrings.