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The hamstrings are a group of three muscles at the back of your thigh. They run from the crease of your buttocks to just below the back of your knee, and primarily bend the knee and straighten the hip. They are greatly involved in walking, running, getting in and out of chairs and most activities that use the legs. So when injured they impact on your life and can take a while to repair.

Hamstring muscles can tear when over stretched or overloaded. These tears are partial or complete and are reported as grades: 1 (mild strain), 2 (partial tear), 3 (complete tear). They are diagnosed by observing physical factors (bruising, strength…) and imaging (X-ray, Ultrasound), and recovery times depends on the grade, your general health and rehabilitation. A general rule for recovery is grade 1 = days-3 weeks, grades 2 and 3 = weeks-months, but early treatment and rehabilitation can have a big impact on rehabilitation time and full recovery. Good news for runners is that injury during running recovers quicker than a stretch injury.

Rehabilitation should start on day one with 2-3 days of R.I.C.E. (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) and painkillers if needed. Next is osteopathic treatment and carefully graded exercise and activity to help recovery and reduce further injury. Ideally you would be assessed by your osteopath on the grade of injury and healing, but when pain starts to subside mobilisation, strengthening and gentle stretches can start. After the muscle has healed sufficiently (at least a few weeks!) increased strength rebuilding and getting back to exercise can start.

If you have been seen by me I will have assessed, treated and prescribed exercises. The links below can act as a reminder of how and what to do. Please be careful attempting anything without proper instruction as you may injure yourself. If any activity causes more pain please consult your osteopath and take a brake from that activity.

Early stages of recovery after pain has started to subside: Walking for a short time but frequently throughout the day, cycling, running in the pool, hamstring extentions (1-2x pd), divers (alt. days), gliders (ever 3 days).