If you have a hamstring strain or tear (the terms can be used interchangeably), you may benefit from the skilled services of a physical therapist to help you fully recover.
Your Physical Therapist can treat your pain and prescribe exercises that can aid in your recovering into your normal range of motion (ROM), strength, and overall functional mobility.
So what does Physical Therapy involve for evaluation and treatment of a hamstring strain?
Clearly understanding the symptoms of a hamstring strain can help you get the right treatment at the right time. Typical symptoms of a hamstring strain may include:
- Pain in the back of your thigh, either behind your knee, in the muscle belly, or near your buttock
- Difficulty fully straightening your knee without pain
- Difficulty taking large steps or walking quickly, or pain with climbing stairs.
- Difficulty and pain with running
Our Palmdale Physical Therapist say that the pain you feel can range from mild to severe, and the exact location of symptoms may vary from person to person.
If you happen to think that you have a hamstring strain, our Palmdale Physical Therapist suggest that you get to your doctor right away to begin the proper treatment.
Most experienced Palmdale Physical Therapist will tell you that symptoms of a hamstring strain may come on suddenly, typically as the result of a quick motion that occurs with running or cutting maneuvers while participating in sports.
Occasionally, you can suffer a hamstring strain by simply moving the wrong way while getting up from a chair or while walking and running.
So what is going on with your hamstring muscle when you have a strain? The muscle or muscle-tendon interface is actually suffering from a tear.
The collagen fibers that make up your muscle pull apart, and bleeding into the tissue may happen.
Your body then instantly goes into “repair mode” using the inflammatory process. This process involves:
- Bleeding into the injury site to bring in cells to clean up the area and become healthy collagen.
- Formation of scar tissue bridges that will one day become healthy muscle and tendon tissue.
- Remodeling of that collagen tissue to become normal, healthy hamstring muscle tissue.
Our Palmdale Physical Therapist say You can help the repair process along by doing the right things—at the right time—to get your hamstring moving and functioning properly.
First Steps Towards Recovery
If you think you have a torn hamstring, you should take some initial steps to get going on the path to recovery. These may include:
- Don’t panic. Hamstring strains, although painful, are not typically dangerous.
- See your doctor to be sure you get an accurate diagnosis.
- Visit your physical therapist to start treating the pain and to start working on restoring your normal mobility.
- Avoid aggravating activities that can cause pain or prevent normal tissue healing of your hamstring.
By beginning the right things at the right time, you can safely regain your mobility and get back to your normal activities.
How Severe Is Your Hamstring Tear?
So how do you local Palmdale Physical Therapist know how extreme your hamstring strain is? Are there any sorta ways to classify the severity of your hamstring tear you may ask?
Hamstring strains and all muscles strains and tears are graded on a three-tiered system. The three grades of muscle strains include:
- Grade I: the muscle fibers are simply overstretched, and microscopic tearing of the tissue may be present. Typically, there are no outward signs of a grade I muscle strain. Pain and limited mobility are present.
- Grade II: partial tearing of the hamstring muscle, with moderate swelling and bruising present.
- Grade III. Full-thickness tearing of the muscle tissue, with significant pain and loss of mobility, swelling and bruising in the back of your thigh.
Our Palmdale Physical Therapist say that your doctor may examine your condition and may order special tests, like an MRI, to determine the full severity of your hamstring strain.
Sometimes, no diagnostic tests are ordered, as the signs and symptoms of your hamstring strain may be readily apparent to make the diagnosis.
Physical Therapy Evaluation
When you first visit a local Palmdale Physical Therapist for treatment of your hamstring strain, he or she will conduct an initial evaluation to gather information about your condition and to determine the best treatment. Components of a Physical Therapist evaluation for hamstring strain may include:
- Discussion of your injury and health history. Your PT will discuss how your injury occurred and how your symptoms are behaving and changing. Your therapist will discuss your health history to determine if there are any reasons to not provide treatment or if your condition may require a more extensive examination by your doctor or an orthopedist.
- Palpation. Your therapist may palpate, or examine by touch, your hamstring muscle and surrounding tissue.
- Measures of ROM and flexibility. Your physical therapist will measure the ROM of your hip and knee. Hamstring strains typically limit the amount of motion and flexibility around these joints.
- Strength measurements. Your PT will measure the strength of your hamstrings and surrounding muscles.
- Functional mobility measurements and observations. Your Palmdale Physical Therapist will check on how your hamstring pain limits your ability to perform normal activities.
- Balance. In addition, your Palmdale Physical Therapist may use specific tests to measure your balance and proprioception, both which may be impaired due to your hamstring injury.