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What Do I Need To Know?

Dr. Jeff Harris at Harris Chiropractic in both Boise and Middleton evaluates and treats hamstring injuries regularly. Our innovative combination of deep tissue treatment therapies helps get athletes back to their sport in significantly less time that without treatment. Hamstring injuries can be quite tricky to treat and even harder to prevent re-injury, sports chiropractors are experts at dealing with difficult hamstring cases.

The hamstring is composed of three different muscles, semimembranosus, semitendinosus and biceps femoris located on the back of the leg. All three muscles are highly susceptible to hamstring injury, especially the biceps femoris because it crosses both the hip and the knee joint. Hamstring injuries are commonly caused due to rapid acceleration in activities or when initiating running.

The most common hamstring injury is a muscular strain. This typically happens in the thick portion of the muscle. There are three different types of hamstring strains:

  • Grade I (mild): Over stretching without tearing of the muscle or tendon fibers. Pain may be noticed with sitting, climbing stairs, or walking. There may be minimal swelling, but typically no loss in strength or flexibility

  • Grade II (moderate): Partial tear in the hamstring muscles. Pain can be more immediate and there can be a reduction of strength and flexibility in the muscle. Limping is likely during walking, muscle is sore to the touch, and there is pain with contraction of the muscle. There may or may not be accompanied bruising with a Grade II hamstring injury.

  • Grade III (severe): Severe tear or complete rupture. There may be a large lump of muscle under the skin above where a depression may be. Frequently, there is sudden sharp pain in the back of the thigh accompanied by a significant bruise that may appear a few days after injury. This may require surgical repair.

Another common hamstring injury is hamstring tendonitis. This occurs when there is overuse to any of the hamstring tendons. Overuse can occur when the tendons are asked to work harder than normal due to imbalances or asymmetries or perhaps sudden increased activity. Hamstring tendonitis can lead to hip pain and knee pain. Left untreated, a hamstring tendinitis can turn into a hamstring tendinopathy, a condition of chronic degeneration to the hamstring tendon with significant accumulation of scar tissue and chronic inflammation. Hamstring tendinopathies are very uncomfortable and create significant functional limitations. The most common symptoms of hamstring tendonitis are:

  • Aching or dull throbbing pain, often at the sit bone (ischial tuberosity)

  • Muscle stiffness

  • Sharp, burning pain

  • Swelling or inflammation

If you are suffering from a hamstring injury and would like to make an appointment at our clinic in either Boise or Middleton, or to discuss your condition with a sports chiropractor, please contact us or call 208-424-5100 today.

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