How to Recover From a Pulled Hamstring

One of the most common injuries in sports is a pulled hamstring or hamstring muscle strain.  It can happen to your favorite fantasy football player or an athlete in high school. Either way, it can be a frustrating situation for the athlete because of the high re-injury rate.  Unfortunately, these athletes return to play after an incomplete rehabilitation only to reinjure the same muscle. The rule of thumb from research is that nearly one-third of hamstring strains recur within the first year of return to play.

So what’s the magic pill so it doesn’t happen again?  To date, there isn’t one; but there are some key principles that should be followed to decrease the likelihood of it happening again:

  • First, it’s important the athlete’s recovery involves eccentric strengthening during the advanced stages of rehab.  Eccentric strengthening is when the muscle is worked in an elongated position.  This is crucial to proper recovery as the hamstring will have to work harder in this position during sport related movements such as sprinting.
  • Strengthening of the low back and core is also key to a successful recovery from this injury.  Studies show that rehab programs that focus on core stability and strengthening as a component for the low back can decrease the risk for re-injury.

If you or someone you know happen to be an unlucky victim of this frustrating injury, give our Physical Therapy department a call at (402) 609-1750.  They have the experience to design an evidence-based rehab program to get you on the right road to recovery.

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