Hamstring Injury - How serious?


Q: I pulled my right hamstring playing soccer... to my knowledge (with help from google!) I think I've pulled the bicep femoris muscle. The problem is I dont know how bad it is? Its been over a week and its still very sore. Feeling the back of my Left knee I noticed two tendons, one on the inside of the leg one on the outside... On my injured leg I cannot feel the tendon on the outside part of the leg??? Does this mean its completely come away and I require surgery or will it heel? Help! Thanks Alan


A:   A muscle strain is associated with the tearing or excessive stretching of the muscle and can be equally as painful. Symptoms of muscle injury obviously involve pain, however it is not uncommon for the affected area to swell, redden and become bruised or discolored. All symptoms of muscle injury can range from mild to severe. Any muscle strain or muscle pull or even a muscle tear implies damage to a muscle or its attaching tendons. The time of healing varies from patient to patient and also depends on the severity of the injury. The conservative treatment consists of: initially, protection, rest, ice, compression, and elevation (known as the PRICE formula) can help the affected muscle and also maintaining the strained muscle in a stretched position. Heat can be applied when the swelling has lessened, anti-inflammatory drugs (i.e.: “Aleve”), rest the strained muscle and avoid the activities that caused the strain and other activities that are painful. A Physical Therapy program for 4-6 weeks must be followed and practice at home the stretching exercises above all. The healing time and conditions for each patient are different. If after doing all of the above you keep experiencing limitation of the movements, severe pain, swelling, I strongly recommend you an evaluation by a Sports Medicine Specialist. In the future try to avoid overuse and do an appropriate warming-up and stretching before practicing significant physical activity.

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