Spotlight on Hamstring Injuries
INTRODUCTION TO HAMSTRING INJURIES
This series on injuries serves to highlight a few common, every-day injuries and provide some background. Any physical damage should be dealt with by a medical practitioner or trained physiotherapist, who will recommend if any specialist intervention is required.
This is not an exhaustive list and does not contain comprehensive detail. The selection of injuries will be added to on an ad hoc, but regular basis.
Summary of Hamstring Injuries
The hamstrings comprise three separate muscles located at the back of the thigh. They extend down the back of the thigh and along either side of the knee.
Because the Hamstrings cross two joints, their functions are varied – (i) they move and stabilise the hip and knee (ii) contractions of the hamstrings enable the knee to flex and the hip to extend. If you have a hamstring injury, you will have difficulty in moving from a crouched position to an erect position, like getting up from a chair or when sprinting.
Hamstring injuries or strains are caused by a rapid contraction or a forceful stretch of the hamstring muscle group which causes varying degrees of rupture within what is called the the musculotendinous unit. Rest time, physical therapy and targeted exercises will help to relieve the symptoms.