Hamstring Injuries

Apr 25, 2023 | Blogs & News

Did you know?

12% of all sports injuries involve the Hamstrings

Even after things have settled down you have to be careful as the recurrence rate is between 12% – 63% depending on the site and severity of the injury. The first month after returning to sport has the greatest risk of reinjury. To avoid this happening, it is important that a qualified physiotherapist has done a full assessment, established the diagnosis and put in place a full rehabilitation plan for recovery making sure this involves a return to sport programme. Don’t be tempted to try and push on too quickly as that’s where it can all go wrong.

Did you know that you have 3 hamstring muscles: Biceps Femoris, Semimembranosus and Semitendinosus.

Hamstring injuries tend to occur in either high-speed running or slower extended lengthening type activity e.g. during kicking or ‘splits’ actions.

Injuries are graded from 1 to 4.

Grades 1 + 2 = due to overexertion +/or fatigue

Grade 2 = delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) or referred pain e.g.from the spine

Grade 3 = minor or partial tear

Grade 4 = total or complete tear or avulsion

Recovery / Rehabilitation

Rehabilitation following a hamstring injury can last anywhere between 2 weeks to 3 months+ depending on how bad and where the injury is. It is therefore very important to get any hamstring injuries assessed early to determine the extent of the injury and begin to plan the management as soon as possible without further damage.

Initial treatment will involve PEACE & LOVE: What Does that mean?

P – protection – avoid any activities or movements that aggravate the symptoms

E – elevation – elevate the injured limb higher than the heart if possible

A – avoid anti-inflammatories – as they may reduce tissue healing within the first few days

C – compression

E – education – seek advice asap


L – load – let pain be your guide with returning to normal activities

O – optimism – condition your brain for optimal recovery by being confident and positive

V – vascularisation – choose pain-free cardiovascular activities to increase blood flow to repairing tissues

E – exercises – restore mobility, strength + proprioception by adopting an active approach to recovery

It is important to complete a full rehabilitation programme including functional strengthening with a return to running programme and change of direction / cutting movements before returning to sport to reduce the risk of recurrence of the injury.