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Ever feel like you’ve overstretched a muscle?

couch to 5K

A common cause of hip pain that we treat at Loudoun Sports Therapy Clinic is a hamstring injury. The hamstring muscle group is located on the back side of the thigh and is made up of three muscles. These three muscles originate on the hip bone and attach at the knee joint. When these muscles contract, the knee bends into a flexed position. When they relax, the knee is able to straighten back out. The hamstrings work together with the quadriceps muscles to control and stabilize the knee joint. These two muscle groups must stay balanced in terms of their strength and power to ensure safe and effective mechanics during activities such as walking, running, squatting or jumping. When one group out powers the other, injuries can be the result.

The most common form of a hamstring injury is a muscle strain. This refers to the hamstring muscle being stretched beyond its normal or potential range and sometimes can even result in the tearing of the muscle or tendon. Symptoms that may be associated with a muscle strain include:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Muscle spasms
  • Tenderness
  • Restricted range of motion

The length of time for the muscle to heal is dependent on the severity of the strain and the treatment process. As with any injury, the sooner treatment starts, the better the results will be.

In more severe cases, micro-tearing can occur or even complete tendon or muscle ruptures. Injuries like this are usually caused by an inadequate warm-up, lack of stretching, muscle imbalance or weakness, and even poor footwear. Symptoms for a muscle or tendon tear include pain, swelling, bruising, possibly a divot in the muscle, and sometimes a mass that has been caused by the muscle rolling up into a ball. Immediate treatment is very important for torn muscles to begin healing and fiber realignment.

Regardless of the severity of your hamstring injury or hip problem, the skilled clinicians at Loudoun Sports Therapy Center can get you back to your normal routine without pain. They will design a treatment plan tailored to your needs and symptoms as well as the activities you want to get back to whether that’s a sport, chores around the house, sleeping through the night without pain or walking to the mailbox. A plan of care will typically involve targeted stretching and strengthening as well as manual, hands-on therapy to ensure effective healing and improve muscle balances. All of this will not only decrease your initial pain but also decrease the risk for future hamstring or hip injuries. CLICK HERE for more on how physical therapy can address your pain. 

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