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Hip Pain and Hamstring Strains

hamstring strains

By Tricia Walker, ATC

Hamstring strains and injuries can often lead to hip pain – a common condition we treat at Loudoun Sports Therapy Center. 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. It’s critical that these two muscle groups stay balanced when it comes to their power to ensure safe and effective body mechanics are used during activities like walking, running, squatting, or jumping. When one group out powers the other, that’s when injuries can happen.

The most common form of hamstring injury is a muscle strain. When a muscle strain occurs, what’s happening is there is a stretching and sometimes even 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. These kinds of injuries are typically caused by practices that can be easily avoided and resolved. Injuries like this are usually caused by things that can be easily avoided. Some examples include:

  • Inadequate warm-up
  • Lack of stretching
  • Muscle imbalance
  • Muscle weakness
  • Poor footwear

You can see why stretching and strengthening are such key parts of physical therapy treatment, regardless of the patient’s age or medical history. 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, at Loudoun Sports Therapy Center we will tailor a treatment plan to ensure effective healing and improve muscle balance to decrease the threat of future injuries.

CLICK HERE to schedule your FREE ASSESSMENT with Loudoun Sports Therapy Center. Our expert physical therapists can evaluate your condition and help you get back to normal!