The hamstring muscles are the large group of muscles found on the posterior side of the thigh, extending from the bottom of the pelvis to the back of the shin bone. This set of tendons are essential towards the body’s functions to extend the hip joints and bend the knee joints. The hamstring is used during multiple sporting activities and everyday activities alike but, when you experience a pulled hamstring muscle, its symptoms can affect the body’s movements.
Hamstring injuries can commonly happen if physical activities or sports are started without an appropriate warm-up, from overuse, or due to the muscles being stretched above the individuals range of motion. Occasionally, weak muscles may also lead to this problem. There are different types of hamstring injuries and depending on the severity, symptoms can be categorized into three different grades, each varying from each other.
In grade I, only a few muscle fibers are affected or the tear is considered microscopic where the muscle was stretched further from its limitation. The mild severity presents tightness and mild pain and discomfort, usually minimally limiting physical activity.
In grade II, the damage from the injury is moderate and moderate pain and discomfort follow soon after. During this grade, pain is experienced upon contact with the affected area and moderate swelling and bruising can be present. An athlete’s or an individual’s mobility during activities such as running and/or jumping can be moderately limited.
And last, a grade III hamstring injury indicates that the fibers or tendons of the muscle are significantly or completely torn, causing severe pain and discomfort while walking with considerable swelling, bruising, and in some cases, muscle spasms. Mobility can be greatly affected by a grade III hamstring injury and special measurements for treatment might be required.
By Dr. Alex Jimenez
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Injury, Trauma & Spinal Rehabilitation Specialist