At Kaizo Health, we continuously work with a variety of different types of people and injuries. As you may know, we are the leading experts in auto accident injuries. But did you know that we are also experts in sports-related injuries, such as hamstring injuries? If you grew up being active or are currently an athlete or fitness enthusiast, you probably aren’t a stranger to hamstring strains and tears. Hamstring injuries are one of the most common types of sports-related injuries, but can also be suffered from non-sport related events. Today we’re going to break down different types of hamstring injuries, treatment options, prevention exercises and how seeing a chiropractic rehab doctor, like the ones at Kaizo Health, can help!
Where Is Your Hamstring?
To begin, let’s first figure out where your hamstring is. Your hamstring is the group of three muscles that run along the back of your thigh from your hip to just below your knee. If it’s been a while since your last anatomy course, just remember your quadricep or more commonly referred to as your “quads” are the muscles on the front side of your leg and your hamstring is the group of muscles on the back of your leg.
Hamstring Injury Types
A hamstring injury occurs when you strain or pull one of your hamstring muscles. As mentioned before, we typically see these types of injuries in soccer players, basketball players, football players, tennis players, runners and even dancers. At Kaizo Health, we work directly with the Maryland Bobcats, Maryland’s National Independent Soccer Association team, and commonly see this type of injury among their players.
However, don’t think that just because you aren’t an athlete that you are not able to sustain a hamstring injury. These injuries can occur from a variety of events, sometimes even just walking wrong or missing a step.
There are three types, or severities, of hamstring injuries. An injury occurs when one of the three muscles is stretched beyond its limits. When the muscle is stretched, you will typically feel a sudden, sharp pain and sometimes even experience a “popping” or tearing sensation.
Grade I: A mild muscle pull or strain
While a mild hamstring tear will be painful, it is typically not severe enough to affect the strength of the leg. Most people can still move their leg as they usually would, they might just experience some soreness or discomfort.
Grade II: A partial muscle tear
A partial tear is typically more painful. There may be some bruising or swelling on the back of the leg. Also, movement or strength in the leg may be debilitated or weakened.
Grade III: A complete muscle tear
A complete tear of the muscle will be extremely painful, swollen and bruised and typically make it hard to stand or walk. If someone experiences the “popping” or tearing sensation at time of injury, this typically indicates a complete tear.
Treatment types and recovery times will vary based on the severity of the injury. Also, severity of injury can vary based on if you have injured your hamstring before. If you have suffered a hamstring injury previously, it is more likely that your hamstring can be more easily strained. This is why we typically see this type of reoccurring injury among athletes and also work with them to practice prevention exercises and techniques, which we will discuss a bit later.
Treatment of Hamstring Injuries
Depending on the severity of your hamstring injury, the best course of treatment can vary. Sometimes with very mild strains, the leg can heal quickly with icing and the appropriate movement techniques. However, sometimes an injury can take weeks to months to heal, and who wants to be in pain that long or let it keep them from doing what they love? At Kaizo Health, we offer a variety of treatment options that can help you heal quicker and get you back to doing what you love!
Some of the treatment options we offer for hamstring injuries include:
Active release therapy uses movement of the patient to create tension on scar tissue to promote proper function of the muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia, and nerves.
Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM), often called scraping, is a very effective treatment technique using specially designed tools, or instruments, to break up adhesions and scar tissue to allow for more efficient and unobstructed movement.
Circulates fresh blood flow to tight muscles to loosen the connective tissue and relieve pain.
Dry needling uses a fine filament needle (like an acupuncture needle) to de-activate (relax) trigger points within a tight muscle band. Muscles tend to tighten in response to injury as a protective mechanism but we need to get them moving and the blood flowing so they can heal once safety has been established.
NormaTec Compression Therapy
The NormaTec is a compression device that speeds up recovery and improves outcomes. We use the NormaTec to rejuvenate muscle tissue and reduce swelling, tightness and soreness.
As mentioned before, the average recovery time for a hamstring injury can vary based on severity. One of the reasons we recommend seeking the care of a chiropractor sooner than later, is so that they can assess the injury and create a treatment plan that will have you feeling better and getting back on the field or back to your life as soon as possible.
Another important thing we recommend to our patients is the importance of prevention exercises, especially if you have suffered a hamstring injury before. At Kaizo Health, we use a combination of chiropractic treatments and rehabilitative exercises to give our patients optimal recovery and a strong home exercise program even after discharge to continue to strengthen, support, and prevent future re-injury.
Working with a personal trainer can also be very beneficial in strengthening the hamstring muscles to prevent injury. Once a patient has completed their treatment plan and received a discharge from their doctor, many will begin a personal training program with our expert personal trainers at Kaizo X to ensure they are properly strengthening the weakened muscle and helping prevent further injury. You want to be sure you work with trainers like those at Kaizo X that have experience working with people with previous injuries.
Get Treated at Kaizo Health
Our goal at Kaizo Health is to always get you back to feeling 100%. Not only will our doctors provide treatment to help you be pain-free, but we also have a dedicated team that will work with you and your insurance to make sure you get the most from your benefits so that you can experience relief for as little cost to you as possible. If you are ready to experience relief from the pain, make an appointment to see us now.
At Kaizo Health, our world-class team of chiropractors in Rockville, MD; Landover, MD; Fort Washington, MD; and Fairfax, VA, practices an evidence-based approach combining chiropractic care and guided, individualized rehabilitative exercises prescription. We provide the treatment and resources you need to recover your health and strength as best-in-class, state-of-the-art chiropractors. We are here to help! In the meantime, make sure that you check out our blog for more information on the chiropractic field, as well as our free virtual self-assessment chiropractic web app here.