Hamstring Strains

Hamstring strains

Hamstring strain injuries are one of the most common injuries in running sports and can take anywhere from two to six weeks or more to heal depending on the degree of injury.

It is important to rehabilitate hamstring strains well after injury, as they have a high recurrence rate and can become problematic for some people. Fortunately, our physiotherapists are very experienced in helping people to get back to the sport or activities they love, quickly!

What is a Hamstring Strain?

A ‘pulled’ hamstring or strain is an injury to the group of three muscles that are in the back of the thigh. The muscles are called the biceps femoris, semitendinosus and semimembranosus and these attach from the bottom of your pelvis (your sitting bones) to the top of your shin bones, the tibia and fibula.

The hamstrings job is to bend (flex) your knee and straighten (extend) your hip.

How are the Hamstrings Injured?

The hamstrings are most commonly injured during running or other sports that require high speed, power or change of direction. They can also be injured during activities that put the hamstrings under a lot of stretch, such as kicking or dancing. The most common symptom experienced is immediate pain in the back of the thigh and being unable to continue the activity due to pain. Sometimes a ‘pop’ may be felt, and for more significant injuries, bruising may appear.

Hamstring injuries, like all muscle strains, can be graded from 1-3 depending on severity (1 being mild, 3 is severe). Your physiotherapist will be able to tell you the grade of injury based on their assessment findings, and how long it is likely going to take to you to get back to your usual sport or activities. They will also be able to provide you with the appropriate advice and information to best manage your injury. Most hamstring injuries can be managed with physiotherapy and rehabilitation; surgery is only required in very rare cases. Imaging is also not usually necessary to diagnose a hamstring strain.

Risk Factors for Hamstring Strains

There are numerous risk factors associated with hamstring injuries. Some of these risk factors we cannot change, such as gender or age.
Luckily, there are other risk factors that can be addressed, such as

  • hamstring weakness,
  • fatigue,
  • lack of flexibility, and
  • muscle imbalances.

Your physiotherapist will be able to assess for contributing factors and advise you on the best way to address them.

Treatment for hamstring strains

The aim of immediate management of any soft tissue injury is to prevent further injury occurring. A common management approach for the initial 48-72 hours after injury is PRICE:
Protect, Rest, Ice, Compress and Elevate.

Physiotherapy treatment focuses on

  • managing the injury,
  • getting you back to full function and
  • preventing re-injury.

Treatment may include

  • massage and manual therapy,
  • dry needling,
  • education on biomechanics/ technique or advice or strategies such as warming up or cool down.

Treatment will also include

  • prescribing you a rehabilitation program that will need to be progressed as your hamstrings heal and get stronger.

In our next post, we will discuss some rehabilitation exercises proven to decrease the time it usually takes to get back to running and sport after a hamstring strain.


To book with a Physiotherapist at either Burleigh Heads or Broadbeach please call 5535 5218




Our Response to Covid-19

This page is up to date to our best knowledge, however, this is a rapidly evolving situation so we apologise for any potential delay in updating this information.

We want to reassure all our patients that we are following stringent infection control procedures in our clinic, and screen all people coming into the clinic, to exclude any patients that have any signs or symptoms consistent with Covid-19, as well as screening any patients that should be in isolation ie recently returned from overseas, or have been advised to isolate due to recent exposure with a known Covid-19 patient.

All our staff have now completed the Department of Health Covid-19 Infection Control Training.

What are we doing to minimise risk?

  • Screening patients for risk factors over the phone or through text messages before they attend appointments. Those with risk factors or symptoms are advised not to attend & to seek medical advice.
  • Hand sanitiser station at the front of the building must be used before you enter.
  • Following stringent infection control measures within the clinic. This includes
    • Disinfecting all beds, door handles, EFTPOS machine before and after each patient use.
    • Linen changed between each patient and commonly touched surfaces through the practice are cleaned regularly throughout the day.
    • Minimising the distances between clients in the waiting room- some chairs are outside undercover.
  • We have advised our team members not to come to work if they have cold or flu-like symptoms.
  • We are following all Department of Health recommendations for our type of business.

On the 30th March 2020 – the Australian government issued a statement that “People aged over 70, aged over 60 with pre-existing conditions, or Indigenous people aged over 50 should stay home wherever possible for their own protection.”

The decision to come in for physiotherapy treatment really is an individual one – if you feel that your treatment is medically necessary, and are comfortable with the risks of leaving your home and coming to physiotherapy, then rest assured that when you attend our physiotherapy clinic, we are following our strict infection control processes and doing everything we can to minimise your risk whilst in our care. However, we completely understand if you are not comfortable with coming in for treatment.

TELEHealth Consultations

We are offering telehealth consults and home visits (where suitable) for patients who cannot attend our clinic.

Read more about TELEhealth Consultations here.

Staying Healthy

  • Wash your hands often (and for 20 seconds) with soap and water
  • Cough into your elbow or use a tissue to cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze
  • Social distancing practices – Avoiding close contact with others, such as touching, including shaking hands
  • Limit contact with people who are sick, and stay home if you are sick and encourage employees to stay home when sick
  • Get 7-8 hours’ sleep a night to help your immune system stay strong
Please stay safe and take care of each other!

We are monitoring the situation very closely and will make adjustments to our business as we are further informed. Our priority is the health & well being of our patients and our staff. Thanks for your understanding.

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