With the new football season in full swing, it’s apt time to address one of the most common football injuries; hamstring pulls.
This injury occurs when there’s a tear or strain to the muscles at the back of the thigh. By definition, hamstrings are a set of three muscles at the back of the thigh that all cross both the knee and hip joint, with only half of one (the biceps femoris) originating from the thighbone. Rapid acceleration movement is the main course of hamstrings getting injured. With football being a sport that relies heavily on quick movement in this area of the body, it is an injury your favourite footballer is highly likely to suffer from this season. There are three levels of severity to hamstring injuries. These are:
- Grade 1 – a minor strain
- Grade 2 – a partial tearing of the muscle
- Grade 3 – a complete tearing of the muscle
Symptoms of Hamstring Injury
This depends on what grade of the injury the player has.
- Grade 1 injury – consists of tenderness and sudden pain at the back of the thighs. Muscle strength will likely remain the same, but moving the leg might be painful.
- Grade 2 injury – more painful and more tender. Some bruising and swelling could occur in the area. There will also be a loss of strength in the leg.
- Grade 3 injury – have grade 1 and 2 symptoms at a more severe level. A popping or snapping sensation may be felt. The injured person may struggle to even be able to stand.
There are initial steps that can be taken to treat hamstring injuries including compression, applying ice, elevation and good rest. Taking painkillers such as paracetamol can help reduce pain. Full recovery time will depend on the grade of injury. Professional footballers have access to equipment and health professionals that can help speed up recovery. Although self-treatment is an option for the everyday person, seeing a healthcare professional is advised if you’re concerned the injury is severe, the symptoms worsen or healing is very slow.
Osteopathy Treatment for Hamstring Injuries
Osteopathy is a medical specialty focused on musculo-skeletal problems. An osteopath deals with diagnosing, management and treatment of these types of injuries. If you’re concerned that you might be suffering from a hamstring injury or your self-treatment is not working out, book an appointment online and we can book you a session with Andrew Doody, our osteopath.
Prevention of Hamstring injury
There’s no surefire way of preventing an hamstring injury but there are steps that can be taken to reduce the likelihood. These include;
- Gentle stretching the hamstring area after exercise
- Warming up
- A longer warm-up period in cold weather
- If you feel any tightness, you might want to stop as this could be a signal that a tear might occur