The Hamstring muscles allow you to bend your legs and flex your knees, if they are injured you will experience a sharp pain in the back of the thigh, during or immediately after any strenuous activity such as sports, the muscle will also feel swollen. An injured hamstring muscle will cause problems in sitting, walking or any other activity. All your movements rely on these muscles, as the muscles run along the back of the thigh to the knee. Anyone can ‘pull’ a hamstring muscle, although dancers, professional athletes or persons who work in other physical occupation are more prone. It is essential that you stop as soon as you feel the pain and rest in this type of injury, because the more you work the injured muscles, the more problems can develop and your recovery will be delayed.
A pulled hamstring usually results when the muscle fibres are overburdened or torn. If the muscle is simply stretched to far, it can be mended easily, but if the muscle belt is torn it is more serious. When the muscle becomes separated from the connective tendons it is an extremely serious injury. A doctor should be consulted so that he can confirm that the damage is minimal.
Vitamin C, which is essential for tissue building can be found in citrus fruits and potatoes. Calcium and potassium for bones are found in leafy greens, low-fat dairy products and bananas. Drinking plenty of water or a sports drink before and after every work out will help your muscles operate at their best.
Keeping your body in good condition and avoiding pushing yourself too hard at work and play is the best way to avoid muscle strains. Make sure you always warm up before beginning any sports or physical activity.
When to seek further professional advice
You have fever or chills as well as muscle pain
When you cough there is a pain shooting down the back of your leg
Your leg only hurts when you are walking or doing something physical.
A trained massage therapist will help relax and tone your muscles. Aromatherapy is used to help alleviate tension in your hamstrings, blend 3 drops of peppermint, 3 drops of marjoram in 15ml massage oil or 15g of base cream. Massage this gently into the effected area. For muscle injuries Arnica is a homeopath’s first aid remedy, it can be applied as a salve to the painful area or it can be taken orally. Ruta or Rhus toxicodendron are also remedies for muscle strains.
Fortunately, a hamstring pull usually heals itself. RICE is the established recovery procedure for muscle strain :
A pain killer may be recommended by your doctor.
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