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Hamstring Muscle Strain


This sudden, painful injury common to athletes results from a pull or tear in one or more of the three muscles that run along the back of the thigh. It is one of those “you know it when you feel it” kind of injuries and, in severe cases, may require surgical repair. Keep reading to learn more.

Causes & Triggers

  • Exercise (especially running, jumping, stopping, starting)
  • Growth spurts
  • Inadequate warm up
  • Muscle overload

Signs & Symptoms

  • Bruising
  • Inability to bear weight
  • Pain (severe and sudden)
  • Persistent weakness
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness

Tips & Treatment

  • Hamstring injuries range from mild to severe: 
    • Mild-Grade 1: Usually a pull that heals quickly
    • Moderate-Grade 2: Partial tear
    • Severe-Grade 3: Complete tear (avulsion injury)
  • Most hamstring strains heal uneventfully with RICE (rest, ice, compression and elevation); however, some tears may require surgical reattachment.

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