How to deal with hamstring injuries

HOUSTON – Hamstring injuries are common and can happen to anyone during physical activity.

“The hamstring muscle is the large muscle group on the back of the thigh,” said Patrick McCulloch with Houston Methodist Hospital.

McCulloch said doctors can grade the injury by looking at an MRI.

“Grade one is a very mild injury and that’s where there will some soreness and some stiffness there, but the athlete generally remains day-to-day,” he said.

Recovery means stretching and gradually going back to normal activity.

Grades two and three are more serious.

“You actually have some tearing of the muscle fibers and a little bit more bleeding,” said McCulloch.

McCulloch said recovery can take weeks, with more intense treatment, but typically not surgery.

“The most common problems with this is if you try to go back too early, you can reaggravate that injury,” said McCulloch.

To prevent hamstring injuries, McCulloch said people need to stretch often.

“Doing activities like yoga and good flexibility can be helpful and that’s why we typically do those,” he said.

The doctor also said if people have had a hamstring injury in the past, they’re likely to have another one, especially if they return to the same sport or the same activity.

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