HAMSTRING STRAINS are caused by rapid excessive contraction or over-stretching of the hamstring muscle group which includes 3 muscles that help you to bend your knee and straighten your hip. High mechanical stress results in different grades of rupture within the fibers of the muscles and tendon. Hamstring strains are common in sports which include sprinting, jumping, sudden acceleration, etc. like in-football, basketball, tennis, running, dancing, etc. It generally occurs as a result of a sudden increase in muscle load, sports injury, or traumatic events.
COMMON SYMPTOMS OF HAMSTRING STRAIN ARE: sudden sharp pain in the posterior thigh, “popping” sensation at the time of injury, swelling, tenderness, bruising, loss of motion, decreased strength, unable to run, etc.
PHYSIOTHERAPY MANAGEMENT OF HAMSTRING STRAIN: The goal of physiotherapy treatment is to reduce pain, swelling, and improve ROM. After an injury occurs use ICE, compression bandage, and limb elevation to reduce pain & swelling.
PHASE 1 rehab (week 0-3): Goals- reduce pain & swelling, protect healing tissue, minimize atrophy& strength loss, & prevent ROM. REHAB includes- Cryo-therapy (2-3times/day), COMBO THERAPY, functional Dry needling, application of moist heat, stationary cycling, Isometric strengthening exercise, single leg balance, balance board training, soft tissue mobilization, progressive hip-strengthening exercises, pain-free Isotonic knee flexion, Active sciatic nerve flossing, gait training with crutch/cane, Application of Kinesio tape for stabilization.
PHASE 2 rehab (week 3-12): Goals- regain pain-free hamstring strength, regain full ROM, develop neuromuscular control of trunk & pelvis. REHAB includes- the continuation of phase 1 treatment with the addition of Treadmill at moderate to high-intensity pain-free speed, Isokinetic eccentric in the non-lengthened state, single-limb balance drill without weight, single limb stance with perturbations, supine hamstring curl on thera ball, Nordic hamstring curls, shuttle jumps, prone leg drop, lateral & retro band walk, Sciatic nerve tensioning. Eccentric strengthening exercises, core strengthening exercises.
PHASE 3 rehab (week 12+): Goals- all activities are symptom-free, normal concentric & eccentric strength through full ROM, integrate postural control into sport-specific movements. REHAB includes- phase 2 treatment with Icing post-exercise, Plyometric training (box jump), Agility training, single-limb balance drill with weight on an unstable surface, sports specific drills. Squat jumps, split jumps, bounding & depth jumps, single leg bounding, backward skips, lateral hops, lateral bounding, zig-zag hops, lunges, single & double leg deadlifts, & split stance deadlifts (good morning exercise)
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