How to recover from a hamstring strain?

Read below to find our specialist physiotherapist, Carys Hansed, top tips on recovering from a hamstring strain.

Hamstring strain - Stretching

Hamstring sprains are a common injury within sports that include maximal sprints and acceleration. They most often occur during a maximal sprint during the eccentric phase (straightening of the leg during running). They can also occur due to fatigue from a build-up of intense training or games schedules.

Individuals may be at risk of a hamstring due to age, reduced pelvic range of motion, previous injury and hamstring strength. With regards to stretching, it is the reduction in pelvic range of motion that highlights stretching importance as this can create extra tension on the hamstrings. This shows the importance of stretching and the evidence also tells us that studies have shown a reduced number of hamstring strains in groups that have undertaken a period of stretching whilst understanding that these studies were based on general leg stretches, rather than specific hamstring stretches.

Here are a few hamstring specific stretches that can be performed after a hamstring strain to reduce pain and increase flexibility:

  • Hamstring stretch in the doorway

To perform this stretch, lie in between a doorway with one leg upright against it. Straighten the leg as much as possible to feel the stretch and then hold in this position, keeping the back and other leg flat on the ground. Hold for 30-45 seconds as tolerated.

  • Hamstring stretch using a band

Lie back with one leg back and raise the leg with the band around the foot gently towards the ceiling. Keep the leg straight and hold for between 30 and 45 seconds as tolerated.

  • Hamstring stretch on the floor

Sit on the floor with one leg bent and one leg straight. Slowly lean over the straight leg attempting to touch your toes. You will feel the stretch in the back of your straight leg. Hold in this position for 30-45 seconds as tolerated.


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