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||Partial or complete
rupture of the hamstring muscles
||The long, powerful hamstring muscles--semimembranosus,
semitendonosus, and biceps femoris--span the back of the leg and
insert into bone around the knee. This series of muscles functions
together to help bend and control the knee. Hamstring strains are
very common and typically occur while running or jumping, among
||When one or more of the hamstring muscles
violently contracts, the muscle(s) can tear, resulting in a
"hamstring strain." Tears usually occur at the junction
between the muscle and the tendon that attaches the muscle(s) behind
the knee. Hamstring strains can lead to decreased flexibility and an
imbalance in leg strength. Sprinting and football are sports
commonly associated with hamstring strains.
||A hamstring strain typically causes
sudden onset of pain in the back of the leg above the knee. Pain
while walking and tenderness around the area of the muscle strain
are common. If the strain is severe, a balled up portion of the
muscle may be seen under the skin along the back part of the thigh.
X-rays may be taken to rule out fractures.
||Nonoperative: Almost all hamstring
strains can be treated without surgery. Treatment is given in
|RICE (Rest, Ice, Elevation,
||Control of pain, swelling,
restoration of range of motion
||Increase flexibility and strength
with quadriceps and hamstring stretching
||Return to sport/work specific
Consider using antiinflammatory medication
Operative: Rarely, surgery is needed to reattach muscles.
Maintain excellent hamstring flexibility.
Ensure strength and balance of hamstrings and quadriceps muscles in
each leg by exercising regularly.
Warm up and stretch prior to activity.