Hamstring Injuries

July 28, 2023

Hamstring injuries are common and often troublesome for athletes and individuals engaged in physical activities. These injuries involve the muscles at the back of the thigh and can vary in severity, causing discomfort, reduced mobility, and affecting athletic performance. Today we will explore the different types of hamstring injuries, their impact on athletes and others, and some prevention strategies.

First, we should understand what the hamstrings are. The hamstring muscles are three large muscles that run down the back of the thigh and help control the hips and knees. These muscles are the biceps femoris, semitendinosus , and semimembranosus. According to the National Library of Medicine, “The hamstrings are highly relevant for major movements of daily life and sports (e.g., standing, walking, sprinting, cutting), and play an especially important role in decelerating knee extension and hip flexion in high-velocity actions, common in athletic scenarios, such as sprinting.” 

There are multiple types of hamstring injury, just like there can be with other skeletal muscles. 

  • Hamstring Strains: These are the most common and occur when the muscle fibers tear microscopically due to overstretching or excessive force. Strains are classified into three grades: Grade 1 involves minor tears with mild pain and minimal impact on function, Grade 2 entails moderate tears leading to pain and difficulty walking, and Grade 3 signifies a severe tear with significant pain and loss of function.

  • Hamstring Tendinopathy: This injury affects the hamstring tendons, which connect the muscles to the bone. Tendinopathy is often caused by overuse, repetitive stress, or aging, leading to pain, stiffness, and weakness.

  • Hamstring Avulsion: In severe cases, the hamstring muscles can completely tear away from the bone, resulting in an avulsion injury. This type typically requires surgical intervention for recovery.

Hamstring injuries can have a profound impact on athletes and individuals, hindering their physical abilities and overall well-being. Athletes may experience a decline in performance, reduced speed, and agility, while regular individuals may encounter difficulty in everyday activities such as walking, climbing stairs, or sitting for extended periods. Additionally, untreated hamstring injuries can lead to compensatory movements, increasing the risk of secondary injuries and long-term musculoskeletal issues.

Preventing hamstring injuries involves adopting proactive measures and maintaining overall physical health:

  • Warm-up: Prioritize dynamic warm-up routines to increase blood flow, flexibility, and muscle readiness before engaging in intense physical activity.

  • Strengthening Exercises: Focus on strengthening exercises for the hamstrings, quadriceps, and glutes to create a balanced lower body and reduce strain on the hamstrings.

  • Proper Technique: Ensure athletes and individuals learn and practice proper techniques for sports and exercises to minimize the risk of overexertion and improper muscle use.

  • Rest and Recovery: Allow sufficient time for rest and recovery between workouts or physically demanding activities to prevent overuse injuries.

Rehabilitating hamstring injuries requires a systematic approach tailored to the severity and type of injury. Always consult a healthcare professional or a qualified sports therapist for personalized guidance. The rehabilitation process for a hamstring injury will vary by person and we want to be there to help get you back to your sport or life, stronger than you were before. 

Hamstring injuries can be a significant obstacle for athletes and individuals leading an active lifestyle. Understanding the different types of hamstring injuries, their effects, preventive measures, and proper rehabilitation techniques is essential for reducing the risk of injury and ensuring a smooth recovery. Prioritizing injury prevention and seeking professional guidance when needed will contribute to better overall physical health and performance in both athletes and non-athletes alike.


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Peak Performance Care

in Sonora CA

13949 Mono Way

PO Box 4143

Sonora, CA 95370


(209) 532 1288

Fax: (209) 230 9529

Monday/Wednesday: 8am-5:30pm

Tuesday/Thursday: 6am-5pm

Friday: 6am-2pm

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