Hamstring is a group of three muscles that are present in the thigh region. The hamstrings cross and act upon two important joints, the hip and the knee. These muscles play a very crucial role in routine activities, like walking, running, jogging, jumping, and control some movements in the trunk region. These are the most important muscles while walking as they help in knee extension. This is the reason why hamstring injuries are not only very painful, but they also restrict day-to-day activities of a person. There are various factors that influence the recovery time, like the extent of the injury and the quality and promptness of treatment.
Types of Hamstring Injuries and Their Recovery Time
Pulled Hamstring Recovery
A pulled hamstring is a condition where the muscle gets pulled to an extent that the fibers become sore and may partially tear. There are three grades of hamstring muscle pull. In grade 1, there is some tightness in the thigh with discomfort while walking. In this case, pulled hamstring recovery takes about one to three weeks to completely heal.
In grade 2 muscle pull, there is limping with severe muscle pain in the thigh, along with a slight swelling. This may take a month or two to heal. In grade 3 hamstring injuries, there is severe throbbing pain, swelling, and complete inability to walk. In this case, a conservative approach in the form of recovery exercises may not suffice, so there may be need for surgical intervention. The healing time is estimated to be around six months.
Torn Hamstring Recovery
Complete tear of a hamstring may occur as a result of severe stretching of the leg muscles. In such cases, the small blood vessels that supply blood and oxygen to the muscles also get damaged, due to which there is visible bruising or the formation of a hematoma in this region. Due to this, the muscle does not get adequate amount of blood flow, which further delays healing. In such cases, there is often a need for surgical intervention. The recovery time usually exceeds six months.
How to Hasten Recovery Time
- Hamstring injuries are notorious for their recurrence rate. Thus, it is important to treat your injury on a priority basis. The first 48 hours are very crucial. Firstly, giving adequate rest is of paramount importance. There may be need for immobilization. For this, the person is normally advised bed rest and is asked to walk using crutches, so as to not put any strain on the muscle. This greatly increases the chances of a quick recovery.
- Application of ice on the affected area helps control the swelling. Cold compresses may reduce the swelling, but do not completely stop them from occurring. They help the muscle to relax and also reduce the chances of a spasm.
- Use a bandage to compress the region in order to further reduce swelling and scarring.
- Elevation and immobilization of the leg also proves beneficial.
- There are certain hamstring recovery programs that have specific exercises that foster healing.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.