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What Do I Do After A Hamstring Tear?

Have you just felt a pull in your hamstring?

Were you running at training or on gameday and felt a pulling or popping sensation at the back of your leg?

Were you going for a PB in the gym on hamstring curls or RDL’s and felt a pop?

Chances are you have some degree of tearing in your hamstring.

If this is you, don’t freak out! We are here to help.


What is hamstring tear?

A hamstring tear can occur in 2 ways. 

The first way that your hamstring can tear is by overextending especially when striding out during running at close to or maximum speed. 

The second way that your hamstring can tear is by failing under a heady load during a hamstring loading exercise such as a hamstring curl or RDL.

The severity of hamstring tears range from a low grade tearing of some of the muscle or tendon fibres to a full thickness tear of all of the muscle or tendon fibres.

What symptoms should I expect if I tear my hamstring?

Depending on the severity of your injury, the symptoms that you experience may vary. Common symptoms of a hamstring tear include pain and bruising at the back of your leg. The more severe the injury, the more that bruising will be present. 

It is also common to find it difficult to perform activities such as walking, stairs, bending forwards and even taking off your shoes using the opposite foot.

What should I do now?

Firsts things first… As tempting as it may be, avoid stretching your hamstring for at least the first 3 days and avoid taking anti-inflammatories. 

Secondly, make an appointment to see a physiotherapist. Your physiotherapist will be able to assess the severity of your injury and provide you with a tailored rehab program to get you back on the field or in the gym.

Avoid going to see your GP unless advised by your physio. Most of the time the GP will advise you to rest and then go back to playing sport after it feels better. This is the worst thing you can do for it, and I can guarantee that if you do this then you will reinjure your hamstring right away.

Your physiotherapist will be able to formulate a treatment plan with you to get you fully fit to return to your desired sport or activity.

How is a hamstring strain diagnosed?

Optimal treatment of a hamstring strain is essential in order to return back to sport/activity with a reduced risk of re-injury.

Treatment of a hamstring strain includes, soft tissue therapy, exercises, sport specific drills and education/advice.

Goals of treatment:

  • Reduce pain
  • Restore range of motion
  • Increase hamstring strength
  • Increase global muscle strength around the area
  • Increase the hamstring’s ability to lengthen under load
  • Restore normal walking pattern
  • Restore normal daily function
  • Return to sport/work/activity

What type of exercises should I expect to recieve in my rehab program?

Depending on the goals of each individual person, the type of rehab will differ to suit your individual needs. Below is a list of the types of exercises you may expect to receive from your physio (note: all of these exercise groups may not apply to everyone).

  • Strength exercises
  • Plyometric exercises
  • Running program
  • Agility program
  • Kicking program
  • Specific return to sport drills


Does this sound relevant to you? If so, book in with one of our physiotherapists ASAP!

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