How to Heal a Torn Hamstring

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A torn hamstring occurs when the muscle fibers of the hamstring are stretched too far. In minor tears, the muscles may bleed, but in major tears, the muscle can rupture and surgery may be necessary. In most cases, a torn hamstring can be healed through rest at home and rehabilitation performed by a physical therapist. You should not put pressure on the injured leg until it is healed.

Things You'll Need

  • Ice
  • Elastic bandages

Steps

  • Make sure you rest your leg and stay off it for at least a week, or until it has recovered. Use crutches to walk if you need to and make sure not to place any pressure on the injury.

  • Place ice or a cold pack on the torn hamstring to reduce the pain and swelling. Apply the ice for 30 to 40 minutes at a time approximately four times a day for the first three days.

  • Apply compression to the injury for the first week. Wrapping the leg in an elastic bandage can help reduce bleeding in the muscle and control the swelling.

  • Raise the leg above heart level to help reduce swelling. This can be done while lying down by propping the injured leg on pillows.

  • See your doctor for anti-inflammatory drugs, if necessary. Some doctors recommend the use of drugs immediately after the injury while others recommend waiting at least two days before taking medication so the body has a chance to heal itself first. Inflammation is a necessary part of healing, so it's important to follow the advice of your doctor.

  • Check with your doctor to make sure surgery isn't necessary. In rare cases, surgery may be necessary to reattach the torn hamstring. The sooner this is done after the injury occurs the better the chance of minimizing the damage and scar tissue that can occur.

  • Undergo a rehabilitation process with a physical therapist or athletic trainer. This may involve receiving ultrasound treatments to increase blood flow and following a strict exercise program to help the muscle regain strength.

Tips & Warnings

  • Be sure to see your doctor as soon as the injury occurs to prevent further damage and help treat the injury.

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