How to Heal a Pulled Hamstring Quickly

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If you exercise frequently, few things are as annoying as when you pull your hamstring. Unfortunately, what you probably do not want to hear is the quickest and most effective treatment--rest. You may have to rest for many weeks, depending on the severity of your pull. Still, it is in your best interest to do whatever it takes to heal your hamstring properly. Otherwise, you increase your risk for re-injury, which eventually may lead to surgery.

Things You'll Need

  • Ice
  • Compression wrap
  • Ultrasound device

Action Plan

  • Determine the severity of your injury. If it is so bad you can barely walk, or if it's extremely painful for days, you should see a doctor and follow his advice.

  • Treat your mild to medium hamstring pull using the RICE method: rest, ice, compression, elevation. Rest means that the less you do with your leg, the quicker it will heal. Ice the pulled area for 15 to 20 minutes a few times for a day or two following the injury. Use compression wrap as much as possible around the injured area. Keep your leg elevated as much as you can above chest level (when you are lying down) to allow fluids to move away from the injured area. Move your injured leg gently to maintain mobility. You may also stretch it gently.

  • Get ultrasound treatments two to three times a day for five to 10 minutes each time. You need a therapeutic ultrasound device for this. You do not need to use ultrasound if your injury is mild.

  • Focus on doing strengthening exercises on the hamstring area in addition to the stretches if your injury is mild or you feel you have recovered enough from your second-degree pull. (This will take you up to eight weeks.) Variations of hamstring curls and bridges are good exercises. See resources for specific execution.

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