Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"How do I treat my pulled hamstring?"
I was goofing off with my buddies and we started racing each other yesterday. I think I pulled my hamstring while I was running. It is very sore and it is hard to walk too. Is there anything I can do other than rest? Anything I can do that might make the muscle heal better?
This is a very common occurrence where sudden strenuous activity can cause muscle strain very commonly in the hamstring. The level of injury can be graded depending on certain findings. Grade 1 injuries are characterized by soreness and intermittent pain. Grade 2 injuries are more severe with more severe pain. A Grade 3 injury is the most severe with stabbing pain and inability to walk without pain. The muscle maybe completely torn and a large lump maybe visible above the tear. There may even by significant bruising. As with other sports related injuries, the most recommended treatment is RICE therapy. This method is important to prevent damage to the muscle and decrease bleeding. It is important to remember to rest the muscle as a smaller injury can become worse without rest. In addition, elevating the hamstring with an ice pack can prevent inflammation and swelling by constricting the blood vessels supplying the area. An ACE wrap or a compression dressing can serve to do the same and can decrease inflammation related swelling. It is important to make an appointment with your primary care doctor to undergo a thorough examination of the area to ensure that you have not torn your muscle as soon as possible.
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