What Is a Hamstring Injury?

By Brendan O'Brien

Hamstrings are tendons that connect the muscles to the bone on the back of the upper leg. Hamstrings start at the buttocks and extend to the lower part of the leg. Hamstrings help the knee flex during physical activities, such as running, jumping and swinging a golf club.

Types of Hamstring Injuries

When the hamstring muscle is injured, it can be mild or severe. A mild strain is called a grade 1 tear, while a full rupture of the muscle is called a grade 3 tear.

Symptoms

Symptoms range from mild discomfort and stiffness in the muscle area and leg to excruciating pain and loss of thigh and leg function. Bruising and spasms can also be symptoms of a hamstring injury.

Treatment for Mild Hamstring Injuries

Mild hamstring injuries, such as the ones that are felt after a round of golf, are treated with rest, ice, compression and elevation. Anti-inflammatories can help treat the injury, as can physical therapy.

Treatment for Severe Hamstring Injuries

A severe hamstring injury may call for the patient to be on crutches and the muscle to be immobilized. The length of time depends on the severity of the injury. Rest, ice, compression and elevation may be prescribed along with physical therapy. Surgery may be required for the most severe hamstring injuries.

Prevention

Stretching and strengthening the hamstring muscle can prevent injuries. Other preventative measures include eating a balanced diet and drinking plenty of fluids on the golf course.

About The Author

Brendan O'Brien is a professional journalist in Milwaukee, Wis. He has worked for several news organizations, newspapers such as the "Milwaukee Journal Sentinel" and trade magazines during his 15-year career. He is currently a freelance writer who works for several publications.

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