How to Recover from a Hamstring Injury

By Mike Camunas

A hamstring injury can be one of the most painful leg injuries, and if not treated properly, can take a long time to heal. Though staying off the muscle completely is a simple way to get you up and running, there are additional steps to take to help recover from a hamstring injury quickly and properly. Its important to make sure the injury and muscle heal itself, or it will be easily prone to re-injury.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy
Step 1
Use the hamstring as little as possible while it is recovering. This can difficult, as the hamstring is a major muscle group required for most movements. Recovery doesn't necessarily mean bed rest, but be as gentle as possible, keeping the injury in mind.
Step 2
Apply a sports cream, such as Icy Hot or Bengay, not only to push fluids away to reduce swelling and inflammation, but also to increase blood circulation to the injury. These products use both a hot and cold sensation on the skin and should be applied regularly with massaging motions. Keep in mind not to apply excessively. Follow instructions on the product.
Step 3
Use an ice pack on the hamstring to help recovery and soothe the pain. Ice packs should be placed on the injury for about 15 minutes every two hours. Avoid using heat as the muscle recovers, as heat will cause inflammation, swelling and pain, and extend the the recovery process.
Step 4
Stretch your legs throughout the day, making sure the stretches are smooth and non aggressive. Simple leg extension stretch can help to keep your hamstring flexible, increase circulation and promote healing. Make sure that the stretch does not become painful, stopping at any point the movement becomes uncomfortable.
Step 5
Use massage on the hamstring to decrease stiffness and promote healing. Use gentle strokes, stopping at the point of pain or discomfort. Use long flowing strokes or small circular motions.

Tips & Warnings

If the hamstring injury and its pain become too much, consider using crutches if you must remain mobile for an extended period of time. No pain, no gain can only go so far.
Be sure not to be too strenuous on the muscle too soon. The muscle can easily be re-injured if strained before proper healing.

About The Author

Mike Camunas is also reporter for the St. Petersburg Times, covering local golf in the Tampa Bay area, from events to golfers hitting hole in ones, to even covering the professional events that hit town. He has been playing golf for about 11 years and has not seen his handicap lower. Maybe one day, but he'll stick to his day job for now.

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