Hamstring Injury Prevention
Strong and flexible hamstrings are less prone to injury than hamstring muscles and tendons that are tight and weak. Below you will find some tips on how to achieve healthier hamstrings to help prevent injury or re-injury.
Use Proper Equipment and Supports
Wear appropriate athletic and/or regular shoes that are comfortable and provide significant arch support and motion control.
Utilize corrective footwear, orthotics or other foot devices provide support and alignment (check to see if you wear out the soles of your shoes on one side) and/or supportive items, such as compression shorts, braces or taping to eliminate stress on your muscles.
Modify, decrease and/or avoid activities or motions that cause pain and irritation, and ensure you always warm up and cool down before participating in activities.
Gentle massage after vigorous activities will help relax your tissues; physical therapy, acupressure, deep massage and chiropractic care are also good for more severe cases.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Proper food and fluid intake prior to and during activities will ensure you are nourished and prevent against fatigue and dehydration.
Weight loss and/or weight maintenance involves eating a balanced diet full of protein, complex carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and antioxidants which will help support a healthy system. If you gain just 10 pounds, your joints must bear from 25 up to 100 pounds extra, which can add unnecessary stress to your body. Limiting your caffeine, alcohol and nicotine consumption will also improve your health.
Stretch and Warm Up Properly
Follow a stretching, strengthening, and endurance exercise routine that conditions your hamstrings, as well as your other leg muscles, lower back, gluteals and pelvis which will keep your muscles balanced, strong and limber.
Do Exercises and Appropriate Activities
If you are suffering from hamstring tendon pain, listen to your body and decrease, modify and/or avoid any activities or motions that cause pain and irritation (quick stopping/starting, turning, running or jumping, as well as participating on uneven terrain). If you are required to perform these motions at work or play and cannot avoid them, make sure you take frequent breaks and rest to prevent fatigue and pain.
Before beginning exercise or training, ask your doctor or physical therapist for a list of appropriate exercises that will not cause further harm to your weak hamstrings while you work to strengthen them.
To stabilize your hamstring and leg area, and increase your range of motion, maintain and build your strength, stability and flexibility of your hamstring, leg, gluteal, pelvis, low back and core body muscles. Light weights, exercise bands and balls are very beneficial for strengthening your lower body. Core balance training and plyometrics (exercises to develop strength, speed and agility, such as jumping or bounding movements) are also an excellent addition to your exercise routine. Yoga, tai chi, or a daily stretching routine will help to keep your muscles and joints supple (avoid sudden twisting and turning motions).
A regular exercise program that focuses on total body fitness and includes low-impact aerobic activity at least 3 days per week, such as walking, swimming or biking will help to keep you healthy overall and will strengthen your body to prevent against further hamstring injuries.
Treating Your Hamstring Tendon Injury
It is important to treat hamstring tendon injuries as soon as possible, as any activity or strain you put on your tendon can re-injure it further. Though the pain, discomfort, and inconvenience of a hamstring injury can be overwhelming, it is possible to overcome it.
The trick with any tendon injury is getting it to heal with minimal scar tissue formation. Even with optimum healing, there is always less elasticity in a previously injured tendon. This can cause the tendon to hurt during exercise and most everyday activities. However, if you heal your injured tendon efficiently and quickly, your chance of re-injury later on is much lower.
Although it is recommended that you rest your hamstring tendons following injury it can be difficult to do as it is an essential tendon for walking and daily activities. Fortunately, there are healing tools that can help treat your tendon and speed up the healing process so you can get back to a life without pain and risk of further injury.
Cold compression therapy and BFST® will reduce pain, swelling and tissue damage, treat scar tissue, and promote blood flow to heal your medial hamstring (semitendinosus tendon and semimembranosus tendon) tendons faster and more completely than any other methods available.
Freezie Wrap® Cold Compression Therapy
To decrease inflammation of your tendinitis or your tendon strain when it first occurs, doctor's recommend cold compression therapy. For an acute strain, cold compression therapy within the first 48 - 72 hours and after any restrain is important to limit the amount of damage done to your tissue. Cold compression therapy will relieve pain and swelling as needed and will reduce, or even eliminate, the need for NSAIDs and pain medications.
The Leg/Arm Freezie Wrap® is the cold compression tool you need to treat your hamstring pain in an effective and convenient way. It is so versatile it can be worn anywhere on your body, wherever you need treatment.
Cold Compression Therapy works by interrupting and slowing nerve and cell function in the injured area and reducing swelling that can block blood vessels. This is important because once blood vessels are blocked or damaged, they can no longer carry oxygenated blood through your hamstring tendons and tissue cells begin to break-down. Without cold compression therapy cellular break-down and tissue damage continues as the cells do not get the oxygen they need to survive. By limiting the amount of damage done to your tissue, you also limit the amount of healing that needs to occur. This is a very important step to heal your hamstring tendinitis or tendon strain faster and with less pain!
The deep cooling effect provided by the Freezie Wrap® slows cell metabolism thereby reducing cellular break-down and tissue damage. Furthermore, because the cold wraps gently numb the nerves, the wraps also reduce pain!
The Freezie Wrap® uses a supercharged cooling gel pack, that chills in the fridge, not in the freezer like ice or other freezer packs, giving you deep cold therapy without the risk of 'cold burns' or cryoburn.
Once the inflammation of your hamstring tendinitis or tendon strain has been reduced, nourishing and strengthening the tendon and muscle tissue is recommended. Using Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™ will speed your recovery and heal your tendon fibers more completely preparing them for strengthening exercises. Talk to your doctor or physical therapist to find out which exercises are appropriate for your situation.
Inferno Wrap® Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™
After severe inflammation and swelling is reduced you can begin to treat your hamstring with Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™ (BFST®). BFST® increases the amount of blood that flows naturally to your tendons to nourish your soft tissue which speeds healing.
When you rest your leg and stop moving around because it hurts, the natural blood flow to your tendons is reduced, limiting your body's ability to heal itself.
By treating your hamstring tendons with BFST® you can increase your body's blood supply to the fibers and increase your body's natural healing power.
The Inferno Wrap® is the tool you need to treat your sore hamstring because not only does it speed healing, it relaxes all your muscles. With BFST®, tissues are safely and gently stimulated. Your body responds with a rapid increase in blood flow to the area, increasing the supply of oxygen and nutrients to injured tissue cells to promote healing and loosen the tissue. Our Leg/Arm Inferno Wrap® provides effective, non-invasive, non-addictive pain relief and healing with no side effects.
In addition, the improved blood flow whisks away dead cells and toxins that have built up from your hamstring strain, further reducing tightness and pain. When you stop moving your leg due to hamstring pain, your tendons, muscles, and other tissue can become weaker and dead cells and toxins in the area can cause further tissue deterioration - this can lead to atrophy (muscle weakness and/or deterioration). By clearing the area of toxins and increasing the amount of oxygen and nutrients to your muscle and other tissue, the risk of atrophy is greatly reduced. Keeping your hamstring tissue as healthy as possible throughout the healing process will allow you to improve upper leg and knee strength again once your pain has gone and your strain has healed.
With these easy-to-use, home therapies, cold compression and BFST®, you will notice significantly reduced pain and an incredible improvement in your hamstring pain.
During your recovery, you may have to modify and/or eliminate any activities that cause pain or discomfort in your hamstring until your pain and inflammation settle. The more diligent you are with your treatment and rehabilitation, the faster you will see successful results!
Please be aware that this information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider before starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.