Diagnosing a Pulled Hamstring
If you are experiencing pain, weakness, and/or loss of function in the back of your leg, it is wise to see a doctor for a proper diagnosis. A physical examination will be performed to determine if you have any signs of a pulled hamstring. Your doctor will visually assess and feel the muscles, bones and other soft tissue in and around your hamstring, as well as your entire leg, pelvis and lower back, to evaluate sameness (symmetry), recognize differences and identify pain and tenderness. This will help to discover any abnormalities, such as mild or severe inflammation, fluid, bruising, bone or tissue deformity, and leg length discrepancies.
You doctor will take a medical history about you and your activities. He/she will inquire about the intensity of your present pain, if you heard a popping noise when you first experienced your injury, the duration and type of symptoms and the limitations you are experiencing. Details about what instigated your problem, when it started, and whether or not you have ever had treatments for this or a similar condition in the past, will be very helpful in assessing your injury.
Your doctor may ask you to complete a series of flexing and extending leg movements to see what motions cause pain, weakness, tightness, or instability. This will help to determine the location of your injury (in the muscle belly or near the attachment), test for the grade of your hamstring strain and any muscle imbalances. He/she will also evaluate your feet and gait (the way you walk) to determine if you overpronate, or have other alignment issues.
Most Common Hamstring Injury Diagnostic Tests
Most grade 1 or 2 hamstring strains don't require diagnostic testing, however these tests will help confirm if you have a grade 3 strain and/or will rule out other causes of hamstring pain.
X-rays will provide a two-dimensional image of the overall structure of your hamstring and upper leg (pelvis, femur and knee). They are helpful in identifying instability, avulsion fractures, abnormal bone shapes (bone spurs, calcifications or cysts, joint degeneration), and/or other leg problems.
CT scans (computed tomography) and diagnostic ultrasounds may be used to look internally at the hamstring muscles.
MRIs (magnetic resonance imaging) will provide more detailed information and will help to evaluate the soft tissues in and around your hamstring (muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia, and other connective tissues). They can identify ligament or tendon damage, and can help to determine the extent of your injury, the grade of your tear or inflammation, as well as other associated conditions.
Treating Your Hamstring Pull
If you have a hamstring pull or strain, resting it is recommended. Avoid activities that cause pain or may have caused the strain and begin cold compression treatments as soon as possible.
There are healing tools that can help treat your hamstring pull and speed up the healing process so you can reduce your pain and get back to daily life. Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™ (BFST®) is an easy and effective way to promote blood flow to heal your hamstring pull faster and more completely than any other methods available.
Freezie Wrap® Cold Compression Therapy
To decrease inflammation of your muscle pull when the strain 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 muscles 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 muscle 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 pull has been reduced, nourishing and strengthening the muscle tissue and surrounding area is recommended. Using Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™ will speed your recovery and heal your muscle 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 muscle fibers 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 muscles is reduced, limiting your body's ability to heal itself.
By treating your hamstring muscles with BFST® you can increase your body's blood supply to the muscle 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 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 leg muscle tissue as healthy as possible throughout the healing process will allow you to improve leg and hip 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.