Medications and Support Aids for a Hamstring pull
Pain medications (analgesics) and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can be used if required to help manage your hamstring pain. However, these medications will not cure your condition; they will merely treat some of your symptoms.
These drugs aren't recommended for everyone or for long term use, as pain medications can cause liver damage, and NSAIDs can cause gastrointestinal difficulties (such as upset stomach, diarrhea, ulcers and intestinal bleeding). They can also trigger other serious side effects, and even inhibit the body's natural ability to heal itself. COX-2 Inhibitors (prescription NSAIDs like Celebrex, Bextra or Vioxx, block the COX-2 enzyme involved with prostaglandin production responsible for inflammation) have been linked with risks of heart attack, stroke and in some cases death. The US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) asked manufacturers to withdraw some COX-2 Inhibitors (Vioxx and Bextra) from the market as well as put a big black warning label on the packaging outlining the risks involved with use (Celebrex).
Cortisone/steroid injections may initially help reduce inflammation and swelling of your pulled hamstring. However they are very controversial, as they can trigger a hamstring tear (this is influenced by the severity of injury and frequency of injections). Botox injections have also recently been used to relieve pain and tension. Ask your doctor if any of these are options for your condition.
Some health professionals have also recommended natural supplements such as Glucosamine, MSM, Chondritin, Capsaicin, Devil's Claw, Arnica or Yucca Leaf to help relieve pain and/or strengthen your tissues. Hyaluronic Acid (Hyalgan) injections have also had some success.
Alternating Hot Therapy and Cold Therapy treatments can be used once your initial pain and swelling has decreased to provide relief and improve function. Heat Therapy involves using a hot compress to help reduce your aches and pains, muscle spasms, joint and muscle stiffness that may accompany your hamstring injury, and will help increase blood flow to your injury. Cold Therapy involves using a cold compress to help decrease any inflammation, swelling, muscle spasms, as well as tendon and ligament strains and sprains, by constricting blood flow and restricting fluid build up. Cold also has a numbing effect on your nerves to decrease feelings of pain.
The best way to get hot/cold therapy is by using a dual purpose Hot/Cold gel pack on the injured area. These are very effective, convenient, mess-free and long lasting. They are easy to use because they are portable, can be warmed up in the microwave or cooled in the freezer, and mold themselves to your hamstring shape. Once the treatment is over they can be washed and reused over and over again.
Corrective footwear, orthotics, or inserts provide arch support and help to align your muscles and bones so they work together. These will also help keep your foot in a more comfortable position and provide relief from overpronation. They can be custom made with the help of a chiropodist, podiatrist, or a chiropractor. Or, if you prefer you can purchase general heel cups, pads or inserts to help cushion and elevate your heel.