Progression of a Hamstring Pull
This can be classified into 3 grades of hamstring strain severity:
Minor - Grade 1 Hamstring Pull involve stretching of your hamstring muscles which result in slightly pulled or excessively stretched muscles, or very small tears in your muscles. You will generally feel some specific point pain, tightness or mild cramping in your hamstring which will be a little uncomfortable, but will involve no swelling or no major loss of strength. These may diminish with activity, but will return with a vengeance afterwards.
Moderate - Grade 2 Hamstring Pull are more painful and involve a partial tearing of the hamstring fibers in your muscles, tendons, or at the tendon attachment to your bone. You will generally experience some pain that radiates down your leg during activity, while bending your knee against resistance, or when you touch your hamstring. Swelling, stiffness, decreased strength and range of motion (may not be able to straighten knee) will be apparent and can also cause you to limp. You may also experience some bruising (ecchymosis) due to bleeding within the injured muscle.
Severe - Grade 3 Hamstring Pull involve a complete tear (rupture) of your hamstring muscle fibers where your muscle belly attaches to your tendon or where your muscle belly rips in 2 separate pieces. It is very painful and rarer than the other strains. You will tend to experience a burning or stabbing pain, a lot of swelling and minimal strength, which may prevent you from walking without assistance or make it difficult for you to move your leg. Discoloration and widespread bruising in the injured area as a result of bleeding in the muscle tissue can also happen. You may also notice a break in your normal muscle outline that makes a gap under your skin where the muscle has come apart. This can be seen or felt with your hands and looks like a knotting of the muscle that produces a bulge.
The majority of hamstring strains are grade 1 or 2 strains that involve partial muscle or tendon tears that occur near the musculotendinous junction, where your hamstring tendon and muscle meet.
Should you seek medical attention?
This is up to your discretion; however any continued discomfort in your hamstring should be investigated. If you continue to experience the hamstring injury symptoms and have tried the suggested conservative treatments for 2-3 weeks, it is recommended that you seek professional medical attention. It is recommended you seek immediate attention if you:
hear a "loud pop" in your muscle when injured
have immediate severe pain, swelling or discoloration in your hamstrings
experience severe weakness in your leg (compared to other leg) and have difficulty walking
have a temperature over 100.4¼ F (38¼ C)
notice blue toe nails, numbness or coldness below your injury
I am a 44 year-old woman in good health. I eat a fresh diet and take high-quality supplements, including MSM, glucosamine, Zyflamend, and all the usual joint-recomended supplements.
I injured both knees two years ago while kneeling to tile my family room and entry. Subsequently, a simple twisting squat ripped my left meniscus with a huge bucket tear that required surgery to trim so it wouldn't keep catching and re-tearing. I am not one to undergo surgery unless it is unavoidable, and even after a "simple" scope operation, it took me a full year to get full extension back on that knee, and I doubt I will ever be able to squat again.
I run a cleaning business. A couple of months ago an employee had forgotten to return equipment to my van, and I had to mop some hardwood flooring for a client on my hands and knees. That simple ten-minute job put me back out of commission. The kneeling pre-injured the area, and when I stepped back onto my good leg two days later, I felt that familiar burn of a fresh meniscus tear. I was heartsick, dreading another surgery and the attendant expense, pain, and down time. I know from my previous experience that cartilage is hard to heal because of the poor blood supply, especially to the center. I knew it was just a matter of time before I tore it further. (My dad had multiple knee scopes before finally getting a replacement, but I was not going down that path if I could help it!)
I got online and researched alternatives that would get me back on my feet. Delighted to discover Mend Me Shop and their professional athletic healing devices, I ordered the Inferno Wrap and Ice Wrap. $400 would be a pittance relative to the $13,000 it costs to repair a torn meniscus (and that doesn't include rehab and lost income). During the week it took the package to arrive, I stayed off my feet as much as possible and iced the injured knee several times a day. My big hope was simply to avoid tearing the cartilage further before the stuff came. (With my surgery knee, I had re-torn it repeatedly before surgery.)
The minute that I put that Inferno wrap around my bad knee, I was in love! The penetrating warmth felt amazing. I kept it by my desk and strapped it on when I would sit and work at the computer. And I kept icing the knee. Within a couple weeks I was walking evenly on both legs, if gingerly lest I inadvertently twist or bounce. But I was definitely healing. I didn't miss any work after the first week, though I moved more slowly than usual and occasionally felt that piercing reminder of the tear. I had to lie down and elevate my knee every two hours to get through the day, but it was slowly healing. Four weeks later I was feeling so good, and the day was so sunny, that I went skipping off the front porch and was reminded I have a torn meniscus!
And so it goes to this day, some six weeks later: the injury is there, but it is gradually improving. The more I use the therapy devices, the faster it improves. The more I get lazy and feel perfect and neglect them, the more I slow down. But I work a full schedule without breaks and only occasionally am reminded of the injury. By God's grace and with many thanks to Mend Me Shop, I have avoided surgery!