Chiropractic Care for Hamstring Injuries

The most common hamstring injury is a muscular strain. This typically happens in the thick portion of the muscle. There are three different types of hamstring strains:

  • Grade I (mild): Over stretching without tearing of the muscle or tendon fibers. Pain may be noticed with sitting, climbing stairs, or walking. There may be minimal swelling, but typically no loss in strength or flexibility

  • Grade II (moderate): Partial tear in the hamstring muscles. Pain can be more immediate and there can be a reduction of strength and flexibility in the muscle. Limping is likely during walking, muscle is sore to the touch, and there is pain with contraction of the muscle. There may or may not be accompanied bruising with a Grade II hamstring injury.

  • Grade III (severe): Severe tear or complete rupture. There may be a large lump of muscle under the skin above where a depression may be. Frequently, there is sudden sharp pain in the back of the thigh accompanied by a significant bruise that may appear a few days after injury. This may require surgical repair.

Another common hamstring injury is hamstring tendonitis. This occurs when there is overuse to any of the hamstring tendons. Overuse can occur when the tendons are asked to work harder than normal due to imbalances or asymmetries. Hamstring tendonitis can lead to hip pain and knee pain. Left untreated, a hamstring tendinitis can turn into a hamstring tendinopathy, a condition of chronic degeneration to the hamstring tendon with significant accumulation of scar tissue and chronic inflammation. Hamstring tendinopathies are very uncomfortable and create significant functional limitations. The most common symptoms of hamstring tendonitis are:

  • Aching or dull throbbing pain, often at the sit bone (ischial tuberosity)

  • Muscle stiffness

  • Sharp, burning pain

  • Swelling or inflammation

Your Hamstrings are the muscle group on the backside of your upper leg and are comprised of three different muscles. They all have the same common function of flexing your knee as well as slightly extending your hip backwards - think of a running motion. Commonly, we hear of ‘tight’ hamstrings being the source of people’s pains and aches. The hamstrings are supposed to be tight or taught in order to create a highly elastic ‘spring’ when performing athletic motions like running or jumping. However, when this tightness displays itself as pain - we need to manage that.


Common Hamstring Injuries:

  • Tight hamstrings

  • Hamstring Strain or Sprain

  • “Pulled Hamstring”

  • Hamstring Insertion Pain

  • Torn Hamstring

The hamstrings respond very well to manual muscle therapy as well as corrective exercises for rehabilitation. By using these methods, as well as chiropractic mobilizations and adjustments when warranted, we see great results for those experiencing pain or tightness in their hamstrings.