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The group of muscles and tendons that run down the back of your leg are called your hamstrings. Injuries to these muscles or tendons are common in people who participate in sports that require sprinting such as football.
Mild injuries to your hamstring can often be treated at home using the RICE method:
- Rest - avoid any strenuous activity
- Ice - wrap an ice pack in a tea towel and apply for 20 minutes several times per day
- Compression - use a compression bandage to help control and swelling
- Elevate - elevate your leg slightly when sitting or lying down.
Over the counter medication such as ibuprofen or paracetamol may help to your symptoms. Once your pain is controlled your GP may refer you for physical therapy to help keep your hamstrings toned and stretched.
In the case of a more serious tear or detachment, your consultant may recommend surgical repair. Torn muscles can be stitched together. A tendon that has torn away from the bone can be surgically reattached using stitches or staples.
Recovery following any hamstring repair will require rest and rehabilitation. You may need to work with a physical therapist to regain strength and tone in your hamstrings. They will also advise you on exercises to prevent further hamstring injury.
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