Hamstring Injuries

As winter sports begin again, the potential risk of associated injuries also increases. Sports have an increased risk of participants developing soft tissue injuries, specifically hamstring injuries.

Muscular injuries constitute around 40% of sports related injuries, with the hamstrings being the most frequently affected muscle group. Especially in sports that involve sprinting, kicking, acceleration and change of direction – such as Football, Soccer, Netball, Basketball and Tennis.

What causes hamstring injuries?

The hamstring muscle group is made up of 3 separate muscles (Biceps femoris, semitendinosus and semimembranosus) that are located at the back of the thigh, with their main role being to provide extension of the hip joint (Straightening the hip from a bent position, or swinging it behind you) and bending the knee (As you would in a squat, or to sit down).

The hamstring complex can be put under a lot of stress when a highspeed contraction or an overstretching of the muscle occurs, this can lead to rupture of the fibers within the muscle to varying degrees.

Different Types of Hamstring Injury

The location and amount of muscle fibre damage will allow your practitioner to diagnose the severity of the injury, which is then categorized with a Grade from 1-4.

  1. Grade 1: Minor injuries that result in some pain both during and after activity, Both Range of motion and strength are maintained.
  2. Grade 2: Involves moderate muscle damage, this will result in pain during the activity that forces the individual to cease, Range of motion is impacted due to pain and there is substantial muscle weakness.
  3. Grade 3: Substantial muscle damage is produced with pain and range of motion will both be considerably reduced, even after 24 hours post injury.
  4. Grade 4: Complete muscle or tendon tear, often the individual will feel a sudden pain and inability to continue activity, more often any form of muscle contraction is less painful than pain felt in a Grade 3 injury. 

What Do I Do if i have had a hamstring injury?


Straight after a suspected hamstring injury you should follow the ‘PEACE & LOVE’ method, which Dr Mitch has written another blog on HERE. This method give the muscle fibres the best chance to heal.


If you have injured your hamstring, please make an appointment with one of our fantastic practitioners so that they can assess, treat and prescribe you a management plan which will outline the next steps. This is important as the next phase of recovery will depend on the grade and location of the injury.

Often the practitioner will slowly incorporate a range of different exercises which will progressively load the hamstring to rebuild strength, endurance and power.

Preventing Re-occurrence

If unfortunately, you’ve had a hamstring injury, the highest chance of reoccurrence is in the first 2-4 weeks of full competitive sport.

Our Practitioners are qualified to prescribe exercises that will allow an individual the best chance of returning to sport in a timely manner and avoiding re-injuring the muscle. This will likely involve them working with you through the stages of building you back up to your pre-injury fitness, including stretching, strengthening, resolving imbalances and retraining the hamstring to work in the sporting environment.


If you are suffering from a hamstring problem or have any further questions, please make an appointment with one of our practitioners to help get you back to playing in no time

Macdonald, B., McAleer, S., Kelly, S., Chakraverty, R., Johnston, M., & Pollock, N. (2019). Hamstring rehabilitation in elite track and field athletes: applying the British Athletics Muscle Injury Classification in clinical practice. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 53(23), 1464. https://doi.org/10.1136/bjsports-2017-098971
Pollock, N., James, S. L. J., Lee, J. C., & Chakraverty, R. (2014). British athletics muscle injury classification: a new grading system. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 48(18), 1347. https://doi.org/10.1136/bjsports-2013-093302


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