Hamstring Strain

What is it?

A hamstring strain is a common leg injury involving a tear in one or more hamstring muscles. A hamstring strain can range from mild to very severe, involving a complete calf muscle tear. 

You have four hamstring muscles: Semimembranosus and Semitendinosus (medially) and Biceps Femoris – short and long heads (laterally).

Mechanism of Injury

Common reasons for a hamstring strain or injury can be primary or secondary.



Severity of Muscle Strains. 

Muscle strains are graded as mild, moderate and severe. The more severe the strain, the longer the time to recover. 

Common Management Techniques

While every hamstring injury and your sport’s demands differ, here are some general hamstring strain recovery times when you follow an optimal physiotherapist-guided rehabilitation program.


Usually mild to moderate strains heal on their own with time, in the initial phase it is best to rest and avoid any aggravating activities. Crutches may be useful to decrease the amount of weight placed through the leg if walking is painful. Over the counter analgesia and anti-inflammatories can be used for pain relief, if these are not adequate or are being required long term then it is best to seek advice from a medical professional.


At home treatments can include ice, compression and elevation to limit swelling. Although it is difficult to keep a leg above the level of the heart (the optimal position for swelling reduction,) it’s a good idea to keep the leg elevated on the couch or on the bed potentially using extra pillows if needed.


Once the initial inflammation has resolved, focus can turn to strengthening and stretching


Most patients will recover completely if they follow the recommended treatment plan for Hamstring Strains. You can help prevent this condition by stretching before any physical activity and performing regular exercises to strengthen and stretch the muscles in the legs.