Considered fairly common among both amature and professional athletes, a hamstring strain involves some type of strain or injury to a group of muscles located along the back of the thigh. Typical causes of hamstring strain include not warming up before exercising, having a previous injury in the same general location or a previous hamstring injury and going through a growth spurt (for teenage athletes). With proper attention following a hamstring injury, the odds of a recurrence, usually taking place within the first week of returning to normal activities, can be greatly reduced.
New York Dynamic Neuromuscular Rehabilitation addresses common sources of hamstring tendon strain to promote healing and shorten the recovery time as much as possible. We realize that any injury can be an annoyance to a dedicated athlete. Determining how to treat a hamstring strain starts with evaluating the severity of the sprain and taking measures to prevent the strain from becoming a more serious injury. Our unique approach to rehabilitation is designed to facilitate the healing process and reduce the risk of re-injury. At the same time, patients are encouraged to make adjustments while recovering such as wearing lighter shoes and modifying their exercise routine.
Symptoms of a hamstring strain include sudden pain while exercising or playing sports, pain in the back of the thigh while straightening a leg or walking and bruising. While anyone can suffer a hamstring strain, male athletes tend to be more vulnerable to this type of injury. Hamstring strains not properly addressed can sometimes have longtime consequences, which means that treatment and hamstring strain rehab should be started as quickly as possible to promote effective healing.
The diagnostic process involves three simple stretches to gauge the level of pain at certain points. These tests include performing an assisted hamstring stretch and quickly straightening the knee, also with assistance. If testing fails to pinpoint a source of the discomfort from the hamstring tendon strain, an MRI scan may be necessary. After we determine how to treat a hamstring strain as it pertains to a specific patient, the next step is to develop a customized hamstring strain rehab plan. The treatment for hamstring tendinitis, for example, is going to be lengthy and more involved than a simple muscle strain, often involving hamstring compressions. Our comprehensive and regenerative treatment plans are based on each patient’s ability and severity of injury.
Our approach to hamstring strain rehab also includes encouraging home exercises. Sets and reps vary based per patient, ranging from basic workouts to specific exercises to improve core strength, stability, and flexibility. Corticosteroid injections, while effective in some cases, may weaken tendons. For this reason, we emphasize non-invasive treatment methods to promote natural healing. Surgery is rare, often requiring nearly six months to fully recover.
A factor in determining how to treat a hamstring strain is the level of activity the patient wishes to return to following recovery. An occasional athlete, for instance, may fully recover within a month while a runner may need about two months to return to competitive or daily running. Our ultimate goal is to restore optimal patient function with a combination of advanced diagnostics and personalized treatments.
At New York Dynamic Neuromuscular Rehabilitation, patients have access to a Computer Assisted Rehabilitation Environment (CAREN). Consisting of a motion base, a projection screen and related software and motion capture, this uniquely controlled environment can be tailored to individual rehab needs. The severity of the hamstring strain is also a contributing factor to our rehabilitation efforts. A patient with chronic hamstring strain likely requires more attention than a mild hamstring strain. At the same time, our comprehensive diagnostics rule out any potentially serious issues that should be addressed prior to starting hamstring strain rehabilitation.
We’re constantly working to determine how to treat hamstring strain in a way that reduces overall recovery time while still maintaining our commitment to exceptional customized rehabilitation methods. Gait analysis helps us determine which exercises to recommend, to prevent re-injury by focusing on the three hamstring muscles and surrounding muscles and tendons. For chronic hamstring strain where neuromuscular balance needs to be restored, we include eccentric exercises into the treatment plan. Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT) can be used for both severe and mild hamstring strain involving degenerating tendons to facilitate the healing process.
Our determination of how to treat hamstring strain also involves preventing scar tissue from forming, which can lengthen recovery time or necessitate a need for surgery in the future to remove the scar tissue. To prevent scar tissue from forming, we recommend an at-home treatment planned coupled with the treatments provided during each session at our clinic. We strive to prevent subsequent injuries by encouraging a gradual return to full activities along with preventative measures such as stopping to address any instances of pain or discomfort when returning to previous activities following rehab.
Whether a patient is dealing with mild, moderate or a chronic hamstring strain, we provide a highly personalized approach to recovery through various therapies and treatments. At the NY Dynamic Neuromuscular Rehabilitation clinic, we believe that resources such as CAREN, state-of-the-art diagnostics and customized treatments make a difference in the level of healing many of our patients experience when coming to us following a hamstring strain.
As mentioned earlier, it’s important to seek treatment for a suspected hamstring issue as soon as possible to restore full function. We further encourage patients to take measures such as resting, icing or elevating the leg if they experience signs of a possible recurrence during normal activities. The most effective approach when it comes to preventing renewed hamstring injuries, however, is to strengthen hamstring muscles and nearby tendons and muscles through exercises that can be continued at home during and after the initial evaluation and treatment that takes place at our New York clinic.
Call New York Dynamic Neuromuscular Rehabilitation today for more information on our hamstring strain rehabilitation services and innovative treatment options.