Hamstring Strain Treatment

Hamstring tendon strain is one of the most common running injuries, affecting a set of muscles located in the back of the thigh. While mild hamstring strain may cause only a light feeling of discomfort, chronic hamstring strain can be severely crippling. What makes proper hamstring strain rehabilitation so crucial is that patients suffering from hamstring tendon strain have a 30 percent chance of re-injury. How to treat hamstring strain is the subject of this post.

The hamstrings are three muscles responsible for flexing and bending the knee. Each muscle begins as a tendon and runs from the pelvic bones through the femur, ultimately attaching itself to the bones of the leg (the tibia and fibula). The hamstrings work together with the quadriceps muscles in the anterior thigh, both anchoring the knee joint and allowing us to run and walk. When the quads and hamstrings are out of sync, it can seriously impair an individual’s ability to walk. This is when hamstring strain rehab becomes necessary.

Knowing how to treat hamstring strain begins with understanding the mechanisms of dysfunction. The severity of injury is ranked on a graded scale between I and III, with I being the mildest and III being the most severe. Grade I hamstring strain, or mild hamstring strain, refers to hamstrings that are stretched without being torn. Patients will feel a slight ache at the back of the thigh, along with tightness and pain when bending the knee. Grade II hamstring strain may result in a sharp pain in the buttocks or at the back of the thigh, and bending the knee may be difficult. Grade III hamstring strain, or chronic hamstring strain, refers to a total inability to bend the knee. A patient may have to walk with crutches. In extreme cases the hamstrings may become totally ruptured.

For those wondering how to treat hamstring strain, New York Dynamic Rehabilitation clinic (NYDNRehab) offers hamstring strain rehabilitation for both mild and chronic hamstring strain. The success of our method lies in its combination of conventional therapy with some of the most advanced technologies currently available for hamstring strain rehab. We begin by using technological gait analysis, in which the patient walks along a treadmill while markers are attached to key positions on his or her body for precise diagnosis of walking abnormalities. Because we focus not only on the hamstring itself but on the tissue surrounding the hamstring, assessment provided by gait analysis shows us the best methods for how to treat a hamstring strain. In some cases we continue hamstring strain rehab with extracorporeal shockwave therapy, a recently developed treatment in which high-frequency pressure waves are applied to the tissues, increasing blood circulation and degenerating damaged tendons.

Those at a loss for how to treat hamstring strain will find help at NYDRehab. We offer the first outpatient gait analysis in New York City. With over fifteen years’ experience treating orthopedic and sports injuries, we remain at the cutting edge of treatment for runners, sprinters, dancers, and other athletes.

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In this instance, an athlete was originally diagnosed with minor quadriceps muscle strain and was treated for four weeks, with unsatisfactory results. When he came to our clinic, the muscle was not healing, and the patients’ muscle tissue had already begun to atrophy.

Upon examination using MSUS, we discovered that he had a full muscle thickness tear that had been overlooked by his previous provider. To mitigate damage and promote healing, surgery should have been performed immediately after the injury occurred. Because of misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatment, the patient now has permanent damage that cannot be corrected.

The most important advantage of Ultrasound over MRI imaging is its ability to zero in on the symptomatic region and obtain imaging, with active participation and feedback from the patient. Using dynamic MSUS, we can see what happens when patients contract their muscles, something that cannot be done with MRI. From a diagnostic perspective, this interaction is invaluable.

Dynamic ultrasonography examination demonstrating
the full thickness tear and already occurring muscle atrophy
due to misdiagnosis and not referring the patient
to proper diagnostic workup

Demonstration of how very small muscle defect is made and revealed
to be a complete tear with muscle contraction
under diagnostic sonography (not possible with MRI)


Complete tear of rectus femoris
with large hematoma (blood)


Separation of muscle ends due to tear elicited
on dynamic sonography examination

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