Your primary care provider or orthopedic specialist will diagnose a hamstring injury. The doctor will conduct a complete medical history and perform a physical exam.
The doctor will assess the severity of the leg swelling, tenderness, and range-of-motion during the physical exam. The doctor may feel a divot within the muscle if there are moderate tears or strains.
If you are concerned that you may have suffered other serious injuries, your provider might order diagnostic testing such as an MRI or xray.
Treatments for hamstring strain or tear
Mild to moderate strains are often treated at home using rest, ice and compression, along with anti-inflammatory medication. To aid the patient in getting around, crutches may be suggested.
- Braces — braces are a great way to keep the area steady during recovery.
- Rehabilitation and physical therapy — Although most hamstring tears heal themselves, some may require therapy or special exercises to regain full function.
- Plaquelet rich plasma (PRP), injection — A PRP injection can speed up the healing process by injecting platelets from the patient’s blood back into the affected area.
A hamstring strain or tear can be treated
The first phase of healing is to reduce inflammation in the pulled muscles. The second phase of rehabilitation aims to restore normal blood supply to the affected areas. The last stage of recovery from a hamstring strain or tear is to heal the muscle so that the person can resume their daily activities.
With diligent home therapy, mild to moderate tears or strains (grades 1 and 2) can be healed in three to eight weeks. Recovery time for a grade 3 strain or hamstring tear can take up to three months.
Resuming sports activities before your injury has fully healed can lead to more serious injuries.