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Hamstring Strain

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When Will a Hamstring Strain Feel Better?

Recovery time depends on how badly you injured the hamstring. Keep in mind that people heal at different rates. While you get better, you should strengthen the hamstring with a new activity that won't aggravate the strain. For instance, runners could try doing laps in a pool.

Whatever you do, don't rush things. Don't even try to return to your old level of physical activity until:

  • You can move your leg as freely as your uninjured leg
  • Your leg feels as strong as your uninjured leg
  • You feel no pain in your leg when you walk, jog, sprint, or jump

If you start pushing yourself before the hamstring strain is healed, you could re-injure the hamstring and develop permanent muscle weakness.

How Can I Prevent a Hamstring Strain?

As hamstring strains can be nasty injuries, athletes should work hard to avoid them. After all, healing a hamstring strain is much harder than preventing it. Here are some tips:

  • Stretch before and after physical activity.
  • Always increase the intensity of your physical activity slowly -- no more than a 10% increase a week.
  • Stop exercising if you feel pain in the back of your thigh.
  • Stretch and strengthen hamstrings as a preventative measure.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Varnada Karriem-Norwood, MD on June 05, 2013
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