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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 work 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, then jog, then sprint, then finally jump

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

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:

  • Warm up before and stretch after physical activity.
  • Increase 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.

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