24 Oct How Long Does It Take To Return From a Hamstring Injury?
Every athlete has had their fair share of injuries. We all know the frustration when you just can’t seem to shake an injury – desperate to get back on the field but unsure how long you will be out of action. For many thousands of Americans each year a hamstring injury will keep them on the sideline and away from reaching their potential. But what is a hamstring strain and how long will you be out for?
What is a hamstring strain?
The hamstrings are tissues that attach the muscles of the thigh to the bones of the hip. They are incredibly active when running or jumping and as such is a common sports injury. Usually, an injury occurs when they are stretched beyond their limits (think about stretching out an elastic band). If you have injured the hamstrings before then you are significantly more likely to injure them again according to recent research.
How to classify a hamstring strain
Usually, hamstring strains are graded by their severity. The grades go from 1 to 3 in increasing severity. The grades are as follows:
- Grade 1 hamstring strain refers to a mild muscle pull
- A grade 1 strain will usually present as a pain in the back of the leg (thigh). Often you will find it painful to move the leg but you will still be able to walk around and move the muscle just fine.
- Grade 2 refers to a partial muscle tear
- These strains are more painful than grade 1 tears. You might notice as you walk around that you have some reduced power in the thigh.
- Grade 3 refers to a complete muscle tear
- This grade of strain will usually be intensely painful and have bruising over the thigh. You might have heard a pop when you did the injury (this is the tendon snapping completely in half).
How long will it take me to rehab a hamstring strain?
Not surprisingly a more severe strain takes a lot longer to rehab. Timings usually go as such:
- A grade 1 strain usually only takes a few days to weeks to heal up. You should be ready to go soon after the injury.
- A grade 2 strain can take a number of weeks or months to recover.
- A grade 3 strain can take months to recover.
Rehab is usually finely tuned to the individual. It should be no surprise that not every family practitioner can offer this level of care. However, if you or somebody you know has suffered a hamstring strain you can always get in contact with a specialist sports injury center and they will usually be able to offer you individualized care you just can’t get anywhere else. If getting back on the field is imperative to your success, don’t gamble on a sub-par rehab. Get the best to be the best.