Aruba Sports Medicine

Hamstring Injury

Hamstring Injury


A hamstring injury is a strain or tear to the tendons or large muscles at the back of the thigh.

It’s a common injury in athletes and can occur in different severities. The 3 grades of hamstring injury are:

grade 1 – a mild muscle pull or straingrade

grade 2 – a partial muscle tear

grade 3 – a complete muscle tear

Natasha Barnes - Hamstring Injuries in Climbers - TrainingBeta

The length of time it takes to recover from a hamstring strain or tear will depend on how severe the injury is.

A minor muscle pull or strain (grade 1) may take a few days to heal, whereas it could take weeks or months to recover from a muscle tear (grade 2 or 3).

The hamstrings are tendons (strong bands of tissue) at the back of the thighs that attach the large thigh muscle to the bone.

The term “hamstring” also refers to the group of 3 muscles that run along the back of your thigh, from your hip to just below your knee.

The hamstring muscles aren’t used much while standing or walking, but they’re very active during activities that involve bending the knee, such as running, jumping and climbing.

Hamstring Muscle Tendinopathy | Orthopedics Sports Medicine

What causes hamstring injuries?

A hamstring injury can occur if any of the tendons or muscles are stretched beyond their limit.

They often occur during sudden, explosive movements, such as sprinting, lunging or jumping. But they can also occur more gradually, or during slower movements that overstretch your hamstring.

Recurring injury is common in athletes and sportsmen, as you’re more likely to injure your hamstring if you’ve injured it before.

Regularly doing stretching and strengthening exercises, and warming up before exercise, may help reduce the risk of injuring your hamstring.

How do I know if I’ve injured my hamstring?

Mild hamstring strains (grade 1) will usually cause sudden pain and tenderness the back of your thigh. It may be painful to move your leg, but the strength of the muscle shouldn’t be affected.

Partial hamstring tears (grade 2) are usually more painful and tender. There may also be some swelling and bruising at the back of your thigh and you may have lost some strength in your leg.

Severe hamstring tears (grade 3) will usually be very painful, tender, swollen and bruised. There may have been a “popping” sensation at the time of the injury and you’ll be unable to use the affected leg.

Rest and recovery

Recovering from a hamstring injury may take days, weeks or months, depending on how severe the strain or tear is.

A completely torn hamstring (grade 3) may take several months to heal and you’ll be unable to resume training or play sport during this time.

Initial treatment

During the first 2 or 3 days, you should care for your injury using RICE therapy:

Rest – keep your leg as still as you possibly can and avoid physical activity. Your GP may recommend using crutches in more severe cases.

Ice – apply cold packs (a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a tea towel will also work) to your hamstring for up to 20 minutes every 2 to 3 hours during the day. Don’t apply ice directly to your skin.

Compression – compress or bandage the thigh to limit any swelling and movement that could cause further damage. You can use a simple elastic bandage or elasticated tubular bandage available from a pharmacy.

 Elevation – keep your leg raised and supported on a pillow as much as possible, to help reduce any swelling.

Regular painkillers, such as paracetamol or a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) cream or gel, may also help relieve the pain.

Short-term use of oral NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen tablets, can also help reduce swelling and inflammation. However, these aren’t suitable for everyone. Check the leaflet that comes with your medication to see if you can take it.

Gentle exercises and stretches

Returning to strenuous exercise too quickly could make your injury worse, but avoiding exercise for too long can cause your hamstring muscles to shrink and scar tissue to form around the tear.

To avoid this, you should start doing gentle hamstring stretches after a few days, when the pain has started to subside.

This should be followed by a programme of gentle exercise, such as walking and cycling, and hamstring strengthening exercises.



Utility of Musculoskeletal Ultrasound in Sports Medicine

Nowadays, musculoskeletal ultrasound has become a necessary and very useful tool for the diagnosis and prognosis of sports injuries, its use is increasingly established in the world of sports and has multiple advantages over other modalities.

It is fast, cheap and, in addition, it allows interaction with the patient, which has led to an exponential growth in their employment.

Therefore, in the field of Sports Medicine and Traumatology, in the event of an injury it is necessary to reach an exact diagnosis in the shortest possible time, to be able to establish an immediate treatment, which allows to shorten the recovery. This is where ultrasound is a basic tool for the study of all injuries, which limit the athlete’s performance so much. In addition, ultrasound allows a rigorous and detailed evolutionary control to be carried out, assessing the day-to-day of the injury.

Among the many advantages that this diagnostic technique provides over other study techniques, especially in the assessment of tissues such as muscle, ligament and tendon, the following should be noted:

– It allows dynamic studies to be carried out, which accurately determine the diagnosis of small lesions, which may go unnoticed, when the structures remain at rest. In the case of complex joint unions such as the scapulo-humeral joint, from dynamic maneuvers, the existence of entrapment syndromes can be demonstrated.

– It allows the carrying out of repeated studies that facilitate an evolutionary control in the day-to-day of the injured athlete. As there are no contraindications, this rapid technique allows a comparative examination with the healthy side to determine the extent and characteristics of the lesion area.

– At present, the use of compact equipment facilitates the use of this technique in the field, thanks to the ease of application, safety, its non-radiant character and its accessibility.

– New technological advances such as three-dimensional study, elastography, high-resolution Doppler or Doppler quantification, are making it possible to complete the examination of the musculoskeletal lesion so that small lesions are now easily diagnosed.

On the other hand, some drawbacks of ultrasound must be considered in comparison with other diagnostic techniques, such as the limited independence of the explorer, interobservative variability, poor visualization of the bone, and intra-articular structures as well as that of certain muscles.

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Usefulness of Ultrasound in injuries that appear as a result of sports activity :

  • Epicondylitis or “tennis elbow”
  • Epitrocleitis or “golfer’s elbow”
  • Painful shoulder from rotator cuff tendon injuries, bursitis, etc.
  • Biceps brachii tendinitis
  • Wrist sprain
  • Finger tendonitis
  • Painful hip from injury to the adductors or pubalgia
  • Bruising on the thigh from contusions or ruptured rectum
  • Hamstring muscle rupture with posterior thigh pain
  • Knee sprain with involvement of lateral ligaments
  • Quadriceps or patellar tendinopathy (“jumper’s knee”)
  • “Goose foot” tendinopathy (pain on the inside of the knee)
  • Tennis leg
  • Ankle sprains or strains
  • Achilles tendon tendinopathies
  • Plantar fasciitis or pain in the sole of the foot
  • Tears or strains of the rectus abdominis


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CEMEDAR Center for Sports Medicine in Aruba

Aruba, despite being a small island, has a sports medical center, which offers its services to all practitioners of physical activity and sports, has high-tech equipment and highly experienced professionals who offer their services in various branches of sports medicine, athletes and practitioners of physical activity throughout the island.

Sports medicine is the medical specialty that studies the effects of competitive exercise and physical activity in general, on the human body, focusing on the prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of diseases and injuries that occur in practitioners, also in the evaluation of the physical conditions and performance of the athletes
Every day it has a greater role in both high performance and recreational sports, offering scientific support for the achievement of high results in elite athletes, and at a recreational level promoting the level of health and well-being of the population, offering care and guidance so that The practice of sport is always a means to raise the standard of living and the health of the population, at all ages, starting from an early age to the elderly.
The main tasks of sports medicine are:
• Preventive mission.
• Guiding mission.
• Healing mission.

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Services offered:

  • Sports Traumatology
  • Sports medicine
  • Physiotherapy
  • Sports Psychology
  • Sports Massage
  • Athlete Functional Assessment


The services offered by the Arubano CEMEDAR sports medical center are available to the entire population of Aruba, both high-performance athletes and the general population, we have professionals in medicine and sports sciences willing to offer their services for well-being of the entire population, the practice of physical exercise has in CEMEDAR a center of high scientific level that everyone can use and benefit from its services.