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Thread: Best treatment for a pulled hamstring?

  1. #1

    Best treatment for a pulled hamstring?

    I pulled a hamstring doing base running before my game yesterday, so I was wondering what's the best treatment that will get me on the field again as soon as possible?
    If you don't think too good, don't think too much.
    Ted Williams

  2. #2
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    There are three different grades of Hamstring pulls. Grade one is minor tears of the muscle, grade 2 is a larger partial tear and grade 3 is a very severe or complete tear of the muscle. You can probably tell which type of tear it is without consulting a doctor.

    Grade 1 Symptoms:
    -tightness in the back of the thigh
    -can still walk well without limping, but minor discomfort/pain is present
    -pressure with a little bit of resistance doesn't cause significant pain.

    Grade 2 Symptoms:
    -Noticable limp
    -Occassional sharp spurts of pain
    -Using the muscle causes significant pain
    -difficulty straightening your knee

    Grade 3 Symptoms:
    -Very difficult to walk, may need crutches
    -Severe pain when moving leg/bending knee
    -Swelling of hamstring

    All three grades should be treated with the "RICE" treatments. Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation.

    Using a compression bandage will help reduce internal bleeding, reducing swelling. Standard ACE bandages work well.

    Even though it's painful you need to move the hamstring. Stretching and exercising to the point of pain, NOT through the point of pain will help heal the injury and reduce swelling.

    Deep massage will also stimulate healing and reduce swelling. Happy endings are optional.

    If you have a serious grade 2 or a grade three pull you should seriously consider seeing a physical therapist.

    Remember that hurrying back to the field may cause the injury to worsen. The term "pulled muscle" is really a misnomer. It is actually a torn muscle. Little tears can easily become big tears. Minor discomfort can easily become severe pain.

  3. #3
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    I had two. Second one far worse on a Monday: had to walk with shuffling two-inch steps. Shuffled into a chiropractor's office Tuesday, but walked out like a man. He said to lay-off for a week but I pitched without a twinge on Wednesday. To me, this a chiropractor kind of job.

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    Quote Originally Posted by virg View Post
    I had two. Second one far worse on a Monday: had to walk with shuffling two-inch steps. Shuffled into a chiropractor's office Tuesday, but walked out like a man. He said to lay-off for a week but I pitched without a twinge on Wednesday. To me, this a chiropractor kind of job.
    Just curious, what did the chiropractor do? Massage and ultrasound?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigandUgly View Post
    Just curious, what did the chiropractor do? Massage and ultrasound?
    massage, the lamp, and ultrasound.

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    Sounds like what the physical therapist would do. A lot of their work seems to overlap. Thanks for the reply.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigandUgly View Post
    Sounds like what the physical therapist would do. A lot of their work seems to overlap. Thanks for the reply.
    well to be precise I'd let a chiro work on muscles and bruises but not my spine, but that was well before P-Ts were around. A PT sounds good.

  8. #8
    It's very possible to get back on the field right away. My son had a fairly severe hamstring injury (tear and bruise) last July. He did literally nothing but RICE and anti-inflamatories all day. It would feel good enough that with some pre-practice or pre-game stretching and then wearing a knee brace to restrict movement he could get through a couple hours of baseball in the afternoons. It definetly limited his ability to fully participate for awhile though.

    In February he re-injured the same leg again. It was due to an accident, so I don't think the previous injury factored into it much. It was also pretty severe. He went to the emergency room. Because of school he didn't do the RICE quite as much and couldn't lay on the couch all day. He didn't resume baseball right away this time. And, this injury actually lingered much longer.

  9. #9
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    rest and time
    "Remember, 90% of the game is half mental" - Yogi Berra

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigandUgly View Post
    There are three different grades of Hamstring pulls. Grade one is minor tears of the muscle, grade 2 is a larger partial tear and grade 3 is a very severe or complete tear of the muscle. You can probably tell which type of tear it is without consulting a doctor.

    Grade 1 Symptoms:
    -tightness in the back of the thigh
    -can still walk well without limping, but minor discomfort/pain is present
    -pressure with a little bit of resistance doesn't cause significant pain.

    Grade 2 Symptoms:
    -Noticable limp
    -Occassional sharp spurts of pain
    -Using the muscle causes significant pain
    -difficulty straightening your knee

    Grade 3 Symptoms:
    -Very difficult to walk, may need crutches
    -Severe pain when moving leg/bending knee
    -Swelling of hamstring

    All three grades should be treated with the "RICE" treatments. Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation.

    Using a compression bandage will help reduce internal bleeding, reducing swelling. Standard ACE bandages work well.

    Even though it's painful you need to move the hamstring. Stretching and exercising to the point of pain, NOT through the point of pain will help heal the injury and reduce swelling.

    Deep massage will also stimulate healing and reduce swelling. Happy endings are optional.

    If you have a serious grade 2 or a grade three pull you should seriously consider seeing a physical therapist.

    Remember that hurrying back to the field may cause the injury to worsen. The term "pulled muscle" is really a misnomer. It is actually a torn muscle. Little tears can easily become big tears. Minor discomfort can easily become severe pain.
    Very good answer...

  11. #11
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    I like using heat for warming up the muscle and trying to workout the soreness and then ice after.
    “If there was ever a man born to be a hitter it was me.” - Ted Williams
    "Didn't come up here to read. Came up here to hit." - Hank Aaron

  12. #12
    Fwiw,

    My younger son pulled one really bad (black and blue) in college the last day of his sophopmore fall season (end of October). They did the RICE thing for all of November and in December prescribed running backwards daily. It was all he was allowed to do and he worked up to about 10 miles a day. I never read up on why this was good but he was totally healed up by the first week of January when they started up again. I was amazed that he never had any more problems with it during his last 3 years.

    THop

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by THop View Post
    Fwiw,

    My younger son pulled one really bad (black and blue) in college the last day of his sophopmore fall season (end of October). They did the RICE thing for all of November and in December prescribed running backwards daily. It was all he was allowed to do and he worked up to about 10 miles a day. I never read up on why this was good but he was totally healed up by the first week of January when they started up again. I was amazed that he never had any more problems with it during his last 3 years.

    THop
    The running helps keep the blood flowing through the legs. Prevents muscle atrophy and encourages healing.

    Running backwards puts more strain on the front of your legs, not the back, and there is a reduced chance of reinjury compared to running forward.

    Tens miles a day may be a little overkill, but I bet he had the most developed calfs on the team.

    The fact that he didn't reinjure himself is probably a combination of good luck and a new found respect for conditioning and pregame warmups to reduce the chance or further injury.

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