All About Hamstrings

We’re sure that most of you would have heard someone say that they’ve ‘pulled a hammy’ before.

Although, don’t be fooled by this colloquial term or an Australian’s nature to downplay such an injury. Hamstring injuries are serious and athletes are particularly susceptible.

Wait, tell me a little about the hamstring?

Hamstring injuries are one of the most common injuries that we see come into the practice, usually resulting from an incident on the sporting field or court. The hamstring area is located on the back of the upper leg and is composed of three separate muscles, the Biceps Femoris, Semimembranosus and Semitendinosus. The key movement of the hamstring is to bend the knee and to straighten or extend the hip.

Why are they so susceptible to injury?

Hamstring injuries are often caused by a significant imbalance between the quadriceps muscle (at the front of the thigh) and the hamstring muscles (at the back of the thigh). As the quadriceps are such a large and powerful muscle group, it is very easy for our hamstring to become overpowered which results in the hamstring constantly becoming strained and overstretched.

There are also acute hamstring injuries. Usually this happens in a single event where the hamstring is put under a large amount of strain, all at once usually due to a very sudden or sharp force applied against it. When this happens, athletes can often actually hear the ‘pop’ of the injury.

What makes you at risk of sustaining a hamstring injury?

  • Previously sustaining a hamstring injury
  • If you’re a player who’s age is increasing
  • If you regularly perform sudden, sharp movements in your sport
  • If you have a strength imbalance between your quads and hamstrings
  • If you have poor flexibility
  • If you have poor strength
  • Failure to undertake adequate warm up before activity
  • Not incorporating a daily stretching routine into your schedule

What should I know next?

If you suspect problem hamstrings, it’s best to get in touch with your physiotherapist as you could have a potential strain or tear in any of the three major muscles that make up the hamstring. Not only must you have your physiotherapist accurately diagnose which muscle the injury has occurred in, it’s also then crucial to determine the grade of your hamstring injury. A hamstring injury will usually fall into any of these 3 gradings:

  • Grade 1 – Mild
  • Grade 2 – Moderate
  • Grade 3 – Severe

Your physio will be able to take you through the ins and outs of each grade so you can understand the extent of your hamstring injury which in-turn will affect your injury rehabilitation. Rehabilitation varies from grade to grade with grade 1 hamstring injuries recommended to be rested for approximately 3 weeks, grade 2 rested for 4-6 weeks and grade 3 rested for approximately 3 months and may involve surgical repair as a general rule.

Get started on having problem free hamstrings

Our highly trained and experienced team of physiotherapist have helped so many local athletes successfully rehabilitate their hamstring injuries over the years and you’re no exception. Don’t put up with your problem hamstrings any longer. You can contact Progressive Sports & Spinal Physiotherapy today by either calling on (02) 4721 7798, emailing info@progressiverehab.com.au or clicking here to book online for a thorough assessment and tailored treatment plan to get on top of your hamstring issues.

Suzanne graduated from Western Sydney University with a Bachelor of Health Science (Sports and Exercise Science) in 2015. She then went on to continue her studies at Macquarie University graduating from the Doctor of Physiotherapy post-graduate degree in June 2019.

Since graduating, Suzanne has worked in the local Penrith area in both private practice and Sports Physiotherapy. Suzanne has worked with sporting teams including Penrith District Netball Association, Mt Druitt Rangers (NPL), Penrith Valley Figure Skating Club, and local dance and cheer schools. 

Suzanne has a particular interest in working with artistic athletes including cheerleaders and dancers. She has a professional background in both cheer and dance and has previously worked as both a cheer coach and dance teacher. Suzanne’s previous experiences are an invaluable resource to her as a physiotherapist, as she has a thorough understanding of the level of physical fitness and skill acquisition that these athletes must have in order to be successful on stage and in competition.

Suzanne’s other areas of clinical interest reside in lower limb musculoskeletal injuries, spinal pathologies and women’s health.

Nathanial graduated as a physiotherapist in 2012 which saw him work in private practice and hospital settings gaining experience in all areas of physiotherapy including hand therapy, splinting/casting, pre/post-operative care, Men’s Health and general musculoskeletal, occupational and sports physiotherapy. Since then he has gone on to complete further studies in physiotherapy enabling him to be the only dual titled Musculoskeletal, Sports and Exercise Physiotherapist in Penrith.

Nathanial has a strong background in sports physiotherapy achieving accreditation with NSWIS as a service provider and working with many elite sports teams.

Nathanial has a particular interest in working with elite athletes, complex cases and in particular assessment and management of knee, hip and shoulder pain.

Andrea graduated from the Australian Catholic University completing her Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science in 2018 and Master’s of Clinical Exercise Physiology in 2020. After graduating she attained accreditation with ESSA as an Exercise Physiologist.

During her studies she gained clinical experience in both hospital and private practice settings, working in the cardiac rehabilitation program, heart failure service and mental health unit at Nepean Hospital. And at the ACU Exercise and Lifestyle Clinic working with clients with neurological conditions, cancer and chronic musculoskeletal injuries.

Since graduating, Andrea enjoys working with a variety of clients. She has a particular interest in treating musculoskeletal injuries and neurological conditions, striving to help people increase their functional capacity to get them back to work, sport or the things they love doing.