Pulled Hamstring is a common injury that may occur from running, playing football and even from doing your daily activities. Hamstring muscles work to bend the knee and extend the hips. Any activity which involves bending and straightening a leg can cause a pulled hamstring. You can apply first aid to a pulled hamstring right in your own home as long as the injury is minor.
Three Levels of Severity
Pulled hamstring has three levels of severity. Before applying first aid, the severity of the hamstring pull must be diagnosed in order to apply the proper treatment.
Grade 1 exhibits discomfort when walking and this is caused by tightness in the back of the thigh. Minimal swelling also occurs.
Grade 2 hamstring pull has partially torn muscle, causing the person to limp when walking. Swelling is more evident.
Grade 3 requires immediate attention by a doctor. There is severe pain and swelling is large. When a person has the grade 2 or 3 hamstring pull, he or she should visit a doctor for the correct treatment.
First Aid Tips
A person applying first aid to a hamstring pull should follow the "RICE" pattern, which stands for:
R Rest: The injured leg must be rested often but make sure that the person still engages in some activities because inactivity may hinder the healing process.
I Ice: Apply an ice pack wrapped in a dish cloth on the injured hamstring for fifteen to twenty minutes per session. Repeat this process several times a day for the first three days after the injury was incurred.
C Compression: Use a compression bandage to wrap the pulled hamstring but make sure not to wrap it very tightly.
E Elevation: Keep the injured leg elevated while resting or while using an ice pack.
Aside from these, the person can start to stretch gently around the area. Guide him or her to move slowly and hold the movement before pain starts to attack again. If the pain has not yet subsided after three days, you should contact a doctor.
Prevent Hamstring Pull
- If you want to keep yourself from having a pulled hamstring, good health, fitness, strength and flexibility are the key factors.
- If you are trying a new form of exercise, consult your doctor before you go on with the activities.
- Remember to work at a pace you are most comfortable at.
- Never forget to warm-up before doing an exercise routine and to cool-down after doing these. Warming up helps the body to get ready for action while cooling down helps it to gradually rest and calm down.
- If you are an athlete who has a big game the next day, make sure to have enough rest in order to condition the body for the vigorous activity.
Pulled hamstrings are common to people and these can be easily treated at home by applying first aid methods. You can treat the injury by yourself but if the pain does not go away after three days, go to your doctor.