A strained or pulled hamstring can cause discomfort and can be debilitating in some cases. The damage to the muscles in the rear region of the thigh often distresses athletes, but can also occur in falls or other daily activities.
The pain and associated tissue tenderness should be properly controlled for the cells to start the recuperation and mending of the muscle strain. Unless the tissue damage is extensive, there are a number of home remedies that can help promote the healing and rehabilitation process so that the individual can resume his/her activities.
When it comes to muscle strains in the leg including a pulled hamstring, they often occur during sports. Any form of activity must be stopped right after an injury or damage will only become worse. The muscle tissue fibers that have been stretched can end up separated or torn. Always bear in mind that rest can provide pain relief. The individual must rest without any weight placed on the leg for 48 hours. If possible, the thigh area should be elevated as well.
Application of ice
An ice pack or reusable gel packs are the initial first aid care for a pulled hamstring. These are applied at the time of injury and at home while the individual is resting. During the first 2-3 days of inflammation, the application of ice must be done at 20-minutes over the pulled hamstring at 3 times throughout the day.
If a reusable gel pack is available, it should be stored in the refrigerator so that it produces a comfortable temperature for effective pain relief.
The hamstring muscles should be able to support the body weight and must also be supported while the individual walks. An elastic wrap for the thigh can be used to minimize the tenderness while ensuring adequate structural reinforcement at the same time.
Using a cane or crutches can also help with the healing of a pulled hamstring by minimizing the physical strain on the affected leg.
Application of heat
Warm showers, hot compresses, heating pads and Jacuzzi soaks can be utilized to provide heat a few days after the inflammation completely subsides. Heat reduces the muscle tension in the pulled hamstring that is healing.
It is recommended to apply heat for 20 minutes before stretching once it is safe for the individual to resume his/her exercise routine. In addition, heat can also be used for pain relief by alternating the heat applications with cold therapy.
When to resume activity
Always bear in mind that a pulled hamstring can take 10 days up to 3 months or more to fully heal. Resume any activity in a steady manner is vital to cut down the rehabilitation time.
Mild stretching of the injured area must be done before the strengthening exercises before returning to his/her sport or daily activities. A doctor or physical therapist can provide the suitable exercises for the degree of injury sustained by the individual.