The hamstrings are the muscles down the back of the thigh, which are responsible for bending the knee and extending the hip. They are used most when running especially at speed. The hamstrings are often torn as a result of a sudden burst of running, often without warming up first. Hamstring injuries are usually sport related. The commonest cause of problems being football, rugby and athletics. See Muscles for information about how muscles work. After a thigh injury the power in the hamstrings is greatly reduced and the patient will often limp when walking and have difficulty in bending the hip and straightening their knee. At first the patient needs to take small steps and not put any strain on the torn muscle fibres. Only when a return to full muscle strength has been achieved, under medical supervision, is it sensible for the patient to indulge in any form of sport, training or additional exercise by way of keep kit classes, working out in a gym, aerobics etc.
Rest and the application of techniques are very important to improve the circulation and reduce the amount of adhesions between the muscle fibres. Treatment with Connective Tissue Manipulation and gentle exercises, once the limb is comfortable, speeds up the repair process and helps the patient to return to normal activities as early as possible.