Hamstring muscles anatomy
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Hamstring or femoral
Perhaps the quintessential sign of a thigh injury is when an athlete grabs at the back of his or her thigh. Afterward, he or she may describe a shooting pain. However, a thigh injury can also come on more gradually, as a pain that worsens with activity.
The keys to recovery are severity and rehabilitation. The injury can range from a minor strain to a complete tear. The more vigorous your sport, the more likely you are to sustain a rupture. While there are situations that require surgery, most hamstring pulls are treated conservatively, with rest, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to relieve swelling, compression, ice and immobilization. Crutches may be called for in some cases.
Hamstring exercises at home
Despite being part of our lower body, the hamstring musculature presents the same problem as the entire posterior torso musculature: the vast majority of our daily movements are performed in the anterior plane and, consequently, the musculature of the rear part tends to be atrophied or shortened.
To understand a little more about the hamstring muscles, we should know that they are a powerful and bulky musculature, located at the back of our thigh and that one of their main functions is to act on the knee by flexing and rotating it.
Having a shortened hamstring muscles, will prevent us from performing some exercises normally, and this will bring with it a greater muscle stiffness that we will notice over time if we do not remedy it in time.
To avoid the appearance of this muscle stiffness in the hamstring muscles (this is also valid for other parts of our musculature), we must be aware of the importance of stretching once the exercise is finished, especially if it has been of high intensity. In addition, we can incorporate the work with Lacrosse balls or foam roller with the aim of relaxing and releasing that area of our musculature.
The hamstrings play an important role in leg flexibility. This isometric bridge exercise is ideal for improving pelvic and knee flexibility, so it will help you become more flexible overall.If you want to learn more exercises to increase your flexibility, be sure to check out our article 14 flexibility exercises.
In addition to strengthening the hamstrings, hamstring flexion and stretching exercises increase the flexibility of the knees, giving your legs the strength to withstand high-impact exercises. You can do these hamstring exercises at the gym on a Smith machine or parallel bar.
The Nordic curl is a great exercise to increase knee flexibility and strengthen the hamstrings. You can do it at the gym or, if you prefer hamstring exercises at home, you can find a surface to hook your feet on. We explain how to do the Nordic curl here: