5 Simple Exercises to Relieve Hamstring Strain
Hamstring strain is quite a pain in the back – literally. The first sensation is that of a sharp pain in the back of your leg, sometimes accompanied by a popping sensation as well, which causes you to fall down, unable to hold your weight on the injured leg. It generally occurs when you are overtaxing your biceps femoris, semitendinosus, and semimembranosus muscles which run along the back of your leg and allow you bend the knee and extend the hip.
The hamstring strain is not something that you should take lightly. Some of the symptoms you may experience are:
Constant pain in the back of your leg with every flexing or extending move you try to make with your leg;
Tenderness and/or swelling, bruising at the back of your thigh;
Continued weakness in the leg, even days after the injury; the feeling that your knee is about to give out when you try to put pressure on it.
Recovery from hamstring strain involves anti-inflammatory medication prescribed by your doctor and lots of stretching exercises. We are trying to give you a helping hand and speed you up on the path of recovery, so we decided to put together 5 simple exercises to do every day. They will help you relieve hamstring strain, regain your full mobility and get you back to your usual life and exercising routine in no time.
1. Chair Drags
You have probably done this in your office countless times as you were trying to navigate between your computer, the printer and various other items that you needed. You will need an ergonomic office chair with swivel wheels. Sit on it and try dragging yourself forward.
During the first exercise, attempt to drag yourself forward for 10 metres. As you progress, gradually increase the number of times you perform the 10 metres drag, until you reach 10.
2. The Sitting Stretch
Sit on the floor with the legs stretched out in front of you. Lift up your feet and curl your toes and then bend forward, keeping your knees flat on the floor. Move slowly and steadily until you reach your toes with your fingertips.
Hold the position for up to 30 seconds, sit back up and repeat the exercise 2-3 times.
3. The Standing Stretch
You should proceed with this exercise only after you are comfortable doing the sitting stretch. Place your foot on a desk or table and bend forward, keeping your leg straight (do not bend the knee), until you can touch your toes with your fingertips.
Hold the position for 20-30 seconds and repeat the exercise for 4 or 5 times, in a smooth progression until you can do it 10 times.
4. The High Step-Up
Find a box, a chair or any other solid item you can step on, which causes your knee and hip to move to an angle of 90° from your body. Step up and down slowly, placing your foot firmly flat on the step. Increase the number of steps to 20 and then multiply them to 5 sessions with a 2 or 3-minute break between sessions.
5. The Supported Stretch
For this exercise, you need to lie down across an open doorway. Place the foot of the injured leg on the door frame and slowly slide it upwards until you feel a stretch in your muscle. Hold the position, slide your foot down and repeat in smooth progression until you can do the exercise 10 times with ease.
These simple exercises, which you can do at home, do not need any special equipment and will help you regain your mobility in the injured leg and recover from the hamstring strain in an optimal period of time.