The typical sports injuries include the hamstring. It usually occurs in the area of ​​the thigh or calf. Especially sprinters and footballers often suffer from a torn muscle, as the high stress of the muscles in these sports are particularly beneficial. Missing or inadequate warming and stretching then usually cause tearing of the muscle fibers. Strong stinging pain is the result.

What is a torn muscle?

Physiotherapy is especially useful for sports injuries. Muscle hardening is relaxed, lactate is broken down, strains and small muscle tears are detected and treated early.

A hamstring is a sports injury that often occurs in running sports and especially in the area of ​​the thighs or calves. It comes to the rupture of a muscle fiber bundle in this injury and not, as commonly believed, to the rupture of a single muscle fiber.

A hamstring is similar to muscle strain and muscle tearing, with the muscle strain being a much lighter and the muscle tearing a significantly heavier injury. The symptoms of a hamstring include a sudden, stabbing pain and later lasting pain when tensing the appropriate muscle. It also comes in a muscle fiber tear to bleeding in the muscle, which can be detected by an ultrasound examination.

causes

A hamstring is often caused by too strong or too abrupt movements. This can be an onset or a deceleration of a running motion. The torn muscle is often due to fatigue or overloading of the muscle, which can no longer withstand the strong contractions and stretching.

Inadequate warming or cold in winter can also serve as causes. If the muscle is not properly prepared for training, it is insufficiently perfused, communication between muscle and receptors is limited, and the muscle does not respond fast enough. Even basic muscular dysbalances can cause a torn muscle.

Dysbalances occur when a muscle is more developed than its counterpart. Then one muscle has to compensate for the weaknesses of another and is exposed to a higher load. This can then lead to a hamstring.

Symptoms, complaints & signs

A torn muscle fiber expresses itself without warning as an acute, spasmodic pain, similar to a knife or needle stick. The person concerned tries to take a restraint in order not to stress the broken muscle as much as possible. If the sensation of pain increases due to the tensing, pressing or stretching of a muscle, these are further signs of a torn muscle fiber (usually first degree).

If more than five percent of the fibers of the muscle are torn, the symptoms intensify due to swelling, which, however, usually subside again after 24 hours to two days. The formation of a bruise (hematoma) is often the result. Serious muscle fiber tears up to the tear of the muscle bundle are also visible through bleeding, when the connective tissue muscle tissue tears and the blood penetrates into the tissue.

The patient feels the immediate loss of power of the muscle, so that it can only be active to a very limited extent and the movement process is impaired. In addition, a hamstring (from grade II) can also be detected by palpation. As an indication, a dent is evident to the point of warping, because the muscle parts contract to the tendon ends. The exact interpretation of the symptoms and the intensity of the injury should be examined by a doctor.

disease

After a hamstring, the muscle should not be stressed as it takes time for the muscle fibers to grow together. A hamstring requires about 4-7 weeks for healing, with differences depending on the athlete and hamstring.

After a few days or weeks, an improvement should be noticeable. The muscle feels stronger again, becomes more resilient and the elasticity slowly increases. However, there are scars in the musculature, which can also lead in the long term to a limited elasticity of the muscle.

If the muscle is not sufficiently protected after a torn muscle, it can lead to ossification. These develop from bruises and are usually based on the wrong treatment after a hamstring.

complications

A hamstring is a disease that is associated with various complications. As a rule, a torn muscle fiber is caused by an overload of the corresponding muscle. The affected person is particularly disturbed in the movement, since such a hamstring is very painful. Even when at rest, there may be stinging pains in the respective body region.

In some circumstances, even inflammation may develop if the affected area continues to be heavily loaded. In particularly bad cases, even an abscess is formed which is filled with pus fluid. Such an accumulation of pus can cause various other complications. If this fluid enters the bloodstream, it may even lead to blood poisoning.

An infection can also arise. Strong headaches, fever and body aches are the result. Those who want to avoid these complications should seek early medical treatment. By taking appropriate medication can be done quickly and complications do not even occur.

Thus: A muscle tear may be associated with various complications, which should always be treated by a doctor accordingly. Otherwise, permanent consequential damage can threaten, so that a full recovery is no longer possible.

When should you go to the doctor?

The hamstring is an injury that heals in many cases even without the therapeutic options of a doctor. This is especially true when only small areas are affected, so the crack is not very pronounced. Spontaneous healing occurs simply by sparing and possibly cooling the affected muscles. Nevertheless, there are some reasons why it is advisable to go to the doctor.

These include, for example, severe pain that can not be alleviated by cooling or painkillers. Also a big hematoma, a blood accumulation in the tissue, is reason for the doctor visit. This is especially true when the bruise over time does not seem to be less or even encapsulates, which is well palpable as hardening by the layman.

In addition, it is possible that a hemorrhage presses on a blood vessel or a nerve, and there is a compression. This can lead to undersupply of the tissue. Therefore, also numbness or a tingling reason for going to the doctor. Severe pain can also indicate that it is not a torn muscle, but a muscle tear, which should be treated by a doctor. If the injury is caused by a fall or a stroke, the physician can also determine whether a tendon, a ligament or a bony structure is involved.

Treatment & Therapy

Treatment for a hamstring injury differs depending on the severity of injury and the general physical conditions of the injured. The initial supply runs according to the PECH scheme. Accordingly, in a hamstring break break, ice, compression (compression bandage) and luffing are used. This prevents heavy bleeding and swelling. These immediate measures can also be critical to the continued success of the treatment and the duration of the injury.

In the following days, the muscle should be spared extensively. With a hamstring in the leg, armrests make walking easier. There are also cold treatments and exercises for muscle relaxation. The exercises also ensure that the muscle power is maintained. For the healing of a torn muscle fiber, special tape dressings can also be helpful in helping the muscle fibers to grow together.

Whether an operation makes sense is determined individually. In general, however, surgery is only performed if a large part of the muscle fiber bundle is torn and thus the natural merging of the muscle fibers in a severe torn muscle fiber is impossible.

Outlook & Forecast

The prognosis of a hamstring is usually very good. Usually, the injury heals by itself and completely within two to four weeks, depending on severity, as long as the injured muscle is spared. In the case of a muscle tear or muscle tear healing can take longer (up to two months).

Healing promotes various measures. An immediate protection and high-level storage of the muscle prevents severe bleeding. Also heat should be dispensed with. On the observance of the close season should be meticulously, otherwise it can lead to further injuries of the muscle. This can delay the healing unnecessarily or significantly worsen the initial situation.

Also beneficial to the cure are targeted physiotherapy and subsequent physiotherapy. Here, the muscle is gently and increasingly loaded in order to restore the original functionality.

Complications are rare and only occur when the muscle is prematurely overstressed again. In this case too, the prognosis remains good if the patient adheres to the measures described. Muscle tissue is very regenerative, so that permanent damage is almost always excluded.

aftercare

Especially with a pronounced hamstring a good aftercare is important. Although severe fiber tears heal after a few months, the resulting scar tissue is shorter. Also, it does not stretch well enough than normal muscle tissue. Due to different elongation properties also threatened again muscle fiber tears.

Rehabilitation measures that can be individually tailored, however, can counteract this risk. For this purpose, the patient performs isometric exercises. This is followed by coordination and exercise training. The muscles are further burdened step by step in the course of post-treatment, such as by sporting activities such as swimming or cycling, which protect the joints and run harmoniously. Ultimately, sports-specific training can be resumed.

An important rehabilitation measure is the physiotherapy manual lymphatic drainage. It has a decongestant effect and combats pain and pressure on the injured body. It can be done a few days after the hamstring. Helpful are also light stretching exercises and moderate heat.

It is important that the affected muscle has enough time to recover. As a result, complications can be avoided. It is also important to abstain from alcohol because it weakens the immune system of the body and disturbs the healing process. A healthy and protein-rich diet, on the other hand, has a positive effect. So protein is considered an important building material for the organism.

aftercare

Especially with pronounced muscle fiber tears a good aftercare is important. Although severe fiber tears heal after a few months, the resulting scar tissue is shorter. Also, it does not stretch well enough than normal muscle tissue. Due to different elongation properties also threatened again muscle fiber tears. Rehabilitation measures that can be individually tailored, however, can counteract the risk.

For this purpose, the patient performs isometric exercises. This is followed by a coordination and exercise training. The muscles are further burdened step by step in the course of post-treatment, such as by sporting activities such as swimming or cycling, which protect the joints and run harmoniously. Ultimately, the athletic training can be resumed.

An important rehabilitation measure is the physiotherapy manual lymphatic drainage. It has a decongestant effect and combats pain and pressure on the injured body. It can be done a few days after the hamstring. Helpful are also light stretching exercises and moderate heat.

It is important that the affected muscle has enough time to recover. As a result, complications can be avoided. It is also important to abstain from alcohol because it weakens the immune system of the body and disturbs the healing process. A healthy and protein-rich diet, on the other hand, has a positive effect. So protein is considered an important building material for the organism.

You can do that yourself

If there is a suspicion of a hamstring, the athletic activity must be stopped immediately to limit the damage. The sooner the right action is taken, the faster the crack heals.

The injured muscle should be immobilized using a sling or bandage. Then cool helps against the pain. These are moist cold compresses and ice packs. Important: ice packs should not come into direct contact with the skin but should be wrapped in a cloth. Otherwise, frostbite threatens. Apply the ice treatment for about 20 minutes. A pressure bandage has a similar effect to cooling with ice. The advantage: The elastic bandage additionally stabilizes the muscle and restricts mobility. However, the dressing should not be placed too tightly so as not to pinch nerves and blood vessels.

Elevating the affected body part helps to reduce blood flow in the injured tissue. This reduces the pain and the swelling goes back. For this reason, heat should also be avoided immediately after the injury, since this stimulates blood circulation. These measures work optimally when used in combination.

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