T Nation

Rehabbing a Pulled Hammie

I wasn’t sure where else to put this so I figured this was as good as anything.

note: I did do a search, but none of the threads seemed very definitive. I did read that someone recommended foam rolling, does that sound good?

I pulled my left hamstring playing rugby yesterday and I was wondering what I should do in terms of helping it heal. I’ve pulled both hammies lots of times before and have gone to physio, but I can’t afford that at the moment so any advice would be appreciated.

[quote]chimera182 wrote:
I’ve pulled both hammies lots of times before and have gone to physio, but I can’t afford that at the moment so any advice would be appreciated.[/quote]

If it’s that recent, I’d recommend lots of RICE (rest, ice, elevation) in the first few days. Then, if you’re certain you’ve not torn it, start in soon w/some light mobilization work. Basically, just keep it moving – not hard, and not through a ful ROM to start, but slowly increase ROM and intensity (listen to your body) day by day.

Once you’ve healed up, the thing to do is figure out why you’ve “pulled both hammies lots of times” so that you can stop doing it – or at least lessen your chances of doing it again. Shot in the dark: are your hams weak/tight compared to your quads? Do you have some other postural or balance issues that might put extra strain on your hams?

I don’t say this to be mean. I’m riddled with minor-to-moderate injuries – half of 'em are stupid ones that could’ve been prevented w/smart, consistent, preventive training. Don’t do that to yourself.

And yeah, foam rolling (or rolling on a softball – painful!) is a good way to break up scar tissue. Don’t know if it’s advisable right after an injury or not.

Thanks for the answer.

I spent a year or so in high school where I’d basically be pulling them every month or so, but I thought I’d figured that out. It hadn’t happened for 1 or 2 years until yesterday.
I’d say my hamstrings and glutes are weak, but I’ve been working on Glute Ham raises, which I thought would help.

The common factor I’ve noticed is that if I do static stretching before I play then I seem to injure my hamstrings.

I’m not sure about postural issues though.

Thanks again for the advice.

Well, pulls every month to no pulls for a year or two is an improvement. GHRs seem a good idea. You might try Romanian deadlifts, too.

I far from expert in these matters, but the consensus around here seems to be that static stretching is best left for after strenuous exercise, as it leaves your muscles temporarily weakened and thus prone to injury. Some quick searching will yield a lot of info. on dynamic warmups. Cressey, Robertson, and some others on this site have written a lot about them.

Advice in the above link seems to make sense, if it is pretty basic.

As I understand it, muscle pulls/strains etc. are various degrees of the same thing – i.e. tearing. Just be sure you pay attention to how things feel and see someone if things get much worse/you suspect a more severe injury.

I’m definitely going to start including dynamic warm ups. I hate having to miss training because of pulled hamstrings.