Hi. Continuing from last week’s health post, let us take a look at what we can do if and when we experience a hamstring injury. As always, consult your doctor. There is never a replacement for medical consultation and a doctor’s advice. Hamstring injuries generally take anywhere between 3 to 6 weeks to heal completely, depending on the severity of the damage. However, till the time you get an appointment with your health care provider, there are some things you can do at your end to ease the discomfort and prevent further damage.
1. Stop the running: As with any injury, you must stop the activity that caused the injury. Completely. Exercising through an injury is one of the most common mistake fitness enthusiasts make and cause their recovery to take longer.
2. NSAIDs: Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs like Ibuprofen or Mobic etc may be had in recommended dosages and directions to subdue the pain so that your everyday living is not very uncomfortable.
3. Topical applications: Muscle relaxants such as Relaxyl or Moov may be applied to the area where you feel the pain. Any analgesic gel or muscle relaxant creams must not be rubbed into the affected area. It should be applied with smooth and mild strokes and left at that.
4. Ice: Ice always helps tackle the pain. If there are any internal bleeding of fine capillaries, ice will help stop that bleeding. However, we must not apply ice on the affected area for more than 20 minutes at a time.
5. Massage: Sports massage or a gentle massage with arnica oil always helps as a support therapy. If you are getting a sports masseur, make sure the person is qualified to do the massage.
6. Physiotherapy: This may include acupuncture, deep tissue massage or osteopathic manipulation. Progressive stretching and exercises to strengthen the hamstrings will support and speed up recovery.
7. Supportive Braces: If the injury is a strain, then it may be advisable to wear a supportive brace to help the muscles function while walking action or standing.
8. Insoles: If the cause of your hamstring injury has been over-pronation of your feet, you could look into appropriate insoles for your regular and workout shoes.
9. Swim: In the time that you are recovering, you may take to swimming. The mild water resistance provided to the hamstring with near zero impact on the joints work as a therapy as well as burn serious calories.