Hamstring strains are strains graded 1, 2, or 3 depending on how bad they are. A professional therapist will perform some specific tests to help diagnose your injury. Here we explain how to tell how bad your pulled hamstring is.
Hamstring strain diagnosis quiz
Answer a few questions to determine how bad your hamstring strain is. Please remember this does not replace a real person. We always recommend seeking professional advice.
Did you notice pain at the time of injury?
Could you walk just after injury?
Could you run the day after injury?
Was there any swelling?
Does it hurt when trying to bend the knee against resistance?
Does it hurt when pressing into the muscle?
Share your Results:
How bad is my Hamstring strain?
Hamstring strains are graded 1,2 or 3 depending on how bad they are:
- You may have tightness at the back of the thigh, but will be able to walk normally without pain.
- When running, you will be aware of some discomfort and will be unable to operate at full speed.
- There will be little or no swelling.
- Trying to bend the knee against resistance is likely to reproduce mild pain, with possible some weakness.
- Your gait (walking pattern) will be affected, and you will most likely be limping. You will feel a sudden twinge of pain during activity.
- You may notice some swelling.
- Pressing into (palpating) the hamstring muscle will be painful.
- Trying to bend the knee against resistance will also be painful and weak.
- A grade 3 hamstring strain is a severe injury involving a tear to the majority or all of the muscle.
- You may need crutches to walk and will feel severe pain and weakness in the muscle.
- Swelling will develop rapidly and bruising will usually appear within 24 hours.
- Seek medical attention urgently if you suspect a severe grade 2 or 3 injury.
Hamstring strain assessment (video)
These include the straight leg raise (also called Lasègue test), resisted knee flexion the and the slump test.
For more severe hamstring tears an MRI scan can help determine the exact location and extent of the injury. This will enable them to give a more accurate prognosis and estimate, of recovery time.
We recommend the following products to help treat Hamstring strains:
Cold Therapy Compression Wrap
Cold therapy is important for reducing pain and swelling. A reusable gel pack can be used for both hot and cold and an elastic sleeve enables easy application and compression.
Supports and protects your muscle while it is headling as well as helping to reduce pain and swelling. Retains heat later in the rehabilitation process.
A foam roller is an excellent piece of kit which can be used in place of massage to treat muscle injuries. They are also excellent when use regularly as part of your warm up.
Resistance bands are important for most sports rehabilitation and enable you to exercise any muscle from the comfort of your own home.
Hamstring strain Rehabilitation Program
Our step by step rehabilitation program takes you from initial injury to full fitness.