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Question
Posted by: Mr. T | 2008/05/26

Hamstring strain

On Friday evening I was playing in a soccer match. It was a little cold and I did not go to the gym that week. I didn't warm up properly and pulled my hamstring in my right leg. I treated it by placing a frozen bag of vegetables on it every 2-3 hours for about 20 minutes at a time. I didn't do anything physical the 2 days after that.
It is just swollen but some blood has started to gather at the bottom of the hamstring muscle. I walk with just a slight limp and I can straighten my leg completely.
I have just started to gym again but haven't legs so far yet. Should I be very worried about my situation or should I just slowly get back into leg exercises by starting with very light weights?

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Our expert says:
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Hi there

If it's a muscle strain, which certainly seems likely, then so far you have done the right thing, by icing first to reduce swelling and then resting.

That's probably the best you should be aiming for now, because if it's a muscle strain, then two weeks off is probably the minimum you should be aiming for. once those two weeks are up, then you can begin with very light training. The key is the speed of movement, and the best is to progress gradually from doing very slow, controlled movements, to do them at normal speed. But the worst thing you can do is to use light weights and do the movement fast. What you need is light weight AND slow movement. If you can get that, then the next week or so of the rehab should go by without too much trouble. The other thing you may wish to consider is some rehab for the muscle - massage, in particular, to take care of any scarring that may have resulted from the tear. that can affect long term recovery. But for now, rest and let the muscle heal, and then after 2 weeks (one more), start with very gradual training, focusing on slow, controlled movements for at least the next 10 days.

Good luck

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