Guide to Football/Soccer Injuries: Hamstring strains

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Anyone who’s spent time playing or watching sports are familiar with hamstring strains. It’s that common. The three muscles that make up the hamstring muscle group cross the backside of the hip and knee joints and are frustratingly fragile. It’s mostly seen in sports like football/soccer, basketball, tennis, and track where sprinting plays a prominent role. Muscle overload is normally the cause, though genetic factors may also be in play.


Strains are classified depending on the amount of tissue damage present. First degree strains are mild and may be characterized by what’s commonly referred to as tightness. It’s the product of small tears of the muscle fibers.

Second degree strains are classified as moderate injuries because the tissue damage is greater and more significant. The ability of the leg to function properly is impaired. Other symptoms of Grade 2 strains include swelling, localized discoloration, spasms, tenderness, and limited range of motion.

Third degree strains are actually tears. They result from full ruptures of the muscles within the muscle or at the musculotendinous junction (where the muscle and tendon meet). Symptoms include a noticeable gap or deformity within the muscle, tenderness, spasms, a lot of swelling and discoloration.


A doctor should diagnose hamstring injuries, consulting medical history and conducting a physical assessment. However, third degree injuries normally necessitate an MRI.


First and second degree strains can be treated with rest. However, third degree tears must be treated by an orthopedic surgeon. An operation may be necessary to repair the damage.

IMAGE SOURCE: Creative Commons

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