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Hamstring Strain by Sports Medicine MD

October 25, 2012

Strains of the thigh muscles, in general, are feared injuries among many athletes. These injuries develop suddenly, and can be very painful and disabling. Out of the thigh muscles, the ones in the back of the leg (the hamstrings) tend to me more affected than the ones in the front (quadriceps) due the fact that the hamstring tends to be much stronger. Now this may seem curious, as we live by the ‘weakest link goes first’ mentality. Well this injury tends to occur when the muscle is forcefully stretched while it is contracted.

When does this happen? Mostly during running or jumping.

It is at this time when patients describe either a ‘pull’, or a ‘snap’ or sometimes just a weird feeling in the thigh that produces such significant discomfort that they have to stop the activity they were engaging in.

Let’s mention briefly the anatomy of the hamstring muscle. The hamstring is really a group of muscles, composed by the Semitendinosus and Semimembranosus on the medial side (closer to the center of the body), and the two heads of the Biceps Femoris laterally (towards ‘the sides of the body’). As we had mentioned in a previous discussion, muscles become tendons before attaching to bones. The tendons then serve as anchors for muscles.Image

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