Hamstring Injury Symptoms How To Recognize Them

Hamstring Injury SymptomsHow To Recognize Them

By: - Health & Fitness - July 19, 2011
hamstring injury symptoms how to recognize them

Hamstring injury symptoms are often associated with the athlete. However, anyone is susceptible, regardless of the individual’s activity level. The severity of the injury is typically associated with the amount of exertion that resulted in feeling the symptoms of hamstring injury.

Types of Hamstring Injury

Grade 1 (Mild)

The level of injury on a mild injury to the hamstring does not make a person lose strength in the leg. Additionally, there is no tear to the fibers of the tendon or to the muscle. It is considered a minor strain or muscle pull.

Grade 2 (Moderate)

Though not as severe as a Grade III strain, one of the hamstring injury symptoms at the moderate stage is a weakening of the leg. A tear in the muscle or tendon fibers is a part of the injury, but it is only a partial rupture. The tear could also occur at the attachment to the bone.

Grade 3 (Severe)

A Grade 3 rupture can be a chronic issue or an acute issue. If the damage is acute, it is usually the result of putting too much stress on the muscle or from a direct injury to it. Chronic injuries to the hamstring are generally from over-use.


Typically, a sudden jerking of the leg damages the hamstring. Some examples of situations in which this type of injury could occur are in abruptly lunging, running or jumping.


Some possible symptoms of hamstring injury are swelling around the injured area and pain when attempting to stretch or move the leg. Other symptoms could include muscle spasms, crepitation and a weakened leg. Crepitation is what appears to be a crackling feeling when pressing down on the injured area. Weakened legs are only an issue if the injury is moderate to severe.


Initially, treatment for any damage to the hamstrings is to use the RICE method. Rice stands for rest, ice, compression and elevation. It is also a good idea to help reduce the inflammation and swelling through the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) like ibuprofen, aspirin or naproxen. In rare instances, a Grade III injury will require surgery.

Physical therapy is important for any injury that is moderate to severe. The focus of the therapy should be on increasing muscle strength and flexibility. As soon as a person is able to flex and stretch the muscle, he or she should do so. Otherwise, it could atrophy (weaken the muscle more) and make it much less likely for the leg to heal completely. Once the strength and flexibility has improved, return to a desired activity should be done slowly.

Hamstring injury symptoms should be treated as quickly as possible to avoid further injury. Some common symptoms of hamstring injury are swelling, pain with movement and muscle spasms. When the injury occurs, it is possible to hear a popping sound, to feel crepitation or to experience muscle weakening.. Crepitation is defined as the hamstring feeling as if it is crackling when pressure is applied. Crepitation, weakened muscles and popping sounds do not occur in every case.