Hamstrings tear – a diagnosis to complete recovery

  • Most hamstrings tears occur in the mid belly of the muscle, about halfway between the hip and knee
  • Muscle tears occur suddenly but it’s not uncommon to have some tightness or fatigue in the muscle preceding the tear
  • The most vulnerable actions for the hamstrings are rapid deceleration (slowing down) and rapid acceleration from a standing start
  • Hamstrings injuries are prone to becoming recurrent injuries for a number of reasons (we wrote a post about the most common reasons here)


  • The most effective initial management of a hamstrings tear is compression, using a compression bandage or even compression tights
  • Avoid any stretching or lengthened positions, including elevating the leg in sitting, during the first week after injury
  • The hamstrings muscle significantly increases its contribution to movement as the speed of the movement increases. All rehab programs should gradually build in faster movements in sports-specific positions
  • About 70% of hamstrings tears have concurrent nerve irritations, either as a causative factor or as a result of the injury. Testing for and identifying nerve issues early is crucial for effective management


  • Hamstring curls in standing or prone positions are almost pointless as the muscle is not designed to function effectively in that position
  • Jogging without pain is not a good indicator of readiness to return to sport. Building towards and testing rapid acceleration/deceleration, jumping and running hills are a better indication of readiness (although all testing should also include sports-specific activities)
  • Stretching is not an effective method of improving muscle shortening. Use strength exercises that move into lengthened positions to help the muscle adapt its length based on functional demands

Comments are closed.