The hamstring muscles (biceps femoris, semitendinosus, and semimembranosus) are long muscles that cross 2 joints (your hip and knee) and work by contracting and expanding. The contraction or expansion motion of the hamstring muscles is determined by the signals that are sent to the brain. When a muscle contracts involuntarily (i.e. the signal for the muscle to contract overcomes the signal for it to expand, or relax) it can result in a hamstring muscle spasm.
The hamstring muscles, along with the quadriceps, calves, feet, hands, and abdominals are the most common muscle groups affected by muscle spasms. A muscle spasm can be a small twinge or extremely painful and cause you to immediately stop whatever you are doing until the pain passes. A spasm can involve the entire muscle, part of it, or other muscles adjacent to it.
In some cases, a severe muscle spasm may not release on its own and manual stretching may be necessary to help relax and lengthen the contracted muscle. If the connective tissue attached to the muscle is weak or the spasm is particularly severe, it may cause the tendons or ligaments to strain or tear.
Hamstring Spasm Causes
A muscle spasm is caused by abnormal activity in the hamstrings, either in the nerve signals or within the muscles themselves. This abnormal activity can be caused by:
- A muscle that has been overstetched or held in one position for a long time.
- New exercises that involve unused muscles.
- A hamstring injury.
- Lactic acid build up when overloading or overexerting the muscle.
- Low levels of electrolytes or dehydration - Muscles require water, calcium, magnesium, and potassium to function properly.
- Inadequate blood supply caused by narrowing of the arteries (atherosclerosis).
- Multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, other nervous system diseases, or spinal cord damage.
- Disease such as diabetes, kidney disease, anemia, or thyroid abnormalities.
Hamstring Muscle Spasm Symptoms
When you experience a hamstring muscle spasm you may feel:
- Twitching in part of the muscle, the entire muscle, or surrounding muscles.
- A sudden burst of pain that stops after a few seconds to a few minutes.
- A bulge in the muscle where the spasm occurs.
- The feeling that you need to stretch your hamstrings.
Treating a Hamstring Muscle Spasm
Hamstring spasms are frustrating to live with especially when they occur during activity and sports. Keeping your body hydrated and replacing electrolytes during and following activities are positive steps toward preventing spasms. When a spasm occurs, there are home treatments you can use to relax the muscle and reduce the spasm. Proper treatment will get you back to regular activities sooner, stop your pain, and reduce the risk of hamstring muscle injury and further spasm.
Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™
If there is no inflammation and swelling in the muscles that are spasming, a quick and painless way to get rid of a spasm is to increase blood flow to the muscles. Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™ (BFST®) promotes blood flow to the back of your thigh bringing the necessary oxygen and nutrients to your muscle fibers. BFST® speeds up the body's natural repair process and loosens the contraction by relaxing the fibers.
The Inferno Wrap® is the tool you need to treat your hamstring spasm and help prevent future spasms. Not only does it help you maintain healthier hamstring muscles through BFST®, the gentle internal warming that is produced with the increase in blood flow relaxes your thigh muscles and reduces spasms. In addition, the improved blood flow whisks away dead cells and toxins that have built up from your hamstring spasms, further loosening your muscles and reducing pain.
Keeping your muscle fibers hydrated, nourished and as healthy and strong as possible will help you reduce and even eliminate annoying and painful spasms. The Leg/Arm Inferno Wrap®, available exclusively from MendMeShop®, provides effective, non-invasive, non-addictive pain relief and muscle relaxation without side effects.
The benefits of BFST® do not end once your hamstring stops hurting! Even when your upper thigh muscles are not spasming, your activities can put them at risk of an overuse injury, tightness, or strain. An Inferno Wrap® treatment before activity is an easy way to warm up the muscles and prepare them for use. Then, end your day with another treatment to prevent tightness from setting in overnight. This incredible healing tool will be useful for years to come!
MendMeShop® Inferno Wrap® - Improved Range of Motion!
One of the most common complaints after a hamstring injury begins to heal is tightness and a limited range of motion. The tightness is caused by tough fibrous scar tissue build up on the muscles and/or tendons. Scar tissue is the body's way to heal tissue quickly. It forms at the site of the injury to repair tears, small or large. Although it repairs the tears, scar tissue is inflexible, prone to re-tearing, and can cause pain. Healthy tissue is stronger and more elastic. Healthy tissue allows your muscles and tendons to expand and contract easily, without pain and with less risk of tearing again. Treating scar tissue is the only way to restore muscle function properly and get your range of motion back!
The Inferno Wrap® is an effective and pain-free way to soften scar tissue and return your muscle tissue to a more flexible, stronger state. Physical therapy, manipulation, and deep tissue massage can help to treat scar tissue but these methods are expensive, time consuming, painful, and in some cases, may require further tearing to loosen the scar tissue.
A personal Inferno Wrap® allows you to treat your hamstring injury conveniently using Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™ in your own home, on your schedule, and for less time and money than any other method. Inferno Wraps® also increase the flexibility of the muscle tissue, which speeds along the healing process and decreases your chance of re-injury. A 15 to 25 minute treatment, twice a day, will speed healing and further reduce your painful pulled hamstring symptoms while improving the range of motion in your upper leg. That's all it takes to get your hamstring muscle back to normal and you back to your activities!
In addition, hamstring pulls can lead to other overuse injuries if left untreated. The pain of a pulled hamstring can cause you to re-adjust your posture and change your gait to take weight off your sore hamstring muscles. This can cause excess strain in your back, hip, knees and ankles. The Inferno Wrap® can be used to treat all of your strains and tears, as well as other painful conditions like bursitis, tendinitis, and joint pain. It is a great tool to have on hand for so many soft tissue injuries!