Preventing Hamstring Strains
Preventing a hamstring injury is better than having to heal one after it happens, unfortunately it is not always possible. However, there are a number of things you can do to keep your hamstrings healthy and strong to reduce the risk of injury or to prevent further damage.
Proper food and fluid intake prior to and/or during activities will ensure you have enough energy and will help to prevent against fatigue. Ensure you avoid dehydration which can lead to muscle cramping.
Weight loss and/or weight maintenance involves eating a balanced diet full of protein, complex carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and antioxidants which will help support a healthy system. If you gain just 10 pounds, your joints must bear from 25 up to 100 pounds extra, which can add unnecessary stress to your body. Limiting your caffeine, alcohol and nicotine consumption will also improve your health.
Stretch Your Hip Flexors
Hamsting injuries are not always a result of tight hamstring muscles. Often, it is a tight hip flexor or weak gluteal muscles (muscles in the butt) that are the cause as both put greater strain on the hamstring muscles during running and other activities. By strengthening your glutes and stretching your hip flexors before exercising you can reduce the chance of suffering a hamstring injury.
Maintain a strong and proper posture, and wear proper footwear and gear for your activity. This will ensure your body is properly aligned, and will prevent against slouching or bad form which will make you more prone to injury.
Always learn the proper form and techniques for your activity to help prevent injuries.
Your equipment should be comfortable and provide enough padding (knee or thigh pads), and your shoes should provide sufficient sole stiffness and arch support.
Warm up Your Muscles
Before beginning activity or exercise warm up your leg muscles with a gentle jog or Inferno Wrap® treatment for 10-15. Recovery from your activity can be enhanced by doing a cool down to lower your body temperature and relax your muscles.
Do Appropriate Exercises and Activities
If you are suffering from hamstring pain, listen to your body and decrease, modify and/or avoid any activities or motions that cause pain and irritation (quick stopping/starting, turning, running or jumping, as well as participating on uneven terrain). If you are required to perform these motions at work or play and cannot avoid them, make sure you take frequent breaks and rest to prevent fatigue and pain.
Before beginning exercise or training, ask your doctor or physical therapist for a list of appropriate exercises that will not cause further harm to your weak hamstrings while you work to strengthen them.
To stabilize your hamstring and leg area, and increase your range of motion, maintain and build your strength, stability and flexibility of your hamstring, leg, gluteal, pelvis, low back and core body muscles. Light weights, exercise bands and balls are very beneficial for strengthening your lower body. Procioceptive training (core balance training) and plyometrics (exercises to develop strength, speed and agility, such as jumping or bounding movements) are also an excellent addition to your exercise routine. Yoga, tai chi, or a daily stretching routine will help to keep your muscles and joints supple (avoid sudden twisting and turning motions).
A regular exercise program that focuses on total body fitness and includes low-impact aerobic activity at least 3 days per week, such as walking, swimming or biking will help to keep you healthy overall and will strengthen your body to prevent against further hamstring injuries.
Avoid Doing too Much to Soon
Give your body an opportunity to build up its endurance. This is especially important when participating in a new activity. Gradually increase your participation to prevent overstraining your muscles.
If you suffer from mild inflammation or pain after certain activities or movements use a Leg / Universal Inferno Wrap® before your activities to minimize the chance of worsening the injury. Once activity is complete use the Leg / Universal Freezie Wrap® to treat the inflammation, and rest and elevate your leg.
You can also use analgesic or anti-inflammatory medication for pain relief if required. If you have been given a treatment plan by your health professional, make sure you adhere to it to ensure pain free living. In general, people who are committed to their therapies and exercises will have the best medical outcomes.
Cold Compression Therapy – An Ounce of Prevention!
The initial treatment of a hamstring injury or re-injury is cold compression therapy. Treating an injury with cold compression therapy as soon as you can is important because it decreases swelling and inflammation. This limits the amount of tissue damage that occurs within the first 72 hours of an acute strain.
When a hamstring pull or tear occurs we think the damage is done at the time of the injury. In reality, the tissue damage continues to occur even after the injury has happened. Yes, at the time of the injury blood vessels are damaged. But after the injury, swelling and inflammation set in and block blood vessels causing further damage. When this happens you will notice a hamstring contusion (hamstring bruising).
Blood contains oxygen that is vital to the survival of your tissue cells. Blocked blood vessels can no longer carry blood to your cells and the cells begin to break-down further damaging your injured hamstring. By applying cold compression therapy to a fresh injury or re-injury you reduce tissue damage and reduce the amount of healing that will be required to get your hamstring muscles and tendons back to normal.
Aside from preventing tissue damage, cold compression therapy reduces pain by gently numbing nerves in the injured area and providing comforting support to your hamstring muscles. Initially, you may use pain killers or anti-inflammatory medications but these can affect your organs and should never be used for a long period of time. Cold compression therapy is the natural way to reduce upper leg pain quickly.
The Leg/Arm Freezie Wrap® cold compression therapy is an effective and innovative way to treat your painful hamstring symptoms. The therapy behind the Freezie Wrap® has been doctor recommended for centuries but the Freezie Wrap® itself is a new, safer way to get it!
The cooling gel packs inside the Freezie Wrap® have been designed with ColdCure Technology®. This allows the pack to be supercharged in the fridge, not in the freezer like ice or other freezer packs. This gives you deep cold compression therapy without the risk of 'cold burns' or cryoburn to the layers of your skin. This unique technology, inside a soft and completely adjustable neoprene wrap, gives you comfortable, convenient, and effective cold compression therapy.
Have a Leg/Arm Freezie Wrap® on hand to treat your hamstring after activity and following any re-injury to calm inflammation, treat pain quickly, and stop further tissue damage. The wrap is so versatile you can use it on your arm, foot, calf, and almost everywhere on your body. Have one in your fridge ready when you need it!
Once the initial swelling and severe inflammation of your hamstring injury is under control(via use of the Freezie Wrap®, you can begin using BFST® to accelerate the healing process. Regular Inferno Wrap® treatments can further reduce inflammation, kick start the healing process, and treat scar tissue as it begins to form.
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!
Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™ - Faster Healing
Once inflammation and swelling have been reduced, nourishing and strengthening muscle and tendon tissue is the goal. Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™ (BFST®) promotes blood flow to the treatment area bringing the necessary oxygen and nutrients to your muscle fibers. BFST® speeds up the body's natural repair process for faster and more complete healing.
When you rest your leg and stop moving because it hurts, the natural blood flow is reduced. Without proper blood flow, musclar atrophy (shinkage or deterioration of a muscle) can occur and your body's ability to heal itself becomes limited. You need to improve blood flow while giving your hamstring the rest it needs. That's where the Inferno Wrap® comes in.
The Inferno Wrap® is the tool you need to treat your pulled hamstring. Not only does it speed your recovery through BFST®, the gentle warming that is produced with the increase in blood flow relaxes your thigh muscles and reduces soreness. In addition, the improved blood flow whisks away dead cells and toxins that have built up from your hamstring strain, further loosening your muscles and reducing pain.
Keeping your legs as healthy and strong as possible throughout the healing process will allow you to exercise your hamstrings once your pain is gone and your strain is healed. The Leg/Arm Inferno Wrap®, available exclusively from MendMeShop®, provides effective, non-invasive, non-addictive pain relief and healing with no side effects.
The benefits of BFST® do not end once your hamstring stops hurting! Even when your upper thigh muscles have healed, your activities can put them at risk of an overuse injury, tightness, or another 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!
With these 3 easy therapies: , Freezie Wrap® cold compression therapy, Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™ through use of the Inferno Wrap® device and rehabilitative stretching through use of the Knee-Flex® Passive Knee Stretch Device, you will notice significantly reduced pain and an incredible improvement in your hamstring pain.
You will notice significantly reduced pain and an incredible improvement in your hamstring range of motion.