How to Heal a Pulled Hamstring Fast

We had a softball tournament this weekend and I finally started figuring this game out. I was learning the rules and placements and starting to do pretty well, until the last day when sprinting for first a felt a pop in my hamstring and that was that. I tore both my hamstrings in my Grade 12 year. I was doing competitive cheerleading and was really pushing my muscles to get flexible fast. The tear on the right hamstring (the one I pulled this weekend) had a huge black bruise running up it for about 9 months and I still have some weird bumps where the tears healed on it. Anyhoo, our last game sucked because I am not a good hitter and have always relied on my sprinting to get me to first and trying to hobble to first base didn’t work out for me. And being as competitive as I am, I am PISSED! I do NOT like being slow at all. So I am doing everything I can to heal this fast and I thought I would share the information I learned with you. I have Grade 2.

This is what my hamstring looked like in high school. Luckily it’s not near as bad as that now.

Symptoms of a Pulled Hamstring:

  • A sudden sharp pain at the back of the leg during exercise-most probably during sprinting or high velocity movements.
  • Pain on stretching the muscle (straightening the knee whilst bending forwards).
  • Pain on contracting the muscle against resistance.
  • Swelling and bruising.
  • If the rupture is severe a gap in the muscle may be felt.
  • Click here for information on how a hamstring strain is assessed.

Severity of a Pulled Hamstring:

Strains are graded 1, 2 or 3 depending on severity. Grade 1 consists of minor tears within the muscle. A grade 2 is a partial tear in the muscle and grade 3 is a severe or complete rupture of the muscle. Grade 1: What does it feel like?

  • May have tightness in the posterior thigh.
  • Probably able to walk normally however will be aware of some discomfort
  • Minimal swelling.
  • Lying on front and trying to bend the knee against resistance probably won’t produce much pain.

Grade 2: What does it feel like?

  • Gait will be affected-limp may be present .
  • May be associated with occasional sudden twinges of pain during activity.
  • May notice swelling.
  • Pressure increases pain.
  • Flexing the knee against resistance causes pain.
  • Might be unable to fully straighten the knee.

Grade 3: What does it feel like?

  • Walking severely affected- may need walking aids such as crutches
  • Severe pain- particularly during activity such as knee flexion.
  • Noticeable swelling visible immediately.

Treatment of a Pulled Hamstring:

What can the athlete do? It is vitally important that treatment for a pulled hamstring starts immediately following injury. The most important phase for treatment is the first 48 hours post-injury. In this time the following can be carried out by the athlete themselves:

  • Use Cold Therapy (Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate) technique
  • Use a compression bandage to minimize intra muscular bleeding.
  • Early mobilization of the injured lower limb is vital for the correctrehabilitation of the muscle. This includes stretching andstrengthening exercises throughout the pain free range. These can aid with decreasing the swelling in the area. In addition, exercise will ensure that any new material will be laid down in correct orientation thus reducing the risk of subsequent injuries.
  • See a sports injury specialist.

What can a Sports Injury Specialist do?

  • Use sports massage techniques to speed up recovery- these are extremely important in the rehabilitation of the injury as massage breaks down the new collagen network allowing for correct fibre realignment and minimizing scar tissue. In addition massage can increase the blood flow to the injured area. Visit our sports massagepage to learn specialized massage techniques for a pulled hamstring.
  • Use ultrasound and electrical stimulation.
  • Prescribe a rehabilitation program
  • Advise on specific stretches
  • Provide mobility aids such as crutches
  • Provide an MRI scan to ascertain the amount of damage sustained
  • In severe ruptures surgery may be needed to repair the damage

How is the Hamstring Strained?

During sprinting the hamstring muscles work extremely hard to decelerate the tibia (shin bone) as it swings out. It is in this phase just before the foot strikes the ground that the hamstrings, become injured as the muscles are maximally activated and are approaching their maximum length. A pulled hamstring rarely manifests as a result of contact -if you have taken an impact to the back of the leg it should be treated as a contusion until found to be otherwise.

Preventing a Pulled Hamstring:

One of the most important methods of preventing a pulled hamstring is to warm-up correctly- this has been scientifically proven to reduce the risk of hamstring strain. This should consist of some light aerobic exercise followed by stretching and sports specific drills with gradually increasing intensity. Other factors which increase the likelihood of suffering a hamstring strain include:

  • Age: The older the individual the greater at risk to a pulled hamstring.
  • Previous Injury: Prior injuries to the hamstrings or adductor muscles can greatly increase the chance of future injury.
  • Flexibility: Research suggests that the greater the flexibility of the hamstrings the less prone they are to injury.
  • Hamstring strength: Similarly studies have shown that lack of hamstring strength is strongly linked to hamstring injury.
  • Lumbosacral nerve impingement: Nerve impingement in L5-S1 can lead to associated hamstring muscle weakness.
  • Tiredness and fitness: When a player is fatigued he/she loses coordination between certain muscle groups. The biceps femoris muscle is known to become damaged due its two portions being innervated by two separate nerves. In states of tiredness, lack of synchronization between these two nerves can lead to a mismatch in firing resulting in a pulled hamstring.

A thigh sleeve is a great way to prevent future tears.

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131 thoughts on “How to Heal a Pulled Hamstring Fast

    • Hi Cortney, There isn’t too much you can do by your game. A pulled or torn hamstring takes time to heal. If it hurts so bad you can’t walk, there is nothing you can do in time for your game. My torn hamstrings in high school took MONTHS to heal properly and the little one from ball last year took about a month. Heat your hamstring in the evening and buy a hamstring compression sleeve to keep it from tearing any further. Once it is all healed, be sure to do hamstring strengthening exercises as well as extra stretching. Hope this helps!

  1. I injured mine back in June and am just now in therapy…dedicated dancer…I hurt it worse by not stopping. Grade two tear :((( I may be out for the whole season now..

  2. How many months did it take you? It’s been four months and my hamstring still hasn’t healed. I can’t even run and I get sore so easily.

    • My first tear took almost a year to heal and the second about 6 months. Neither have ever fully healed. My hamstrings get strained and sore very easily now. I have to make sure I do a lot of hamstring strengthening exercises and stretch them more than my other muscle groups.

    • I pushed through it the whole time. I tore my hamstrings in cheerleading. I think I took a week off and then I just battled through the pain. A compression sleeve will help prevent further tearing and it feels pretty good too. And ice massage daily!

  3. Hi my name is Roberto

    I pulled my hamstring 2 weeks ago and one week later I pulled it again because I continued to play soccer. It wasn’t too painful but it caused me to limp a little on the first two days. What would you recommend to me in order to recover ASAP? I haven’t done any stretching yet.

    • Ice massage!! Fill a paper cup with water and freeze it. Then peel off the top part of the cup and rub it against your injury for 20 minutes a day. I know there is debate over ice vs. heat on injuries, but my sports med person told me ice and I stick with ice. Also try taking a couple of ibprofen before physical activity to help prevent inflammation. Don’t stretch until the tear heals. After all is healed, make sure to do hamstring strengthening exercises to prevent another tear. Once torn, your hamstring will always be a little off, at least mine are.

  4. I pulled my hamstring last week and I think I tweeked my sciatic nerve because whenever I touch in my calf area I get a sharp tingling sensation on the heel of my foot, and the heel of my foot has been numb for about 5 days. Is this normal, and how long should it take for both injuries to heal ?

  5. I tore my hamstring about 4 weeks ago. After about 2 weeks I was walking normally and felt no pain. Last week I went to the gym and got in some stretching, exercises and strength training. I also ran on it and did some sharp cuts. I have noticed the only time I feel any pain is when I stomp my foot on the ground and I feel a little vibration/tickling nerve feeling. Any clue what that is or how to heal it? I am assuming only time will completely heal it. I have a game this weekend and want to go 100%, it’s just feels a little scary to try and push it too the max.

  6. i tore my hamsting at baton about 2 weeks ago because we have to do allusoins and there very difficult….so i went to the docter and they put me on crutches so i had to go to school with crutches!!anyway i couldnt play and i couldnt walk for 2 weeks…i went back to the doctor and they said im fine to do some stretches and i should be able to do my specail allusoins again!! but im scared to do lleaps for our christmas paraide im very nervus and my baton teacher said i should wait but i can do kicks!!i have no clue what i should do????

    • REST!!!! Two weeks cannot be enough time for a hamstring tear to heal, unless it was a teeny tiny baby tear which I don’t think it was since you were on crutches. Take a little more time before you pick up where you left off and if it hurts at any point during practice- STOP!

  7. Hi im alice, im 15 and a dancer. I pulled my hamstring in july andis still quite painful. I was doing oversplits when my leg popped. I was warmed up and used RICE when the injury happened. I think it is about a grade 2 injury. I just want to get back to dancing pain free! Its killing me! How much longer could it take to be pain free? Any other tips? Thanks x

    • Hi Alice, I am not an expert and every tear is different. My tears were so bad that I never fully recovered and both hamstrings have a rippled line up them where the tears healed. I think each tear ached for a good 2-3 months. It is a terrible injury! I still cheered and ran through the pain, but it was not pleasant!

  8. Hi, Betty! I’m a dancer and I think I have the first degree pulled hamstring. I was kicking when I was dancing and I did feel a pop and it hurt to bend over and stretch and do the splits. Then I had a 2 week Christmas break which I did not stretch it at all, but it did not heal. I’ve been stretching it full out everyday for dance at school( I am on my school’s dance team) and I heat it while I stretch. It really hurts but if I slowly work until I can kick pretty high( but not to my old flexibility) I can kick For a while with a slight pain until we stop dancing and it goes back to its normal pain level. I tried to rest my leg for 2 days without stretching or dancing, but it just made my leg feel tenser. Once in a while i ice after practice for about 10 minutes buti feel like the ice would make my leg tenser. Is there ANYTHING I can do different to make my leg go back to normal? I pulled my left leg last Christmas and it healed in about 2 months, but not my right leg this year! I also have a competition coming up in about 3 weeks so I MUST be able to do everything to the best extent. Will I heal close enough in time??

    • Two weeks is not nearly enough time for it to heal fully! My last tear took a month before I could run without limping! Keep heating, but at teh same time don’t push it to get to where you were pre-tear. It sucks with a competition coming up, but I highly doubt you’ll be feeling 100% in the next 3 weeks. Keep heating and try to take it as easy as you can.

  9. Thanks for your post. After reading Roberto’s comment, I am sitting out this Saturday’s game (been two weeks since injury) even though I am dying to play. But I have grown wiser after reading all these comments and I figure another week should help the healing process. Patience is key in the healing process. I pulled my hamstring during the 4th game of a soccer weekend tournament. So I know it was fatigue related. I am willing to sit out for another week so I can really go kick some grass !!
    Thanks for the detailed info.

  10. I was water skiing 2 1/2 weeks ago and came off badly, I heard a loud pop and felt intense pain. I actually passed out an hour later from shock and pain, was taken to hospital where they told me I had torn 50% of hamstring! Crutches, compression bandages, ice was what I was told, also told NOT to massage or stretch for some weeks. The whole back of my leg, from mid bum to mid calf was black with bruising. It’s still black and painful, still using crutches when I go out and the muscle twitches which is the worst. To be honest, the worst is actually trying to sit on the loo :) I have been reading what others say and it sounds like it will take a whole to recover :( I am a gym instrucer, runner and like to think myself fairly fit. When I can move I am going to try Pilates, and yoga stretches, taking it easy and I’m giving up water skiing as the last time I tore my knee ligament…. I hear things come in threes so I’m not taking any chances! ;) good luck everyone, heal well and fast

  11. I a 55 year old out of shape xcheerleader. I was showing off to my niece & nephew. I really thought I could do a split. Well I tried and I felt my hamstring pop. Now I can’t walk. My question is should I go to the doctor or just tough it out. I can’t put pressure on my leg without sharp pain. This stupid old lady is open to suggestions.
    Thanks

    • I would suggest you see your doctor. Because at 55 it is going to take a lot longer to heal than it took me as a 16 year old (and it took almost six months!). There is debate on whether ice or heat is better, I personally grew up icing and I would ice most of the time and heat when I wanted to stretch it out. Your doctor can suggest what will work best for you.

  12. Hi, I had a training session playing football and afterwards felt quite a tingly pain in the back of my hamstring. I continued to play my match on Sunday even though it hurts now. Any recommendations? Thanks, Alex.

    • A tingly pain? I would see a doctor to get it properly diagnosed. There is a difference between a tear and a pull and you need to identify which it is. Tingling could also be something to do with the nerve, so I suggest seeing a doctor before your game on Sunday.

  13. Im not sure if i pulled mine or not. i was at track and i felt it after i finished my 300 but i can jog and walk fine it just hurts to sprint. what should i do?

    • You would know if you tore it, it’s a terrible pain that hurts when you walk or run. It sounds like you pulled it which isn’t as severe. Make sure you don’t run unless you are stretched out. Rest as much as you can and put heat on it often.

  14. I first pulled a hamstring in each leg about 4 months ago due to gaining my hyperextended toe touches in cheerleading. It used to be painful to walk and i would cry in gymcwhen i had to run. But i kept cheering. And oddly they seemed to heal. And then one day i did my split in my routine and definitely repelled the right one. Two weeks later i had to do a heel stretch stunt which caused me to repulse the left one. I had to push through the pain of both being pulled (i think just a grade 1) for two weeks and it was my coaches expectation that i continued hyperextended my jumps. Now that cheer is over I’ve been resting when i can but i have two more weeks of tap dancing. In order to properly prepare for college cheer i can’t take an off season. I need to attain hyperextended stretches and attend tumbling classes. My mom told me that resting it until it heals is the best option but i can’t wait 4 months to stretch and tumble when i need to be ready for tryouts. I feel like Im at a crossroads. Is there anything i can do to still be able to cheer?

    • You NEED to let your hamstrings heal!! You have time before college cheer and I don’t know a coach in the world who will be angry if you have an injury, it happens. Take at least a month off and rest those hamstrings and give them time to heal. You can still stretch, just do it slowly while heating and don’t push it. This could only get worse so rest it now!

  15. Hi,Ive tore my hamstring 3 an half months ago.im doing rehab at mo,and working hard in gym.most stuff i can do apart from sprinting which i know still bit early yet.i play football,at a good standard.Ive noticed my fittness coming back,but its dishearting the strength is coming very slow.(i thought if i push harder itll strenghen quicker)

  16. my daughter pulled her hamstring on March 3,2013 she has went back to stretching she can walk just a little sore only when she stretches it but is fine other than that she has tryouts for her highschool dance team on April 15th for three days do you think she will be ok to tryout they have to do leaps center leaps, hip hop dance seconds and c-jumps along with turning disc

  17. Hi Betty,

    My situation is about the same as a few listed, I was in dance and pulling my leg toward my shoulder when I heard my hamstring snap,crackle and pop. I limped around and had difficulty sitting comfortably in a chair for a few days. It’s been 2 months now and it feels a lot better but in certain dance exercises i feel la pulling sensation ike my hamstring is about to tear and have lost a significant amount of stretch in that leg, will it take more rest time or should i concentrate on the exercises and ice methods you suggested?

    • Torn hamstrings take so much time! On my worst tear it was almost a year before I didn’t have pain in it. Sometimes rest isn’t an option so I would suggest baby that hamnmy when you’re not working it!

  18. Hi! I’m a dancer and during the summer I was doing my left splits and I felt a pull and it hurt to do things on that leg. I could still walk and run but I couldn’t do kicks or splits without it hurting. It went away and then recently, it came back. Now I can’t even do my left splits because it hurts so much. When I put my leg on the ballet barre and try to reach over, it hurts too. Lately I have been rubbing my hamstring with a tennis ball (that’s what my dance teacher suggested) and it’s not better. Do you think I just strained it? What should I do? Please help! Thanks!

    • Hi Julianne,

      I recommend you see a doctor to determine if it is a strain or a tear. It sounds like a tear which means rest and ice is needed but it’s always better to check with a professional

  19. Hi, I strained my hamstring last wednesday (10th April) playing football. Reading articles online I’m pretty sure its a grade 2. Its now fine to walk on with no pain, but is still a little tender when i push it in, and is quite bruised still. I have a huge semi final 2 weeks tomorrow (1st of May). Do I have any chance of being fit enough to play? If so what course of action will give me the best chance?

    Thanks

    • I don’t know the extent of your tear, but I highly doubt it will be healed in two weeks. You can try to push through it but it’s at the risk of tearing it more and slowing down the healing process anymore. All that being said, I kept cheering and ran cross country as my tears were healing; which could be why they took so long to heal.

  20. hey, i am 54 and was walking when i started power walking like i did many years ago when i heard a poping sound and had imediate pain, it has been 4 days and the only real pain is my rear end . The pain is so bad i feel like when i sit, i am sitting on a golf ball, what is that and why pain there?

  21. I have a grade one hamstring strain and this was extremely helpful it just sucks I will be out of karate and dance for a full month and a half </3

  22. I strained my left hamstring 2 years ago! I was in dance class and i didn’t stretch out like i should have, so i went into a split and i heard a pop, it hurt at the moment but not so bad so i kept dancing. It didnt hurt that bad right away, it would actually feel better after i stretched so i could dance for the day, but it kept hurting just when i used that muscle, it’s been 2 years and it STILL hurts and i can’t use that leg to dance because any slight pull hurts:( what should i do!?! :'(

    • Hi Erika,

      For 1. I would see a doctor to get it checked out. But 2. You HAVE to do hamstring strengthening exercises. My athletic trainer told me in my case my hamstrings tore because I was only focusing on my quads in workouts by doing squats only. I now do more hamstring exercises than quad exercises just to ensure my hamstrings are strong.

  23. im very confused on what type of injury i have. ive been to the physiotherapy and had various scan such as MRI and Xray. supposidly i have a ‘sprain’. this injury firt occured in july 2012. could feel my muscle have a spasm while walking up hills which i needed to stop until it dissapears, but i was able to run and to pyhsical activities with no pain, apart from stretching.. recently in december it had gone worse where i was unable to run or do any pyhsical activity. been out of physical activity for nearly 5 months now . if it is a sprain, how bad is it?

    • I’m confused too because a torn hamstring does not feel like a spasm and the pain does not come and go, it’s constant. Is it possible you have a pinched nerve? Your MRI and physiotherapist should have been able to figure it out. Maybe try an athletic-specific therapist. They are focused on sports injuries, particularly muscle pain.

      And I swear by ice massage. Take a paper dixie cup and fill it up with water and freeze. Peel away part of the cup and rub the ice over the painful area. The jury’s out on whether heat is better than ice but I swear by ice.

  24. Susan.. It sounds like.your tore proximal hamstrings which (all 3) originate into your ischial tuberosity (rear end) and it hurst BADLY to sit on it. Mostly good advice, Betty. I’m a physical therapist and all I would change is to stretch for a minimum of 30 seconds. Go easy for 15 seconds which relax the golgi tendon organs which protect the muscle from tearing and then go a little further into the stretch (uncomfortable is okay, but not painful) for another 15-20 seconds..for a total of 3-35 seconds per stretch…3-5 times. Also. a good rule of thumb is heat before activity and ice afterwards. :)

  25. i have a grade one hamstring injury …i can walk bt while playing socccer i feel sharp pain in my hamstrings ..i took rest for 3 days cant take more becoz of season going on ..i use to aplly sum gel so called painrelief gel ..but it doesnt work out accrding to me ..becoz the pain still remains tell me any gud idea to cure it quickly …

    • Nothing will cure it quickly, especially in 3 days. Follow the tips on this post and try not to overdo it. It took my really bad tear a year before I no longer had any pain in it.

  26. Hi betty . i am not sure what i pulled running but my pain starts in the buttocks area and runs down all the way to the calf. i think its the hamstring but im not sure. i have never had a injurey like this . it starts out really bad pain in the morning and as soon as the medicine kicks in i can walk but it is still tender. what can i do? thanks bruce

  27. I pulled my right hamstring for the 2nd time about 3 weeks ago. I was limping, but after about 2-3 days I could walk normally. I’m not sure how I pulled it, but I had cheer try outs for a week straight! School cheer&allstar! I pushed through for my tryouts and then the following week it got worse and worse. I didn’t feel a certain time when I pulled it. It just got worse day by day. Now 3 weeks later, my chiropractor said I can start back tumbling. I still have a tiny bit of dis comfort, and I am scared to try to tumble on it because I have a cheer camp (Woodward) I am attending and I want to be able to tumble on it for that since I will be there for 2 weeks! What should I do??? Should I rest it until camp or what?

    • It’s up to you really. I know I took one week off when I tore mine and then I was back at it (cheer). It was painful and probably the reason it took a year to fully heal but to me remaining competitive was more important. If you can, rest as much as you can until you HAVE to work it.

  28. Hello Betty,
    I had a grade 1 tear in my hamstring about 6 weeks ago. After resting it for two weeks, I had been rehabbing it nicely, and was up to 6 miles in running, although with some pain. However, yesterday while running at mile 3, I was trying to catch my wife who had missed the “turn”, and had headphones on, so of course, she couldn’t hear me, I started to run faster, to catch her, when pop! There it went. I have been limping badly since. I have been following RICE, but my question is this…although I know it will take a few months to heal, I will stop running, but can I swim and bike? Or is that considered working out hard?I need my hams to kick, and on a road bike, I need it to pull up. If so what is considered light? I am in the middle of Triathlon season? I have already done an Ironman 70.3, and Olympic distance this year. Is my season over?

    • Hi Ron,

      You can push through the tear and continue training though it will hurt the entire time you do so. And as you saw, pushing your hamstring will only aggravate it further. I don’t see a problem with continuing to swim and bike as long as you slow down when you feel your hamstring really starting to pull. I cheered competitively and ran cross country through a hamstring tear. My hamstring was tight and ached but I pushed through it. It’s always best to see a physical therapist though. Best of luck!

      • Betty I was playing a soccer game yesterday I went full sprint for the ball and did a quick stop and turn …I heard a pop behind my leg a little lower where the butt area is… I can walk but it hurts everytime I sit or use the muscle where I heard the pop ..should I see a doctor or just ice it and rest…btw its swollen but has no color like the pic in the article

      • A pop is definitely a tear. If there is no bruising that means it’s not overly bad and should heal sooner than a bruised tear. Ice and rest it and see how it goes. Of course, I’m not a doctor, I’m only speaking from experience so if you feel you need a doctor, be sure to go.

    • Hamstrings tears are the worst!! And they can take forever to heal properly. One thing I do now to avoid future tearing is to be sure I always do hamstring exercises as well as quad exercises. When I tore mine, I was doing heavy squats but no hamstrings.

  29. I sympathize with many of the above people. I first tore my hamstring back in 2008. I was extremely naive at the time and tried to play after 4 weeks rest. I tore the hamstring again and repeated this process several times. I then went off to have treatment by the best in the Country thanks to my club and nothing worked. It led to an operation which only partially worked. This then led to a second operation which finally resolved the issue but the hamstring has never been the same since. This issue with the hamstring then caused issues with other muscles down the left hand side and It was due to muscle compensation which led to an operation on my hip. 4/5 years later, with 3 operations and months of treatment, and I am just making my way back into the game. The issue I now have is that the majority of muscles in both my legs are weak and because some muscles try to take over from injured muscles, I am constantly getting little pulls in both legs because things aren’t working they way they are meant to. This is all because I never rested in the beginning and its just been like a domino effect from the start. Rest is seriously the best cure and I personally think I know more than most people due to the operations I have had, the treatment I have received and the pain I have gone through over the last 4/5 years. Once you have a serious tear of the hamstring, things will never be the same but strengthening and stretching certainly helps but you will always be of higher risk of future tears.

    • Wow JB, thank you so much for sharing your experience. I think so often, we athletes don’t want to sit out a season, or major event and since we are used to pushing ourselves we push through the pain. This is a great reminder that resting right away can save a lot of potential harm in the future.

  30. Hi Betty,
    Four months ago I tore my hamstring when I caught my toe on a bed sheet and hyperextended my leg. (No bruising, but I did feel a pop) The doc told me rest, advil, ice etc. I was almost to the point where I felt normal, (I am not a runner but noticed it hurt and I had to limp run when running across the lawn one day)…..Two days ago while on vacation in Michigan I went into Goodwill and slipped in water on the floor hyperextended my same left leg and once again tore my hamstring. I am sooooo bummed. I am 48 and feel as if I am NEVER going to feel good again. I did not feel the pop, but the pain was so severe I cried in the store while they went to the car to get my husband. Will it ever heal? Will I ever feel normal again? Discouraged in WI.

    • Hi Sheila,

      I’m so sorry to hear about the accident! Your hamstring will heal, but it will take time. I tore mine at 17 badly and it was a year before I had no pain. Be sure to stretch lightly and when the initial sharp pains go away start doing a few hamstring strengthening exercises. Be patient- it’s going to be a while.

  31. Hi,

    I pulled my hamstring in April playing football, starting playing again within 3 weeks then had a grade 2 tear in early May due to doing loads of sprinting in the game. Mid June i tried playing football again and was back to phase 1. 6 weeks later it feels better and physio says a week ago progress your jogging. I have done what he said and continue to stretch as much as possible.The season starts in 2 weeks and want to be ready for it. My hamstring still feels “funny” after I stretch, is this common? & will small sprinting be okay to do without any reoccurring problems? I am only 19 so would expect to heal quick and any tips on healing my hamstring late on?

    Thanks

    • I always advise folks to see their doctor for the best advice. But from what it sounds like, sprints in 2 weeks may re-tear your hamstrings. Work with your coach to maybe ease into things and give your hamstring time to heal. Also, once the pain goes away start making weight exercises that work your hamstring a priority to strengthen it and deter future tearing.

      • Hi Betty I did everything(rest..ice…stretch/exercise)….for three weeks.. went back to the field and POP again during full sprint and turn does this mean I have to do everything again and rest for a longer period or just go straight to a Doc?..btw thank you for your time YOUR AWESOME …also idk if age matters but I just turned 19 a month ago does that speed up my healing?

      • Three weeks is not enough. If you can, take a month and again, don’t sprint all out. Ease into it. Being 19 will help you speed heal for sure. It’s all about giving the muscle time to repair before you strain it.

  32. Boyfriend and i were doing sprints. Usually hes much faster than me. It was unexpected when i was the only one at the finish line. He pulled his hamstring and couldn’t finish. I helped him walk around but he has a limp. I iced it down for him but it seemed to only get worse. How can i help him recover faster? He has a Crossfit competition in October and hes definetly very upset this happened. Will he be ready by September to begin to train?
    -thank you

    • Hi Jade,

      He for sure needs to take a few weeks to rest the muscle. I’m all for ice, but I know others prefer heat. How long it will take to heal is completely dependent on how bad the tear is. I would suggest seeing a professional, especially if he wants to maintain athlete level training.

  33. Hiya from England. I think I pull my left hamstring while I just woke up! Its felt like hot/burn sensation but I stretched it straightway so its over just few seconds. Now I felt a tiny discomfort on left hamstring. What I do next? Am extremely advice person and playing for Everton football club (soccer)

    • Hi James,

      I don’t think that is a tear, the pain doesn’t go away when you tear. But it does sound like your hamstrings are tight and on the verge of tearing. I suggest heating them and stretching them out several times a day. Also, hit the gym and do straight leg dead lifts or hamstring curls to strengthen those muscles.

  34. I sprained my hamstring the worse pain next to giving child birth OMG I never thought this would almost give me a heart attack.My right leg has bruising going down to my foot and my toes are numb I take pain meds to stop the pain but now I walk with a limp.How long til I will be normal again :(

    • The length of time all depends on your body and activity level! It sounds like a really bad tear so you should see your doctor for sure. A tear that bad may take a very long time to fully heal. My severe tears took about a year before I was completely pain free. But I was running cross country and cheering at the time so I wasn’t resting it.

  35. Hello! I just hurt myself in tonights soccer game. Three days before state, to top it off. I heard a pop when I did a long hard sprint. I read through this article and im now dealthy scared. My wife said its not bruised at all. I can lift my leg slightly ans still bend it. I was thinking a grade 1 at first, but then I saw pop in quotations and I almost lost it. I cant afford seeing a doctor or specialist. Help!

    • The bruising comes over time, not right away. If you can’t afford a doctor, I suggest you rest and ice it for a few weeks. The only thing that heals torn hamstrings is time. Since you have a huge series coming up, you can risk it and play. A compression sleeve will help alleviate the pain, but you do risk tearing it further. Once you are done though, rest and ice and stretch. As the pain goes away, start to do hamstring specific exercises to strengthen your hamstring. Best of luck!

  36. I felt a pop in my hamstring while playing softball. Its been a week and the back of my thigh is purple. I can walk, but my pain is moderate when I have to do quick movements or any shifting of weight fast. I’ve been doing the RICE therapy. I’ve been putting off going to a doctor because I have dealt with hamstrings before. But I fear this could be an alvusion or complete tendon tear. Any advice besides going to see a specialist?

    Steve

    • It sounds like a tear, but tears take a while to heal. A week and a half is still a short amount of time. I had severe pain in my last tear for about a month and that was a minor tear. Keep up with your RICE therapy and be patient.

  37. i just thought i would drop my story in! it all started with SOFTBALL!!!! the guys at work played in a co-ed leage. first pratice one pull the hammy and first game two others pulled theirs. i had a kid on the way so i was waiting for next season. when we had the baby and the guys desided a male leage was a good idea.( i had mad fun of the guys pulling a hammy in co-ed soft bal)l. and our first game was a back to back. as you can see it coming already, as murphys law would have it, first game went great, the second game, half way through i was on first with two outs, run on any hit right! well i did i was almost to second and BOOM! i pulled my right hammstring mid run as that happend i tryed to adjust and land on my left foot……….well as it was coming down, my left leg locked up and my full body wait in motion, hyper extended it. sent me into a front flip went head first into the dirt.

    • Ouch!! That is the worst. A tear during softball is what prompted me to write this post. We all think softball is just fun and no one warms up or stretches properly. Hope you heal quickly!

  38. I pulled my hamstring on Sunday and it is game weak. I was doing sprints and heard a pop, most likely grade 2 sprain. I took an ice bath each day for the first 72 hours and iced regularly and used compression and elevated my leg. Also, I have been rubbing DMSO on it and Icy hot and taking ibeprofin every 4 hours .It is day 5 now and I can walk fine but and am at a slow jog now. When should I be able to go back to football?

  39. Hi im not sure if I pulled my hamstring or not. I went to the doc and he said its either sciatica or a bad pulled hamstring. Im in alot of pain. All my pain is in the back of my thigh and my leg throbs in pain. Its difficult to walk cuz its like a stabbing pain in the back of my thigh. The back of my thigh is numb and my two end toes are numb. Ive tried icing it and heating it. They both help sometimes but hurt other times. I dont know what to do. Its very painful.

    • Hi Christina,

      If you are experiencing numbness it isn’t a torn hamstring it’s some sort of nerve damage. You may want to consider seeing a specialist as it sounds like your doctor wasn’t very helpful. Best of luck!

  40. Hello Betty
    I have read your post and the comments people have made but I’m still unsure. I’m walking a marathon in less than 2 weeks from today. I will also be doing fartleks during the race. I pulled my hamstring yesterday while sprinting. I felt the pop, wasn’t able to run but walked away from it. As time progressed (waiting for hubby to bring me home) it got stiff and was limping. I came home and started the RICE method right away. I also used Advil and didn’t walk at all except to the bathroom. Day 2 I feel a lot better. Still using RICE method and Advil. No longer walking with a limp. I get pain when I press on it and when I try and touch my toes. I’m guessing that I’m between a grade 1 and 2. Don’t have the money to see a sports specialist, and I booked a sports massage for 1 week from today. Would like to know what you think.
    Cheers, Patricia

    • Hi Patricia,

      Personally, if you are walking the marathon I don’t see it being too much trouble. The fartleks might put a lot of strain on you hamstring though and cause a lot of pain. It’s completely up to you what you want to do, I know I still cheered through the pain of my tears. But I also think that’s why it took almost a year to have no pain.

  41. I’m a dancer and I’m pretty sure I pulled my right hamstring. I was stretching and while standing up I pulled my leg up to my head and I made I cracking sound and it felt like something snapped. It burned and felt numb after. it been a couple like 4 weeks and for 2 of those I didn’t dance or anything. but I did a cart wheel in dance and it cracked again and I felt the same pain. I’ve been icing but but it doesn’t seem to be getting better and its affecting my dancing. Any tips or advice?

    • I always advise you see a doctor just to be sure. Try heating your hamstring before practice and avoid pushing it too hard when you stretch. It will take a lot of time to heal. It was a year before I was pain free.

  42. I had an acl op 25days (hamestring graft)ago I went to golf range and hit some balls. I over stretched and my hamstring ( knee end) felt sore with sharp pains. I can stil walk with a bit of pain. What should I do I’ve been icing I tony happened 24hours ago any help would be great

    • Keep icing! Unfortunately, tears take a long time to heal.My best advice is to keep icing and avoid anything that risks tearing it further. If the pain gets too bad to walk, go see a doctor immediately.

  43. Ok, I never really had a for sure pop or snap or whatever. I was just playing softball and it kind of slowly got worse. I don’t have a bruise and I can walk normal, but as suspected it hurts to run and is sore most of the time. I’m not sure it’s a tear, and if it is I’m almost sure it’s grade 1. What do I do?

  44. hello
    I have been reading all the comments and responses here. I hurt my hamstring 10 weeks ago.I am 42 years old. I did not hear a pop, no bruising or swelling. I have stopped the exercise program (crossfit) I was doing. not running, rollerblading, biking. doing nothing to work my lower body. I do re-hurt it occasionally by slipping tripping, or lifting something that engages my hamstring muscle (and I learned that wearing high heels really hurts it). I stretch and do strengthening exercises daily. I have been doing everything I have been told to do (from doctor and physiotherapist) I heat it before I do my upper body crossfit just in case I irritate it. I ice it when it hurts. I don’t take anti-inflammatories (advil) because I do not want to numb the pain because I don’t want to hurt it more. So my question is- I really want to get back into the crossfit (squatting, deadlifts, cleans) should I just work through the pain, or will I be doing more damage if I start again. I can work 1/4 of the amount I used too.
    I am so frustrated by this. I only started crossfit in November 13 and had incredible results. I am so frustrated by this any advise will help.
    thanks theresa

    • Hi Theresa- I know your frustration! Keep in mind, I have no medical training I am going based off my experience. When I tore my hamstrings in high school I trained through the pain. Mind you, I was 16, but it did take a year for the pain to fully go away. If it hurts so bad you’re limping, don’t do weights on it. But if you can walk okay maybe try incorporating some very light exercises. All that being said, time is your best friend with a tear and it’s frustrating and annoying but really the only cure for this injury.

  45. My 13 year son hurt his hamstring the beginning of April, we took him to a physical therapist who started him on a stretching program and took him out of most activity. It did not get better so the beginning of May we were told NO activity for 4 weeks, we did that and it was better, but not perfect. I figured it was okay, just would take awhile to be fully healed. Mid-June he could barely run,one night, so I took him to a chiropractor who adjusted his hips and he could run much better. I also requested an MRI at this time and it revealed a tear high up in the glutes and he has been told NO ACTIVITY for 6 weeks. He is 13 and state baseball which he lives for is in 10 days. The PT told him if he does anything he is risking tearing the whole tendon and never being able to compete in sports again. I am so frustrated because we thought he was getting better, how will we know after 6 weeks if he is healed or still in danger??

    • Hello Gariann, I wish I could offer some helpful advice but if you’ve been told it’s so bad he could permanently damage it then he should sit out state baseball. I know that’s hard, but he’s 13 and has high school, college, pros, and even adult rec to look forward to for many years. I’m sure he would really regret never being able to play again because he pushed himself too far at 13 years old.

  46. i pulled my hamstring and was told to rest for 4weeks and after 4 weeks went back to training as im a soccer player but after 1 week”s training it popped again and the doc told m to rest for 6weeks.am now in the 4th week but still there is a little pain and the bicep femoris is swollen.what should i domcoz i cnt wait to train

    • If I were you I would definitely take it easy! Tearing it twice in a row like that is a lot of strain on your body. I know it’s so hard to sit out workouts but your body will thank you for it in the long run.

  47. Hi,

    I pulled my hamstring for the second time in roughly a year. The most recent occasion was not as painful as the first and the pain went away sooner. However, I noticed a dark bruise under the buttock area 10 days after the injury. I am able to walk, jump, and even jog without pain. What are your thoughts on the bruise? Thank you.

    • My bruising lasted several months and I still competed throughout. If you don’t feel any pain then you should be good to go. Maybe ice it regularly to help prevent swelling.

  48. what causes the hamstring to remain swollen 4 week coz am worried.I was told to rest for 6 weeks but still there”s liitle pain when its cold or when im kicking a ball but i can run without any problem.should i rest until the pain isnt there or train coz i cnt wait to ply again

    • When I had my worst tears, I was in pain for almost a year and trained through it. If you’ve rested for 6 weeks and it only bugs you sometimes, I think you’ll be okay to train as long as you stop if the pain gets too bad. Ice therapy is always goo to help the muscles heal.

  49. I am a 38 yrs old male. Have had about three pulled hamstrings in the last 10 yrs due to soccer. I am currently struggling with what appears to be a grade 2 tear. Took a month off after the injury, did the ice for a few days following the injury and then heat. Felt ready to come back and play soccer but end it up re-aggravating my injury. it’s been three months since the injury and i am still recovering. Been playing soccer but trying not to go 100 percent. Still, towards the end and when fatigue sets in, i start to feel the pull and the tightness in my hamstring. Anyone trying to rush from a hamstring pull, i would recommend to take as much time as possible. Also, know your body as it relates to your age. Ten years ago, after my first hamstring pull i was back playing soccer in about a month, my body takes longer to recover now.

  50. Hi,
    I’m a dancer and this whole summer I’ve been super focused on getting more flexible. About a week ago, I woke up and my upper leg felt kind of sore but I ignored and started stretching my splits and doing leg extensions and dancer stuff. Anyways, the back of my right leg just above the back of my knee REALLY started to hurt. I’ve been off it for about 5 days now and I’ve been taking Advil in the morning and in the night. It still hurts if I put too much weight on it, or if I walk around too much. I have a choreography session for my dance team in about three weeks. Do you think I’ll be able to dance by then? I really, REALLY don’t want to miss this, it could screw up my whole season!

    • I understand how frustrating that is! If you didn’t hear a snap it’s likely a pull not a tear which will heal better. I would heat it when you stretch and ice regularly after that. Take ibuprofen to help with inflammation. If it still hurts in three weeks, tell your dance coach you need to take it easy a little at first until you’re feeling better.

  51. thnx betty nam nw training n i even accomplished full 90 minutes games am a soccer playa.stretching n strengthening rilly helped a lot u r an ANGEL

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