What is Pulled Hamstring?

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What is Pulled Hamstring?


A pulled hamstring, also known as a hamstring strain or hamstring injury, occurs when one or more of the muscles at the back of the thigh gets overstretched or torn.  This injury is common in athletes, especially those involved in sports that require sprinting, jumping or sudden changes in direction.


  • Sudden Pain.  A sharp or stabbing pain in the back of the thigh during physical activity.
  • Tenderness.  Swelling, bruising or tenderness in the affected area.
  • Limited Mobility.  Difficulty walking, bending the knee or straightening the leg.
  • Muscle Spasm.  Sometimes, muscle spasms or cramping may occur.


  • Overexertion.  Engaging in strenuous physical activities without adequate warm-up or stretching.
  • Muscle Imbalance.  Weakness or imbalance between the hamstring muscles and quadriceps.
  • Sudden Movements.  Rapid acceleration, deceleration or sudden stretching of the muscles beyond their limits.
  • Previous Injury.  A history of hamstring injuries can predispose an individual to future strains.

It can happen in different severities.  The 3 grades of hamstring injury are:

  • grade 1 – a mild muscle pull or strain
  • grade 2 – a partial muscle tear
  • grade 3 – a complete muscle tear

The length of time it takes to recover from a hamstring strain or tear will depend on how severe the injury is.

A minor muscle pull or strain (grade 1) may take a few days to heal, whereas it could take weeks or months to recover from a muscle tear (grade 2 or 3).

Severe hamstring strains or tears may require medical evaluation, especially if the pain is intense, accompanied by significant swelling or if there’s a popping sensation at the time of injury.  Imaging tests like an MRI might be necessary to assess the severity of the injury.

Want to read more? Click here for a calf / gastrocnemius tear.

Worried about a strain or sprain?  At The Chelsea Clinic, we can help.  One of our podiatrist can assist and then recommend what treatments are best to get you back on track. Podiatrist South Kensington
Book an appointment here or you may call us at +44 (0) 207 101 4000


We hope you have a feetastic day!

-The Chelsea Clinic and Team



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Paola Ash at the Chelsea Clinic

At The Chelsea clinic we have a very specific skill set with regards the foot and ankle. Pleased to offer a bespoke service which is tailored to the individual. With over 20 years experience in the Fitness and Healthcare industry we are registered and qualified with the Health Care Professions Council, the College of Podiatry and the General Osteopathic Council.