The hamstring is a large muscle located in the back part of the thigh. This is one of the body's more powerful muscles, but that doesn't mean it's immune to injury. Occasionally, the hamstring can become tweaked. A "tweak" injury is a mild type of pulled muscle. It usually isn't serious, but that doesn't mean it can't be painful or temporarily debilitating. Fortunately, with proper treatment, hamstring tweaks resolve quickly.
Ice the tweaked hamstring for 15 to 20 minutes three times a day to decrease swelling and inflammation. Wrap the ice pack in a small towel and apply light pressure. Continue this treatment for up to four days.
Elevate your affected leg for the first day. Take a large, flat pillow and fold it in half. Put your leg on top of the pillow. Do this whenever you're resting and when you go to sleep.
Wrap an elastic compression bandage around your leg, making sure it covers the affected area. The bandage should be tight but loose enough that you're able to stick two fingers underneath the bandage. This helps with the swelling.
Take ibuprofen. Ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory drug. It works by stopping the body from making pro-inflammatory hormones, which helps reduce swelling, redness and pain. Make sure to follow the instructions carefully when taking ibuprofen.
Rest until the pain goes away. Rest is the most important part of treating hamstring tweaks. The muscle heals best when the body is at rest. Furthermore, using the tweaked hamstring too much can result in a longer recovery time, muscle tearing or even complete muscle rupture.
- Stretch your legs thoroughly before you exercise to prevent hamstring tweaks.
- Some people should not take ibuprofen. Consult your doctor before starting treatment with ibuprofen.
- Never apply an ice pack directly to bare skin.