Symptoms Of A Hamstring Strain

About the Author: Harminder


A hamstring strain is a common pain that strikes many athletes. At the back of your thigh, there are three muscles that run along from your buttock to the backs of your knees. A hamstring strain is the injury or tear of one or more of these muscles. It varies from a mild hamstring pull to a tear. This strain usually occurs at the base of the buttocks or in the middle part of the back thigh, right where the tendon joins the muscle.

Some people have the hamstring strain symptoms way before the pain completely puts them down or forces them to see a doctor. For this reason, it is important to ensure that you are well informed about the symptoms that characterize this very common strain.

What are the symptoms of Hamstring strain?

There are different levels of strain, and for this reason, it is important to see a doctor for examination. However some of the most common hamstring strain symptoms include:

  • A sudden feeling of sharp or popping pain at the back of the leg after some exercises. This often leads to tenderness of the muscle in the affected leg, resulting in a cramp.
  • When the hamstring strain is very severe, you may be unable to stand or walk; and there will be visible swelling and bruising.
  • There may also be discoloration at the back of the affected leg and it will feel tight, making it painful and unbearable to walk.

Nonetheless, the best way to understand the symptoms is by understanding the hamstring strain levels of severity. With this kind of information it is easier to know which step to take towards getting the appropriate medical attention.

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Here are the hamstring strain symptoms according to level of severity

  • Level one – The first level is also known as grade 1 hamstring strain is mild compared to others. With this you may feel tightness in the back thigh, but it will not affect your mobility. However, your full speed will be greatly affected due to the discomfort. There may also be a little swelling in the affected leg.
  • Level two – At this second grade hamstring strain, you may find yourself limping and unable to walk easily. You will also feel sharp pain with every movement you make. And when you try to bend the knee , you will feel a lot of pain on the hamstring muscle.
  • Level three – A grade 3 hamstring strain is very serious and warrants immediate and proper attention. This may be characterized by tear in part of the muscle or all of it. It comes with severe pain, paralyzing walking ability completely. The muscle becomes weak and there is visible swelling and bruising within 24hours.

Though you can treat mild hamstring strain or a hamstring pull, it is important to see a your doctor of physical therapy if the pain becomes severe. To find out if you should rest or try to push through, try to walk more than four steps; if you cannot go past that, then you should see your local physical therapist. Likewise, if your pain persists or limits you from running, walking, or playing your favorite sport after a few weeks you should also seek expert help and advice.

To see one of our specialty trained physical therapists you can call 239-223-0484 or click here to schedule a consultation.


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About Author: Dr. Scott Gray

Dr. Scott Gray is an internationally recognized and expert physical therapist specializing in sport, athletic, and back and neck injuries. He is the inventor of a revolutionary form of treatment called the GRAY METHOD. This type of treatment unlike others, addresses the CAUSE rather than just your SYMPTOMS with a full body approach. For more information on how to ease or overcome your injury, go to

“Physical Therapy, Fitness, & Performance Tips From Dr. Scott & the Back in Motion Team”