If a patients presents to clinic with pain in the buttock or posterior thigh, often related to blunt trauma or sporting activity, you should consider a hamstrings strain as a potential diagnosis! For more clinical findings click here!
Image via Complete Anatomy 2018 by 3D4 Medical
Hamstring Dominant Movement
Often times, patients with a history of hamstring strains tend to exhibit hamstring dominance. Checking activation sequence and quality can help the therapist determine if the hamstrings are being over-utilized and the gluteal muscles are being under-utilized. If hamstring dominance is present gluteal activation in the future will be key! (Click image to watch 1-2 minute video)
Range of Motion
To help rule in a strain to the hamstrings group it is helpful to elongate, contract and palpate the muscle noting any reproduction of the patient’s symptoms. Straight leg flexibility is one way to elongate the hamstrings group as well as attain an objective measure! (Click image to watch 1-2 minute video)
Treatment of hamstring strains depends on the how acute the strain is and/or the irritability of the patient. Early on, inhibition of the hamstrings group should be priority rather than stretching. As the patient progresses, eccentric loading to the hamstrings (if tendinopathy present) and especially gluteal strengthening should be considered! (Click the image to watch 1-2 minute video)
After pain has been reduced, hamstring length has been restored, and gluteal activation is progressing it is important to incorporate lower extremity motor control while promoting gluteal dominance vs. hamstring dominance. (Click the image to watch 1-2 minute video)