The hamstrings are comprised of three muscles that are situated in the rear part of the thigh. It is a large muscle group that starts from the pelvic region up to low part of the knee in the inferior leg. Injuries to the hamstrings commonly occur among athletes in which the pulls and strains due to overwork can lead to painful and tight hamstrings. Always remember that tight hamstrings that trigger sharp pain or generalized tenderness in the upper leg can be managed at home with first aid measures. In case the tight hamstrings that are painful do not improve with self-care, it is best to consult a doctor.
The RICE method is a common technique used to manage tight hamstrings. This method stands for rest, ice, compression and elevation and has been the first line of treatment used when an individual is suffering from painful and tight hamstrings that are strained. The application of an ice pack on the hamstrings should last for about 20 minutes at several times in a day to help alleviate the pain and minimize the swelling. The compression is done by applying an elastic bandage and elevating the affected leg to help reduce the swelling. The individual must also find time to rest from his/her activities. In doing so, the tight hamstrings are given enough time to heal without worsening the issue. Depending on the response of the body, the RICE method can be used for a few days but severe strains would require more time for the body to fully heal. You can learn more about the RICE method by taking a course in Vancouver today.
Based on studies conducted, the regimen of using moist heat can help relax up tight hamstrings without increasing the pain. All you have to do is to apply a heat pack that has a temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit once tightness of the hamstring is experienced. If moist heat is used, it must be applied in 20-minute sessions to avoid burns and can be used together with dynamic stretching to prevent strains as well as relieve pain.
By stretching the tight hamstrings, it can effectively loosen up the muscles in order to relieve some of the pain. The individual must only stretch within his/her limits. In case stretching causes pain, the individual must not push further but only move as far as possible without triggering any pain.
Important considerations to bear in mind
The tight hamstrings might not be caused by lack of stretching yet some consider this as the main cause. In some cases, individuals are predisposed genetically to have tight muscles that can cause pain if they are not stretched properly before a workout. Another cause of tight hamstrings is the effect of an injury to the back. Those who suffer from low back pain such as herniated disc frequently experience muscle rigidity in the back as well as nerve pain which radiates down to the leg. Take note that both the stiffness and nerve pain can lead to the involuntary tightening of the hamstrings.