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The hamstrings are the large set of powerful muscles that span the back of the thigh from the buttocks to the calves and serve to flex the knee and extend the hip. Strains involving micro-tears in the muscles, cramping, and tightness can be felt when the hamstrings are injured or not performing properly. These injuries often heal very slowly and put the individual at risk for recurring injuries if not treated properly.
Hamstring strains occur most often in active individuals and occurrence increases with age. Strains are not caused by contact, but rather by bursts of speed or an abrupt change in direction. Inadequate flexibility, lack of sufficient training prior to sport, muscle fatigue, poor form, and return to activity prior to complete healing of a prior injury are all potential causes of a hamstring injury.
In less severe hamstring strains, the tearing is microscopic. The muscle fibers are essentially stretched too far, and some bleeding occurs within the muscle. In very severe hamstring strains, the hamstring muscle can completely rupture, and may require surgery to repair the torn ends of the muscle. Pain can range from nagging to severely sharp and radiating.
Use KT Tape to relax the injured muscles and increase circulation to the area, as well as provide significant pain relief. Hamstring problems can be very painful and keep you off your feet for quite some time if not treated properly. Combine KT Tape with light progressive stretching, icing after activity, and appropriate rest in order to speed healing.
The following helps identify the severity of the strain:
Grade I Strain: Mild discomfort, often no disability. Usually does not limit activity.
Grade II Strain: Moderate discomfort, can limit ability to perform activities such as running and jumping. May have moderate swelling and bruising associated.
Grade III Strain: Severe injury that can cause pain with walking. Often people complain of muscle spasm, swelling, and significant bruising.
KT tape application is an appropriate use for Grade I and II hamstring strains. Seek professional medical evaluation for grade III strains and use KT Tape as part of a larger treatment plan.
For additional resources, please visit the KT Tape Forum.
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