One of the most common sporting injuries is a strained or pulled hamstring especially in sprinting sports such as running, football and rugby. A hamstring strain is caused by the over extension of the muscle, overloading of the muscle or from moving the muscle to quickly.
Hamstring strains are graded from 1 to 3 depending on the severity of the strain. Grade 1 consisting of minor muscle tears, grade 2 is a partial tear of the muscle and grade 3 is a severe or complete rupture of the muscle.
When a hamstring injury occurs it should be treated in the following way using the RICER technique Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate and Refer:
- Rest – It is essential that the muscle is rested as it is very easy to cause further to damage to the muscle if it is not rested
- Ice – Cold therapy should be applied to the muscle. This is best achieved using either and Instant Cold Pack or a Re-usable Cold Therapy Pack
- Compress – A compression bandage should be applied to the injured area in order to minimise the amount of bleeding and swelling in the muscle
- Elevate – The injured hamstring should be kept elevated as much as possible to reduce blood flow to the injured muscle and therefore aid a reduction in swelling
- Refer – Referral to a sports injury specialist is the best way to ensure an effective and speedy recovery of the injury ensuring that the muscle is fully rehabilitated before sporting activities are resumed.
Firstaid.co.uk can supply all the first aid supplies necessary for treating soft tissue injuries including, cold therapy products and compression bandages. These are supplies that should be found in all sports first aid kits.
The advice provided in this article is for guidance and should not be substituted for recognised training.