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How to Prevent Hamstring Injuries?

Posted by Simon Bowman on June 3, 2021

Hamstring injuries are one of the significant common running-related injuries. Studies show that 80% of runners will experience a hamstring injury at some point in their lives. It is, therefore, essential to know how to prevent hamstring injuries from happening especially if you are a regular runner, runs professionally, or someone who plays soccer, football, basketball, and all other sports that involve constant running. This post will discuss some prevention tips and recovery exercises that can help with hamstring injuries.

What can hamstring injuries do to you?

  • They can be very painful.
  • They may cause you to limp or walk with a stiff leg.
  • If left untreated, they may lead to chronic injury and pain.
Hamstring Injury

What are the symptoms of having hamstring injuries?

  • Inability to walk.
  • Reduced range of motion in the ankle, knee, or hip joints.
  • Pain when walking upstairs, running on a flat surface, or going uphill.

The most common sign is pain and stiffness felt along the backside of your leg from your buttocks down through your lower thigh to the point where it joins with the top end of your calf muscle. It can also be painful when walking upstairs, running on a flat surface, or going uphill.

If you have pain in your hamstrings while exercising, what should you do? 

If it’s minor discomfort that goes away within five minutes of stopping an exercise, try to rest up and stretch before continuing with practice, to not make it worse. If this is happening when going upstairs or running outside, reduce your intensity until symptoms stop occurring. However, if they’re still present within the five minutes time frame, take some time off from exercising entirely until symptoms dissipate completely. These pains because they could lead to serious injury like muscle tears which may need surgery.

If the pain in your hamstrings is a result of an injury, see your physiotherapist! For the meantime, rest and ice for a few days to help with the inflammation, but if it is severe or lasts more than a day, see your physiotherapist immediately.

Rest can alleviate hamstring injury pain.

What happens if you don't treat your hamstring injury?

Even if you don't treat your hamstring injury, in minor cases, the pain will gradually decrease. However, if it is severe with pain that lasts more than a day, you should call your physiotherapist.

Strong muscles may cause repetitive strain injuries and contribute to other body problems, including backache, sciatica, bursitis (inflammation of one or more tissues that line joints), and tendonitis (painful inflammation and tend) as degenerative joint disease. So strengthening these specific muscles are essential for preventing future damage to them.

The most common sign is pain and stiffness felt along the backside of your leg from your buttocks down through your lower thigh to the point where it joins with the top end of your calf muscle.

Don't use the leg if you suspect injury to it. Instead, wrap it with an ice or heat pack and apply compression with a bandage to reduce swelling.

How to Prevent Hamstring Injury?

A good stretch can prevent a hamstring injury. For example:

  • A runner's pose: Lay on back and slowly bring one heel towards the buttock of another leg in front of the body. Hold the position for 12 deep breaths. Repeat on both sides if desired.
  • Foam rolling and stretching the posterior chain (hamstrings, glutes, piriformis) for at least five minutes before exercise.
  • Exercises that strengthen your hips, such as squats or bridges.
  • Stretch your hamstrings daily by laying on one side with your knees bent, then bend the opposite arm overhead while you pull your leg closer towards the chest.
Proper Stretching and Warm-up Exercises can help prevent Hamstring Injuries

Foam rolling and stretching the posterior chain (hamstrings, glutes) for at least five minutes before exercise does wonders can do wonders too! 

Do exercises that strengthen your hips, such as squats or bridges, which will help support your lower back and take pressure off hamstrings. Stretch your hamstrings daily by laying on one side with bent knees, bend opposite arm overhead while you pull your leg closer toward the chest. Ensure that you have adequate recovery time between workouts so muscles can repair themselves from the previous activity. You can also do your lower back.


Hamstring injuries are common in sports and can be difficult to treat. And that preventing it has some degree of difficulty especially if you’re an athlete. InMotion Physio Clinic offers a treatment program for preventing and treating hamstring injury that has been proven to work - all of whom have multiple certifications and years of experience treating athletes with this type of injury.

Simon Bowman | Lead Sports Physio & Practice Owner

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