Hamstring Pain

Hamstring pain/strains are one of the most common injuries caused in sports.

Hamstring strains occur frequently in activities that require a high degree of speed, power and agility such as soccer, rugby, tennis and running.

The hamstring consists of three large muscles, which are located on the back of the thigh; the biceps femoris is located laterally and the semimembranosus and semitendinosus are located medially. These muscles start at the lower part of the pelvis on our sitting bone and attach below the knee joint to the tibia and fibula. The hamstring muscle has two actions as it crosses two joints; they help to extend the hip and bend/flex the knee.

hamstring pain
the gait cycle

What can cause a hamstring strain?

During contraction of the hamstring, tension is placed through the muscle. If this tension is to excessive due to too many repetition or high force, one or more of the hamstring muscles can tear – causing immense hamstring pain. This commonly occurs during the final part of swing phase as the hamstring reaches its maximal length acting eccentrically (lengthen while contracting) to decelerate the hip and knee in preparation for heel strike.

Risk factors

The single biggest risk factor for hamstring strain is having a history of a previous injury, other risk factors include:


Modifiable risk factors

  • Shortened hamstring length
  • Lack of hamstring flexibility
  • Strengthen imbalance
  • Insufficient warm-up
  • Fatigue
  • Lower back injury
  • Poor lumbar posture
  • Increased muscle neural tension
  • Pelvic instability

Non-modifiable risk factors

  • Previous injury
  • Age
  • Muscle composition
  • Race
hamstring pain


At The Physicaltherapy Centre we use a range of modalities when treating hamstring pain/strains, these include soft tissue work (massage, Active Release Technique etc.), dry needling, mobilisation/manipulation and an individualised rehabilitation program.

Whether you are a weekend warrior or an elite athlete, our team of skilled chiropractors can help to diagnose and treat you hamstring injury and help to get you back on the road to recovery.


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