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How do you treat a pulled hamstring?

Related Topics: Hamstring

Answers From Experts & Organizations (1)

Internal Medicine
Emory University
131 Answers
108,648 Helpful Votes

A pulled hamstring (hamstring strain) is one of the most common exercise-related injuries. A hamstring strain occurs when a movement stretches the muscles running along the back of the thigh, tearing some of the muscle fibers. Any activity that involves running or jumping can cause a hamstring strain.

Time and rest are the best treatment for most hamstring strains. Other treatments may help reduce swelling and speed recovery:

  • Apply ice to the area for 30 minutes every few hours for two to three days. 
  • Wrap the hamstring with an elastic bandage.
  • Elevate the leg on a pillow when sitting or lying down.

Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicines, like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, Nuprin) or naproxen (Aleve) can relieve pain and swelling, as well. Unless you’re sure it’s OK, it’s best to check with your doctor before taking these medicines.

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