The hamstring is a muscle located in the rear part of the thing. It is responsible for straightening and rotating the leg as well as bending the knee. If an individual sustains a pulled or strained hamstring, it can cause discomfort every time the affected leg is straightened. In severe cases, it can make walking difficult. Proper treatment of a torn hamstring is vital not only to prevent the injury from worsening but also to speed up the recovery period. The RICE method has always been the preferred mode of treatment when it comes to a torn hamstring, but prevention can also be added as the initial step.
Preventing further injury to a torn hamstring
It is important to protect the hamstring from further injury. This is always the initial step in order to effectively manage a torn hamstring injury. Regardless of the activity that triggered the tear, it must be avoided until the hamstring is fully healed.
Resting the affected leg
Rest is vital for promoting the healing of the torn hamstring. Once the individual experiences pain in the hamstring, he/she must stop any activity at all costs. Always remember that this is how the body signals that there is something wrong. By resting the affected muscle, it will help promote the healing of the muscles as well as promote a faster recovery period.
Application of ice and compression
As part of the RICE method, you have to apply an ice pack and compress the torn hamstring in order to provide relief to the swelling and pain. When applying an ice pack or cold compress, it must be applied for 20 minutes and 20 minutes off for the initial 24 hours after the injury was sustained. Do not forget to protect the skin by wrapping the ice pack in a clean towel or cloth. Wrap it on the leg using an elastic bandage for compression. Make sure that the wrapping is not too tight since it can cut down the circulation. Once the swelling and pain subsides, you have to stop using the cold compressions. By taking a course on first aid training, you will learn how to correctly use the RICE method.
The affected hamstring must be elevated to minimize the swelling and prevent the blood from pooling. You can do this not only during the application of ice and compression, but encouraged as often as possible. The ideal way to elevate is to prop the foot on a stool or place a cushion under the knee or foot when the individual is lying down. By elevating the injury, it helps reduce the throbbing sensation that occurs once blood is pumped into the injured muscle.
Important consideration to bear in mind
Always remember that if the torn hamstring is more than a minor injury due to severe swelling or inability to put weight on the affected leg, it is best to consult a doctor. In a span of 48-72 hours, a torn hamstring that is treatment properly can fully recover.