A hamstring injury typically causes a sudden, sharp pain in the back of your thigh. You might also feel a "popping" or tearing sensation. Swelling and tenderness usually develop within a few hours. You may also experience bruising or discoloration along the back of your leg, as well as muscle weakness or an inability to put weight on your injured leg.
When to see a doctor
Mild hamstring strains can be treated at home. But you should see a doctor if you can't bear any weight on your injured leg or if you can't walk more than four steps without significant pain.
Oct. 03, 2015
- Alzahrani M, et al. Hamstring injuries in athletes: Diagnosis and treatment. The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. 2015;3:e5.
- DeLee JC, et al. Hamstring injuries. In: DeLee & Drez's Orthopaedic Sports Medicine: Principles and Practice. 4th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2015. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Sept. 13, 2015.
- Hay WW, et al. Sports medicine. In: Current Diagnosis & Treatment: Pediatrics. 22nd ed. New York, N.Y.: McGrawHill Education; 2014. http://www.accessmedicine.com. Accessed Sept. 13, 2015.
- Sprains and strains. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. http://www.niams.nih.gov/health_info/sprains_strains/default.asp. Accessed Sept. 13, 2015.
- Fields KB, et al. Hamstring muscle and tendon injuries. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Sept. 13, 2015.