Treatment for Hamstring Strains

Luckily, minor to moderate hamstring strains usually heal on their own. You just need to give them some time. To speed the healing:

  • Rest the leg. Avoid putting weight on the leg. If the pain is severe, the patient may need crutches until it goes away.
  • Ice the leg to reduce pain and swelling. Do it for 20-30 minutes every three to four hours for two to three days, or until the pain is gone.
  • Compress the leg. Use an elastic bandage around the leg to keep down swelling.
  • Elevate the leg on a pillow when sitting or lying down.
  • Take anti-inflammatory painkillers. like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn) will help with pain and swelling. However, these drugs may have side effects, like an increased risk of bleeding and ulcers. They should be used only short term, unless your doctor specifically says otherwise.
  • Practice stretching and strengthening exercises if the doctor recommends them. Strengthening the hamstrings is the best protection against hamstring strain.

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