If you have a pulled hamstring, you can take certain steps to recovery quickly. Certain topical remedies, such as ice or herbal sprays, can be effective at limiting initial swelling.
When applying ice to a hamstring pull, it is usually easiest to lay a cloth covered bag of ice on a chair and rest your leg on top of it. Don’t apply ice for more than 5-10 minutes at a time, and usually no more than 3 times per day. Too much ice and you can damage skin and muscle tissue.
If your hamstring injury is fairly mild, you can use ice in conjunction with rest, compression and elevation to assist in recovery. If you feel like you need more help or you are looking for a quicker recovery, read the article on Muscle Pull Treatment for additional information.
What does your body need to recover from a pulled hamstring? The principle is straightforward: to recover from a pulled hamstring quickly and thoroughly, you need good circulation to the torn muscle tissue. Circulation removes the swelling and toxins that amass at the injury site. This assists your body’s natural recovery processes.
When you use ice beyond more than the initial day or so, you can work against your body’s ability to recover. Why? Because while ice can help limit swelling, it does so by slowing circulation which counters your body’s healing abilities. Usually in the first 36 hours, the benefits of reducing swelling outweigh the negatives of slowing circulation that can help repair torn muscle. But after about 36 hours, the benefits diminish significantly, and ice can become detrimental.
No matter what your level of your hamstring injury, it is important to:
- Increase your circulation. More energy and blood flow means faster recovery for your hamstring.
- Reduce your swelling. Whether you see it or not, internal and external inflammation is the root of pain and needs to be alleviated.
- Remove toxins. Eliminating toxins is essential for a full recovery.
Once you feel you can return to training or light movement, do so. Don’t stress your hamstrings, but light movement will assist your recovery. It promotes blood flow and helps to insure that regenerating pulled muscle tissue forms properly. It also is an important part of breaking down scar tissue, which ultimately produces better healing.
Check out the next page for further principles of recovery and hamstring prevention.