Olympic champion and world record holder Usain Bolt fell to the ground during the homestretch of the 4x100‑meter relay in the 2017 World Athletics Championships held in London. This happened to be his final race, as the World's Fastest Man cantered to a stop, skipping and hopping due to pain, then finally dropping to the ground. It was a disastrous finish and all because of a torn hamstring.
Hamstring injuries are one of the most common injuries in athlete, especially in sprinting, which can range from acute muscle strains to severe tearing of the muscle. Acute hamstring strains are the most common muscle strain and have high rates of recurrence, which can lead to prolonged absence from sports. It results mainly from excessive stretching resulting to tearing of muscle fibers.
Hamstring strains often occur when the muscle lengthens as it contracts, or shortens. This happens when you extend a muscle while it is loaded, termed as "eccentric contraction."
During sprinting, the loaded hamstrings (by body weight and force for forward propulsion) contract eccentrically as the back leg is straightened (lengthened) and the toes are used to push off and move forward.
A pulled hamstring most commonly presents as a sudden sharp pain in the back of the thigh during fast running or sprinting. Although hamstring strains often occur in sprinting, they can also occur during jumping and other activities where quick starts and stops are required. Runners are susceptible to chronic hamstring strains due to the repetitive nature of the sport.
Additional symptoms may include:
The primary goal of treatment for hamstring strains is to reduce muscle tightness. This is accomplished with effleurage, compression broadening techniques, sweeping cross fiber, and longitudinal stripping techniques.
Recovapro massage gun is a versatile massage tool offering a variety of massage techniques applicable in treating pulled hamstrings. With its unique four head attachments and adjustable speed settings, every massage experience is customized specific to the level and severity of hamstring injury.
NOTE: For general hamstring workup, please click here.