Pain in the hamstring, which is a muscle group in the back of the thigh, can be caused by a sudden, sharp movement that stretches the hamstring, according to WebMD. Hamstring injuries range from mild to severe. A severe hamstring pull can be agonizing, making it impossible to walk or stand on the leg. Hamstring pulls are very common in sports that involve jumping, running or sudden starts and stops.
Hamstring injuries are graded 1, 2 or 3 depending on severity, explains SportsInjuryClinic.com. Grade 1 consists of minor tears in the muscle. Grade 2 is a partial tear. Grade 3 indicates a completely ruptured or torn muscle. Clinicians perform a series of tests to determine the severity of the injury, including a straight leg raise to determine range of motion, resisted knee flexion, a slump test and palpation. Minor hamstring pulls usually heal without treatment, says WebMD. To ease pain and speed healing of minor injuries, the muscle should be rested and crutches should be used to avoid putting weight on the affected leg. Other suggestions include icing the muscle to reduce pain and inflammation, wrapping the thigh in an elastic bandage to control swelling, elevating the leg while sitting, taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for pain and stretching to strengthen the muscle, according to Sports Injury Clinic. Severe hamstring injuries may require surgery.