Symptoms of a torn hamstring or hamstring injury include severe and sudden pain during activity or exercise that is accompanied by a popping or snapping feeling, according to WebMD. Patients may also experience tenderness or bruising on the back of the thighs.
Additional symptoms of a torn hamstring include pain in the lower buttocks or back of the thigh when bending over, stretching, walking or straightening the leg, explains WebMD. People who have mild hamstring strains may only experience mild pain in the affected area.
Treatment options for mild-to-moderate hamstring tears include rest, ice, compression and elevation, as MedicineNet explains. Anti-inflammatory medications, such as naproxen, aspirin or ibuprofen, help reduce swelling and pain. Severe hamstring tears typically require surgery. Depending on the severity of the tear, it can take several months to heal completely.
To prevent muscle atrophy and scar tissue from forming, people must participate in a rehabilitation program that includes range of motion and stretching exercises, claims MedicineNet. Strengthening exercises help rebuild leg muscles. Individuals must avoid strenuous physical activity until the hamstring heals to prevent re-injury, which may lead to permanent damage.
Signs of recovery include the ability to walk, run, sprint or jump without feeling pain and the ability to move the injured leg as easily as the uninjured leg, as WebMD notes. Stretching hamstrings before and after engaging in physical activity helps prevent future injury.
People who do not warm up or stretch prior to exercise and those with weak glutes are at risk for a torn or injured hamstring, according to WebMD. Tight muscles in the front of the thighs can also put more strain on the hamstrings.