After first completing rest, ice, compression and elevation, balancing stretching and strengthening with exercise is the key to recovery, according to the Nicholas Institute of Sports Medicine and Athletic Trauma. Gentle hamstring stretching is important, especially in the early stages. Progressive hamstring strengthening follows.
For a hamstring stretch, place the affected leg on a steady surface with the knee straight, states Nicholas Institute of Sports Medicine and Athletic Trauma. Gently and slowly lean forward until a stretch is felt in the back of the leg. Protect the back by not arching, but bend at the waist. Hold 30 seconds. Hamstring strengthening can begin by sitting with elastic tied from the ankle to a stable surface and slowly pulling the ankle backwards. Progress to pulling a chair with wheels by scraping the heel backwards.