2nd Phase: Regain Full Range of Movement & Isometric Strengthening
The most important component of our rehabilitation is to regain full length of the muscle fibers. The scar tissue that forms inside the site of the tear must be lengthened and orientated to allow the muscle to contract without any restrictions. Physiotherapy treatment uses massage, stretches and neurodynamic mobilizations to achieve full range of movement. This will also prevent future re-occurrence.
Our Physios will use a variety of taping techniques including: Strapping (to prevent you from overextending the hamstring muscles) and compression bandages to stabilize the hamstring against the femur.
At every session we re-test the progress that you’ve made, and guide you to continue to use crutches until it’s safe to start walking without limping.
Hamstring exercises to help hasten the process? You may begin:
- Bridges with your knee flexed at 60 degrees without pain.
- Deep water pool jogging aim for 20 minutes. You should not feel any pain.
- Indoor cycling for 20 minutes at low resistance. Stop if you feel pain.
- Active knee extension within your pain-free range while sitting on a chair.
- Core stability and glute exercises.
3rd Phase: Eccentric Hamstring Strength
A muscle contraction works in two directions: One where the muscle is contracted and it shortens like with a leg curl (concentric), and controlling the descent going down from a leg curl (eccentric). This loads the muscle fibers while it’s being lengthened. These type of exercises are vital for conditioning the muscle fibers to absorb force.
4th Phase: Concentric Hamstring Strength
Shortening of the muscle during a contraction involves strength and power exercises that will gradually be progressed as your injury healing allows. This will be tested frequently to determine if you can progress from non-weight bearing to full weight bearing (walking without crutches). The physiotherapist will guide and monitor the hamstring muscle’s reaction to normal forces like walking, climbing stairs and driving.
In this stage you should be able to:
- Go up and down stairs without pain
- Perform single leg bridges with your knee flexed at 60 degrees without pain
- Performed straight leg raises
Other Hamstring Exercises you may begin:
- Gentle stretches of your quadriceps, adductors, hamstrings, gastrocnemius, soleus and gluteus muscles.
- Low intensity sidewalk drills such as sidestep
- Interval cycling at medium-high intensity
- Box step ups
- Low level running