QUESTION: How can I rehabilitate a bad hamstring pull?
A week ago I paddled out with a classic fish (the kind with the super-deep vee in the tail). Anyway, as I paddled into a wave, I stepped up to my board, planted my front foot (left) and then my back foot (right). The back foot only managed to find about two inches of board and slipped off. The wave simultaneously hammered me and I ended up doing the splits. (Imagine accidentally stepping on a skateboard.) My left leg was planted, my right loose, and the wave coming down on me with some degree of power. As I went down, I felt a slight pop in my buttocks/hamstring. I treated the injury with ice, massage, and rest for a couple of days. It's still a little tender, but I've been walking everyday and stretching. Do you have any other advice regarding hamstring rehabilitation?
Sorry for the delay, but I finally got the goods from the professional, Lance Harriman (see below). You should definitely take Lance up on his offer of a free 15-minute consult. It will help you know where you are in your rehab. It is quite important to take these things slowly, as you want the area to heal up proplerly to avoid doing the same thing over and over again. Once it feels better, make sure you get yourself on a bit of a strengthening routine. It will help lay down good, strong tissue, as well as re-educate the muscle.
If you have any more questions, don't hesitate to ask.
Hello Beth and Andy,
Sorry I took so long to respond to this one, I have been surfing too much. It sounds like Andy is recovering well. The one thing he should make sure of is that he did not completelely tear the tendon; I think that is what happened to Mick Fanning. You can test this by muscle strength testing. The other thing to think about is the flexibility of the hamstring and neural tissue; the healing process can create scarring which could limit the mobility of the soft tissue around the injury. This can be checked by muscle length testing. General rehab guidelines are to make sure that everything is pain free. Relaxed, pain-free hamstring stretching held for long durations would be helpful. Once you feel that the muscle is more stable, some good hamstring strengthening will be needed. Pool therapy can be great for this type of injury. It places less stress on the muscle. Continue with the ice and rest and gentle stretching until it feels ready for some light strengthening. Progess your rehab slowly and make sure you don't over do it once it starts to feel better. If you live in the area I would be happy to give you a free 15-miute consult at the clinic. Hope this helps. My friend told me Fanning is back in the water and just won a hometown contest.
Lance Harriman, MSPT