Thigh pain (hamstring muscle strain)
A hamstring muscle strain refers to a tear in the muscle which covers the back of the thigh.
It typically occurs when the muscle is contracted with excessive force in a stretched position. This commonly occurs during running or sprinting just before or after the foot hits the ground. In this position, the hamstring muscle group is stretched over the back of the hip and knee joints whilst it is working hard to slow down the forward swinging leg and secondly propel your body forward.
The first sensation you will feel is sudden pain in the back of the thigh due to damage to muscle fibres. At the same time, you may have a ‘tearing’ sensation. With a minor strain, you may be able to continue with participation with minimal restriction. However, as the muscle cools down following activity pain may gradually increase as bleeding and swelling around the injured muscle continues. In more severe strains, these sensations may be exaggerated such that you cannot continue with participation due to excessive pain in the thigh, muscle tightness, weakness and spasm. In these cases, pain may be so intense that you may not be able to walk without a limp. There may also be obvious swelling and bruising as well as a visible defect in the muscle.