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How to Tell If Your Hamstring Is Strained or Pulled

author image Kay Uzoma
Kay Uzoma has been writing professionally since 1999. Her work has appeared in "Reader’s Digest," "Balance," pharmaceutical and natural health newsletters and on websites such as QualityHealth.com. She is a former editor for a national Canadian magazine and holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from York University.
How to Tell If Your Hamstring Is Strained or Pulled
Sprinting increases your risk of suffering a hamstring injury. Photo Credit Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images

Regular physical activity is essential for maintaining your weight and staying healthy. The downside is it can lead to injuries such as a strained or pulled hamstring. When the hamstring muscles at the back of your thigh become injured, it can be painful and interfere with your movement. The good news is that most hamstring injuries can be effectively treated with easy, nonsurgical remedies.

Step 1

Watch for sudden pain, stiffness or weakness at the back of your thigh. Hamstring strains usually occur during activities such as sprinting, basketball or dancing.

Step 2

Check whether the pain is localized, which means you can cover the affected area with your finger. This will signal that you have suffered a mild or grade 1 strain.

Step 3

Check your thigh for any change in color, which may be black or blue, or whether you are limping, as these are symptoms of a second-degree hamstring pull, according to the Nicholas Institute of Sports Medicine and Athletic Trauma.

Step 4

Notice whether you have significant loss of function in your leg, for instance, you are unable to stand on the leg without a lot of pain or to straighten your leg. Feel the back of your leg to see whether the muscle has “balled up.” These symptoms signal a major tear of the muscle or a grade 3 strain. You will also experience discoloration from significant bleeding in the muscle with a third-degree strain.

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