Hamstring injuries are a major problem that most athletes have already had or will inevitably experience. Hamstrings are prone to injury due to the transition: 

  1. from concentric to eccentric 
  2. at end ROM 
  3. at the fast velocity with full muscle engagement 

Due to the dynamics of the hamstring in association with the FAJ (Femoral Acetabular Joint) and knee movements, poor biomechanics may affect the health of the hamstring. 

Hamstring Healing Patterns

Upon injuring the hamstring, the typical healing patterns are: 

  1. acute hamstring tear 
  2. poor healing and rehab 
  3. scar tissue develops 
  4. poor firing develops 
  5. increase stress to adjacent muscle fibers 
  6. adjacent muscle fibers prone to injury due to increase load 
  7. chronic ache with poor strength and abnormal gate 
  8. poor performance on the field 

The above healing pattern is a typical pathway of the athlete healing process. 

We at Physical Chiropractic of Tampa Bay understand the pattern for healing and provide athletes an environment for proper healing. This is not the typical 45-minute maximum treatment time, but instead 2-4 hours of therapy each day for 2-3 weeks. Time after time, Dr. Rhee is called to get an athlete back on the field where others have failed. 

Hamstring Recovery Guide

Below is a typical guide to recovery for a Grade 2/3 hamstring strain. With this protocol, tissue will lay properly in parallel with the existing muscle to regain original length and strength. 

1st week

  1. Examining athlete with MSK Ultrasound to understand the degree of damage. 
  2. Using passive modalities: Class IV Laser Therapy, HBOT, Diathermy, CryoFos. 
  3. Flushing around the damaged tissue to create a vacuum for swelling to deposit away from damaged area. Remove excess fluid from approximate damaged tissue. 
  4. Icing with Compression (NormaTech) with Micro-Current. 
  5. Repeat 3 times/rounds. 

2nd week

  1. Using passive modalities of Class IV Laser Therapy, HBOT, Diathermy, CryoFos. 
  2. Flushing around the damaged tissue to create a vacuum for swelling to deposit away from damaged area. Remove excess fluid from approximate damaged tissue. 
  3. Icing with Compression (NormaTech) with Micro-Current. 
  4. Range of Motion: Passive ROM to Active ROM 
  5. Introduce patient to loaded exercises, close to open chain, low to high velocity. 
  6. Repeat 3 times/rounds. 
  7. Toward end of week, treadmill intervals with 50-70% medium striders. 

3rd week

  1. Exam with MSK Ultrasound to track progress. 
  2. Therapeutic stretch to end range of hamstring. 
  3. Good warm-up to striders to 80% loaded sprints. 
  4. Good warm-up to striders to 90% loaded sprints. 
  5. Good warm-up to striders to 100% loaded sprints. 

The above is the average recovery period of a grade 2/3 injury. Time of recovery may vary depending on individual’s lifestyle outside our office and the severity of their condition. 

Dr. Rhee is an expert of damaged hamstrings. He understands the physiology of the hamstring muscle and creates an environment for the muscle to heal fast. For example, there is currently a patient with a hamstring tear (grade 3) that has recovered to 100% within only 3 weeks. This proprietary protocol has been mastered and used to care for many athletes, including Olympians and NFL players that need to recover very quickly.