A hamstring injury occurs when you pull or strain the hamstring muscles–the three muscles that compose the back of your thigh. There are three different grades of a hamstring injury:
- Grade 1: A mild muscle strain, which may heal on its own in a few days. You may experience slight pain and tenderness.
- Grade 2: A partial tear of a hamstring muscle. Grade 2 hamstring tears are more painful and may also cause swelling and bruising. You may not be able to straighten your leg and may also experience loss of strength in the leg. The healing time for a grade 2 hamstring tear may be from a few days to a few weeks.
- Grade 3: A complete tear of a hamstring muscle. Grade 3 hamstring tears are severe and may take several weeks or even months to recover. If you’ve suffered a grade 3 hamstring tear, you may experience intense pain followed by swelling and bruising. It’s generally very difficult to walk or use the affected leg.
Disclaimer: The information above should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. You should seek the advice and care from a primary care physician or physical therapist. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.