Our hips extend and knees bend due to a group of three muscles located in the back of the thigh called the hamstrings. These muscles, if not stretched properly prior to exercise can stretch too far, pull, or even tear. These are very common in athletes and often occur during running, jumping, and in sports like basketball, soccer, wrestling, where stopping and starting occur in spurts. Pain associated with a hamstring strain can range from a mild irritation to a severe pain that leaves one unable to stand. If you feel a sudden snap, pop, or pain in the back of the thigh, it is most often the hamstring.
The hamstring muscle group crosses over and effects the hip and knee joints but it also affects the legs, and back. Hamstrings that are not stretched properly prior to running and exercise can not only cause leg and knee pain, but also lower back and hip pain. Hip pain can come in the form of burning, dull aches, or a popping sensation. Hip pain can affect mobility and compensating for the pain causes strain on other muscles.
Even though hamstring strains are one of the most common injury that athletes face, there is still not a definitive answer on how to manage them. Doctors have looked to plasma-rich platelet (PRP) injections for a possible treatment. Platelet-rich plasma is plasma that contains 5 to 10 times greater the amount of platelets than in blood. Platelets promote healing, prevents blood loss, and tissue repair. To obtain the PRP, blood is drawn from the patient and is then centrifuged in a machine that separates the plasma from other blood cells. The plasma is recombined with the rest of the blood and injected into the patient.
A controlled trial using platelet-rich plasma injections (PRP) was done on twenty-eight patients each having an acute hamstring injury. The purpose was to see if this treatment had any effect on pain management, along with shortening the healing time. Patients were divided into two groups, one group receiving PRP injections combined with a rehabilitation program, while the control group was given rehabilitation only. Those receiving the PRP injections and rehabilitation recovered fully and return time to their activities was 26.7 ± 7.0 days, while those in the control groups return time was 42.5 ± 20.6 days. Lower pain severity scores were recorded throughout the trial, although the difference of pain scale between the two groups was not significant. The end conclusion is that PRP injections in addition to a rehabilitation program is more effective than a rehabilitation alone for treating acute hamstring injuries. This is extraordinarily promising.
Hamstring and hip pain can be avoided by properly stretching before activities. Not all injuries occur due to sports, simply gardening and chores can result in an injury if muscles are tight. Routine stretching is an effective tool against hip pain and hamstring tears. If you are concerned about hip pain, contact our renowned sports medicine orthopedists to be evaluated at Orthopedic Surgery San Diego.