Hamstring Muscle Injuries: Cause & Treatments

Hamstring injuries are a common occurrence in athletes. They are usually known as “pulled hamstring”. Sports requiring frequent sprinting such as soccer, rugby and basketball poses a higher risk of a hamstring injury. Hamstring injuries happen when the muscle location at the back of the thigh is injured in the form of a strain. Fortunately, this type of injury respond well to nonsurgical treatment. In this article, we will look at the causes and treatment methods for a pulled hamstring.

The main cause of a hamstring injury is due to overloading of the hamstring muscle. The hamstring is a tendon which is essentially a thick bundle of fibers. During a normal scenario, the tendon contracts and shortens and expands and extends. In unusual situations, this tendon contracts and extend due to the presence of an additional load or strain. When this situation happens, the hamstring is pulled, resulting in a hamstring muscle injury.

Treatment will vary depending on the severity of the injury. Most hamstring injuries can recover with nonsurgical treatment. The first treatment administered will be the RICE protocol – Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. Resting involves the usage of walking aids such as crutches to avoid placing weight on the injured leg. During this period, the patient is not allowed to participate in any activities. Several times a day, the injured leg needs to be iced in order to bring down the swelling. To prevent swelling and loss of blood, compression garments will need to be worn. This will also help to retain body heat and enhance blood circulation. Lastly, the injured leg needs to be elevated above the heart to drain away excess blood. Once pain and swelling has subsided, a series of physical therapy sessions will be planned for in order to regain strength and range of motion to slowly help return back to sports.

If nonsurgical treatment does not help, surgery will be required. This is usually for cases where the hamstring tendon has been completely torn from the bone. To repair the torn tendon, the hamstring muscle must be located and placed back to its original location. Due to this injury, the body naturally forms scar tissues at the injury site and this must be removed as well. After that, the tendon will be reattached back using biodegradable sutures. This is followed by an intense rehabilitation period lasting at least 3 months.

Patients with hamstring injuries are able to fully recover after completing their rehabilitation plan. Most are able to return back to their pre-injury level and enjoy their favorite sport.

 

Possible Home Fixtures and Installations for Elderly Rehabilitation

Elderly rehabilitation is the process of regaining the physical and mental abilities of an elder person that were lost when they were sick. Rehabilitation is needed to improve the quality of life and allowing them to lead a more fulfilling lifestyle. Most elderly do not wish to spend their rehabilitation period in a hospital due to the high cost. Instead, they wish to do it in the comfort of their home. Rehabilitation should always take place in a safe and conducive place that is stress free and comfortable. This would also mean that you need to make changes in your home to allow for a better recovery. Let’s take a look at some possible home fixtures and installations that can help in the rehabilitation process.

 
Anti-slip flooring in bathrooms

One of the most dangerous places for the elderly at home is the bathroom. Small amounts of water can cause your beloved grandparents or parents to slip and fall, leading to serious consequences. While one would suggest limiting the number of times to visit the bathroom, you cannot really control the call of nature. Therefore, an installation of anti-slip flooring is a great investment. They greatly reduce the chances of one falling and are also easier to clean.

Grip handles in bathrooms

Grip handles are another fixture that should work hand in hand with the anti-slip flooring. While anti-slip floorings are excellent in creating a rough surface between your sole and the floor, they cannot provide the support needed to move around. Grip handles can provide a form of support to assist the elderly move around in the toilet.

Emergency cord

Emergency cords should be installed in the bathrooms if budget permits. This is similar to those in the handicapped toilets of most shopping malls. When your loved one is in distress, he can simply pull the emergency cord and a siren will notify your family members while the door will auto unlock. This will allow instant notification of accidents and emergencies. No matter how good your anti-slip flooring is, accidents still do happen and assistance must be meted out in the shortest possible time.

Elderly rehabilitation should take place in somewhere that is familiar to your loved ones and it gives them a sense of security and love. Although having an elderly at home may cause inconvenience to you, the family bonding you gain is priceless. Installing some fixtures at home can help you prevent accidents to a great extent, ensuring that your own private life will not be disturbed.

Causes and Symptoms of Lumbar and Thoracic Spine Fracture

Spinal fractures are extremely serious injuries. They most commonly occur in the thoracic and lumbar spine and are usually caused by high impact and sudden forces exerted on the spine such as a car accident or a fall from high altitudes. Men are more vulnerable to either thoracic or lumbar spine fractures up to four times than that of women and the elderly are also at a higher risk due to their loss in bone density due to osteoporosis. Our bones have excellent compressive strength and a large amount of energy is required to fracture it. This would also mean that when there is lumbar or thoracic spine fracture, the surrounding soft tissues as well as the spine will definitely be injured as well, and the extent of the injury is directly proportional to the force acting on the back.

Lumbar and Thoracic spine fractures are often caused by high impact and sudden forces as mentioned previously and some commonly examples are automobile accidents, falling from great heights, injuries from high impact sports such as rugby and violent acts such as from a gunshot. Lumbar and Thoracic spine fractures are not only caused by trauma. They can be caused by ageing diseases such as osteoporosis. Osteoporosis reduces bone density and places the patient at a high risk of bone fractures.

Some common symptoms associated with Lumbar and Thoracic spine fractures include severe pain, numbness, heavy breathing, loss of strength and loss of bladder and bowel control. Loss of bladder and bowel control are symptoms of spinal injury and if this symptom is observed, the patient must be sent to the A&E department immediately without further delay. The surrounding tissues will definitely be injured and patients may complain of muscle pain or aches which may sometime even overwhelm the back pain. This is extremely distracting and can possibly “cover up” the spinal injury and result in delayed diagnosis. Depending on the nature of the injury, some patients may even lose consciousness or have a partial memory loss. As a rule of thumb, patients who are involved in automobile accidents are automatically identified as patients with spinal injuries due to the high impact forces sustained during an automobile accident.

No matter how serious the injury is, the patient will require a lengthy rehabilitation process to allow them to regain mobility and reduce the severity of pain. If the injury was too serious, patients may lose some of their senses due to nerve injury.

3 Rehab Exercises for Knee

Imagine our knee as the hinges of doors, only much more heavily used every single day. After a period of time, the hinges will start to squeak. What will you do then? The most logical way is to oil the hinge as oil will reduce the friction between the hinge and the door, allowing a smoother and silent opening and closing motion. The same goes for our knees! Our knee has to bear all of our body’s weight throughout the day and this is amplified through actions such as jumping. The pressure exerted on our knee can go up to 4 times of our body weight and sooner or later, our knee joints will start to go “rusty” and require maintenance. Rehab exercises are excellent for building and strengthening key muscles such as the Quad, hamstrings, abductor and adductor which will in turn help to reduce injuries. What are some great rehab exercises that you can do?

Quad contraction

Sit in an upright position and place a rolled towel beneath your knee. Place two fingers on your inner quad and start to push your knee down onto the towel. You will be able to feel your quad muscles start to tighten and hold in that position for 10 seconds. Slowly relax your quad muscles and repeat for 10 times. This exercise will help to firm and strengthen the quad muscles to better support your knee.

Hamstring contraction

Sit down upright on a chair and bend your knee 45 degrees. Sink your heel onto the floor and tighten your hamstring muscles. Hold in this position for 10 seconds and repeat for 10 times. To better support your thigh, you may use your hands to hold your thigh in a fixed position when you are tightening your hamstring muscles.

Resistance knee extension

You will need to sit down on a chair that is high enough to prevent your legs from touching the ground. Tie one end of the resistance band to the legs of the chair and another on your ankle. Slowly push your leg forward and align it with your thigh. You will be able to feel your quad muscles tightening and slowly return to the starting position. Repeat this exercise for 10 times. Be mindful to perform this exercise slowly as any sudden action may injure the quad muscles.

Rehab exercises for the knee will help to strengthen the muscles supporting the knee and reduce the risk of knee injuries. However, different exercises are meant for different target groups and you should always consult your physiotherapist whether you are suited for the exercise before performing them.