The hamstrings are the large muscles found below the buttocks, behind the thigh bone that causes the knee to flex. These immensely powerful muscles are frequently injured by athletes, who will be seen suddenly pulling up, usually after a sudden movement. Ironically, the more finely tuned the athlete and the stronger the muscle, the more likely the fibres are to tear. Hamstring injury is generally very painful and if the muscle is ruptured a lump will be felt. Relief is obtained by relaxing the leg and the pain is made worse by trying to flex the knee.


Avoid hamstring injury by stretching out thoroughly before and after exercise. Place the outstretched leg on a support at hip height or sit on the ground with the leg splayed. Keep the knee slightly bent and aim at placing the forehead on the knee. Do not bounce but apply gentle pressure, count to eight and return to an upright position. Repeat this process eight times. > Apply heat or ice, depending on whichever is soothing, for relief of the immediate pain. If the injury is due to cramp then heat will be of benefit; if the muscle has torn and inflammation has set in, then ice will be the choice.

If an injury has already been sustained, apply an Arnica-based cream regularly to the entire muscle, paying special attention to the area around the injury.

Apply ultrasound via a physiotherapist or body worker with suitable equipment.

Acupuncture, Shiatsu and massage techniques will all speed healing.

Osteopathy and chiropractic may be of benefit but must be considered if the injury is longstanding. Extra weight will be placed on the other leg and pelvic malalignment is inevitable but easily adjusted.

The homeopathic remedy Arnica 6 should be taken immediately every 15min. Consider Ruta and more Arnica on a four-hourly basis, depending on the symptoms of the injury.

The fluid extract Ruta should be taken three times a day until the injury has healed.