Treatment for torn hamstring
May 29, 2014 7:27 PM   Subscribe

I tore my hamstring on Monday. Is physical therapy an option?

Its a small tear. I'm walking almost normally, going downstairs is a little challenging. I tore my hamstring on the other leg years ago and didn't get it treated and it was never the same, so I went to an orthopedist today to see if there was some physical therapy I could do. He verified that it was torn muscle, no ligament or tendon involved. He said that there was nothing to do but wait for it to heal, that any active attempts at healing would likely cause more damage. I was surprised to hear this. Do I go get a 2nd opinion?
posted by falsedmitri to Health & Fitness (8 answers total)
Treatment is important in the rehab sense, as you begin trying to use the muscle again and need to avoid compensating for the weaker muscle and developing poor movement patterns: not as a way to make it heal faster. Hard to tell if you were asking the wrong question or he was telling you no physical therapy will help?
posted by the agents of KAOS at 7:57 PM on May 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

I think the orthopod was just trying to get you out of his office. They hate soft tissue injuries.

Resting an acute muscle tear makes good sense to me. In a couple of weeks go to physio and get it rehabbed.
posted by crazycanuck at 8:17 PM on May 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: agents is right in that I'm not distinguishing between treatment while it is healing and treatment after. What I want is to do whatever I can to assure that the muscle will return to its original state. According to the orthopedist, right now, I can do nothing, but he did say that after it healed (he predicted up to 3 months), then I can do stuff.
posted by falsedmitri at 8:24 PM on May 29, 2014

I had a bad hamstring tear and physical therapy was very helpful. The early sessions included massage and ultrasound to promote healing, then I learned exercises and stretches to correct the imbalances that led to the injury. I found it very helpful.

I agree with crazycanuck that orthopedists often don't take injuries that they can't operate on seriously.
posted by medusa at 8:31 PM on May 29, 2014

Response by poster: So if not an orthopedist, who do I consult? a GP?
posted by falsedmitri at 8:45 PM on May 29, 2014

Sports medicine may be a good call. When I lived in New York, I had a doctor who was the kind of orthopedist who *did* care about all injuries and she wrote me a prescription for PT. I then found a therapy place and went.

In my case, it was a small hamstring tear, and with massage, ultrasound and stretching, I was able to compete in my big meet (and did really well). So PT from the beginning definitely helps.
posted by dame at 11:27 PM on May 29, 2014

I had a pretty serious tear in my calf muscle. The treatment was a couple of weeks in a walking cast followed by PT. You need to rest the muscle to allow the tear to repair itself. It still took a couple of years for the lump from the tear to completely disappear.
posted by tommasz at 10:11 AM on May 30, 2014

Response by poster: Thanks for the advice, I'll look into the sports medicine route.
posted by falsedmitri at 7:03 AM on June 1, 2014

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