The hamstrings are the muscles at the back of your thigh, running from the hip to the knee. They are one of the most commonly injured parts of the body, especially amongst people who exercise frequently or play a lot of sports.
Hamstring injuries are often caused by sudden and intense movements. Lunges, jumps, and deep stretches are common causes of hamstring strains. Most sports and physical activities come with some risk of hamstring injuries but data has shown that they are most common in sports requiring high speed running such as American football, soccer, rugby, and track and field events.
There are three levels of hamstring injuries:
- Grade 1 refers to a slight pull or strain. Most injuries will fall into this category.
- Grade 2 refers to a partial muscle tear.
- Grade 3 refers to a complete muscle tear.
Hamstring strains can be painful and debilitating. At best, a minor strain may recover in as little as a few days. More serious hamstring injuries can take weeks or even months to heal. Severe hamstring injuries have been known to end professional sporting careers, but most are completely treatable, with sufferers making a full recovery.
The more severe your hamstring injury, the longer it will take to recover. Depending on the severity, you may or may not require medical intervention. For milder hamstring sprains, it is usually possible to treat yourself at home. Common methods of treatment include rest, icing the affected area, elevating your leg, and taking over-the-counter painkillers such as ibuprofen. Another way to treat hamstring injuries at home is by using recovery wear such as a protective knee sleeve brace.
How does an Incrediwear Knee Sleeve Help?
Incrediwear garments are an innovative form of wearable technology, offered as an alternative to the traditional compression-based recovery wear on the market.
Our products work in harmony with your body, which has a host of amazing healing processes to help you recover from injury. Relying on the elements of Carbon and Germanium, which are activated by body heat, our garments gently increase the flow of blood and lymph fluid in your system. This results in more nutrients being carried to the areas that need them, while waste products are carried away more effectively.
Studies have shown that Incrediwear products such as our knee sleeve brace can reduce pain and swelling while speeding up the healing process. One study showed that participants enjoyed, on average, a 63% reduction in their symptoms from our products alone.
If your hamstring sprain is more severe and you are undergoing other types of treatment, from physiotherapy to over-the-counter or prescription pain medication, you can use your Incrediwear knee sleeve or leg sleeve alongside those interventions. As our products are gentle and non-invasive, they are safe to combine with most other forms of treatment. If in doubt, always check with your doctor or physiotherapist.
Wear Your Knee Sleeve Every Day
Wearing recovery garments such as a knee or leg sleeve will only help you to recover if you are diligent about using it properly. This means wearing it regularly, ideally every day while you are recovering from injury. It is a good idea to have more than one product so that you can rotate them throughout the week.
Our products are lightweight and breathable, meaning that they are comfortable enough to wear all day. They can fit under your ordinary clothes and will not restrict your movement. Since they wick moisture, they will not make you sweat or feel too hot. It is even safe to wear our sleeves and braces while you sleep, if you wish. This can help as our bodies do much of their natural healing at night.
Consistency is critical when you are recovering from an injury such as a hamstring strain.
Do Not Try to Exercise Before You Have Fully Recovered
One of the biggest mistakes people make is to exercise too quickly after a hamstring sprain. If you are still experiencing pain, your body is not yet ready for the stress of strenuous exercise. Some healing stretches or light exercise such as walking can aid in recovery, but leave the running and jumping until you are fully healed.
Athletes and sports enthusiasts often find it very frustrating when an injury forces them to stop or scale back on their exercise. But trying to jump back in too soon will only increase the time you spend injured in the long run.
Using your knee sleeve or other recovery wear garments regularly can help to minimize the time you will be out of action. But be patient with yourself and let your body recover.
Continue Using Your Knee Sleeve Brace When You Start Exercising Again
Recovery wear is not only for when you are actively healing from an injury. It can also protect you when you start exercising again, reducing the risk of a recurring injury. Hamstring strains are more likely to happen again once you have had one, so staying protected as you restart your fitness journey is very important.
Simply continue using your knee sleeve brace or leg sleeve, wearing it under your gym gear or running clothes. You might also wish to wear it in the hours or days following a hard workout, as your body can take up to 48 hours (sometimes even longer) to recover fully from strenuous exercise.
Avoiding Hamstring Strains Before They Happen
As with all injuries, it is best to prevent hamstring strains before they occur if possible. If you are engaging in any kind of regular exercise, and particularly in anything that requires running, jumping, or lunging, you can help to protect yourself by using wearable technology before an injury occurs.
Adding a knee sleeve brace, leg sleeve, or other appropriate recovery product to your sports kit will decrease the likelihood of an injury occurring, and may reduce the severity in the event that you do sustain one.
Prevention is better than cure, as the saying goes!