Unlock Your Full Potential with Recovapro Lite


November 13, 2020 3 min read

Olympic champion and world record holder Usain Bolt fell to the ground during the homestretch of the 4x100‑meter relay in the 2017 World Athletics Championships held in London. This happened to be his final race, as the World's Fastest Man cantered to a stop, skipping and hopping due to pain, then finally dropping to the ground. It was a disastrous finish and all because of a torn hamstring.

Hamstring injuries are one of the most common injuries in athlete, especially in sprinting, which can range from acute muscle strains to severe tearing of the muscle. Acute hamstring strains are the most common muscle strain and have high rates of recurrence, which can lead to prolonged absence from sports. It results mainly from excessive stretching resulting to tearing of muscle fibers.

How do I get a pulled hamstring?

Hamstring strains often occur when the muscle lengthens as it contracts, or shortens. This happens when you extend a muscle while it is loaded, termed as "eccentric contraction."

During sprinting, the loaded hamstrings (by body weight and force for forward propulsion) contract eccentrically as the back leg is straightened (lengthened) and the toes are used to push off and move forward.

What are the symptoms of hamstring strain?

A pulled  hamstring most  commonly  presents  as  a  sudden sharp pain in the  back of  the thigh during  fast  running  or  sprinting. Although hamstring  strains  often occur  in sprinting, they  can also occur  during jumping  and other  activities  where  quick starts  and stops  are  required. Runners  are  susceptible to  chronic hamstring strains  due  to the  repetitive  nature  of  the  sport. 

Additional symptoms may include:

  • Localized swelling and tenderness immediately after the injury.
  • Possible palpable defect over the area of the tear in severe cases.
  • Bruising or discoloration on the back of the thigh in the following days.
  • Feeling of tightness and weakness in the hamstrings.

How do I treat my pulled hamstring?

  • To control acute symptoms of pain and swelling, use the RICE protocol (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation).
  • Anti-inflammatory medications.
  • Physical therapy consisting of initial gentle stretching and strengthening exercises, progressing to a more aggressive sports-specific training.


The primary goal of treatment for hamstring strains is to reduce muscle tightness. This is accomplished with effleurage, compression broadening techniques, sweeping cross fiber, and longitudinal stripping techniques.

Recovapro massage gun is a versatile massage tool offering a variety of massage techniques applicable in treating pulled hamstrings. With its unique four head attachments and adjustable speed settings, every massage experience is customized specific to the level and severity of hamstring injury.

  • Using the flat or round head attachment, apply sweeping cross fiberto the hamstrings to reduce tension throughout the muscle. The stroke travels diagonally across the fibers using level 1 or 2 of the speed setting.
  • Compression broadeningis done by applying more pressure to reach deeper muscle tissues and enhance muscle pliability, moving from just above the back of the knee going up.
  • Deep longitudinal stripping is used to enhance soft tissue elasticity. Since a broad contact has already been applied via the flat head attachment, stripping with either the round head or the bullet head provide small contact surface, allowing deeper penetration and better stripping. Caution is advised in stripping techniques near the site of muscle tear, especially if the strain is more severe.
  • Deep transverse frictionvia round head or bullet head is applied to the primary site of tissue damage moving from side to side to help proper alignment of the healing scar tissue.

NOTE: For general hamstring workup, please click here.