The biceps femoris, semitendinosus, and semimembranosus are the three muscles that make up the hamstring. A human's hamstrings rely upon two major joints: the hip and the knee. Without the hip or knee joint, it would be difficult for the hamstrings to function properly. When any one of the muscles within this group becomes strained, all three muscles are affected as a result.
Hamstring injuries are quite common amongst athletes who must run for long periods of time. Runners often experience hamstring pulls, strains, and tears. Symptoms associated with any kind of hamstring injury include sharp pains or tightness within the hamstring area. Generally, these injuries are a result of overstretching or tearing of the muscle fibers. Treatment of a hamstring injury includes rest, ice, and anti-inflammatory medications.
Even though injuries to the hamstrings may be common, there are some things that can be done to prevent these injuries. By stretching after any physical activity, warming up properly prior to physical activity, and slowly increasing athletic intensity, hamstring injuries can be largely avoided. Recurring injuries may persist if an original injury is not properly healed.
Another way to effectively reduce injury to the hamstrings is to perform strengthening exercises. Leg curls, lunges, squats, and dead lifts are all effective ways to increase strength within the hamstrings. These exercises should be performed on a weekly basis by athletes and individuals alike. While athletes tend to suffer many injuries to this particular area, people who are not athletes may fall prey to injured hamstrings as well.
The primary function of the femoris, semitendinosus and semimembranosus muscles is to allow knee movement. The hamstrings make it possible for a person to bring the heel towards the buttocks, and to move the leg to the backside of the body. Clearly, this portion of the leg is an integral part of daily activity.
Most hamstring injuries are not serious, though this is not always the case. If a person suspects that any muscle within the hamstrings has become torn, stretched, or strained, it is important to seek professional medical attention. Speaking with a physical therapist or medical doctor is the best course of action. Frequently, physical therapists will be able to provide patients with precise exercises that will both strengthen and repair the hamstrings. Following proper treatment, most people will be able to return to sports or daily physical activities within a short amount of time.