You begin feeling pain along the back of your thigh. A knot the size of a golf ball, or even a baseball,
begins to swell. The area is extremely tender and there might even be some bruising. Hamstring tears are extremely common among ballet dancers. They’ve even been career ending for many dancers. But it doesn’t have to be for you! Here are five steps to healing your hamstring and getting back onto the dance floor:
The first 2 or 3 days after your hamstring tear are crucial to healing. Ice the area for 15-20 minutes every 2 or 3 hours.
2. Relax the Muscle
On the third day, begin lightly massaging your hamstring with your hands. You can also use a foam roller to relax the muscle or get a professional massage. The muscles in your hamstring begin to knit themselves together after a tear, but it now has scar tissue woven in as well which is much less flexible than your muscle. Relaxing the muscle will not only help the pain but will allow you to remain flexible after your injury.
After the third day, begin to alternate ice and heat. Soak your muscle in a warm bath for 20 minutes, then ice for 10 minutes. Repeat this for 2 or 3 rotations. Contrasts will increase circulation around the muscle and help the injury heal more quickly.
If you’re only experiencing pain with extreme range of motion, just modify the exercises during class to avoid any extremes. However, if you feel pain when walking, sitting, climbing stairs, or any other daily activity, take a few days off. Rest can do wonders for a torn hamstring.
5. See a physical therapist
Physical therapy will help you address the injury, rehab it, and get you back onto the dance floor in record time. Here at Actify PT we have a former Broadway dancer on staff who will understand you and your body as a dancer (no funny looks about wanting to kick your leg above 90 degrees!). Feel free to give us a call if you’re interested in seeing what we can do for you!