I have a client who injured her hamstring from overstretching. it has been a month and she still suffers from discomfort. What do you do for this type of injury, and generally how long should it take to heal. It is virtually impossible to avoid using it or working it without cutting out lower body and cardio. She does tabatas and pilates as well as body wt training
Hamstring injuries are especially difficult to overcome for the reason stated in the description. We use them in all movements involving the legs. They slow down the forward swing of the lower leg eccentrically during most movements that propel the body forward. And they are not intended to handle heavy loads compared to the quads. Often the quads are trained to a greater extent and can easily over power the hamstrings when put into a situation such as sprinting or planting and exploding forward.
The best chance of rehabilitating the hamstrings requires that the injury be allowed to properly heal before beginning any program. This requires rest and inflammatory reduction. Only a physician can prescribe pharmacueticals, but the client can use ice every night to reduce the inflammation from the day before going to bed. Fitness pros are split on the effectiveness of ice after 48 hours from the initial acute injury, but the use of the muscles all day will re-initiate the injury process and ice is one of the most effective ways to reduce inflamation. Once the level of discomfort is significantly reduced, ROM improvement is the next step. All efforts must be made to not re-injure the damaged tissue and progress will be slow. After ROM is restored, slow progression of resistance training can begin. Regression is absolutely necessary if the hamstring begins to tighten and/or become sore/painful.
Most Personal Trainers are not knowledgeable enough to work with this type of client safely and effectively. Refer these clients to other fitness professionals if you do not feel upto helping them through their recovery.