Thigh strain


Distension of the thigh


The term "thigh strain" refers to the process of non-physiological stretching of the muscles of the thigh.


Pulled muscles like the hamstring strain are among the most common Sports injuries at all. People who practice sports that are characterized by a rapid and abrupt change of direction are particularly at risk.
In relation to all muscle groups is that Thigh muscles particularly often affected by a strain. The hamstring strain can affect both the rear muscle groups (for example the flexor muscles), as well as the front muscle groups (for example the extensor muscles) affect.

In direct comparison, hamstring strains in the rear muscle groups are much more common. In most cases, the cause of a thigh strain is one Overuse or excessive strain the affected muscles.

Depending on the severity, the thigh strain is clinically divided into different degrees.

  • Grade 1: Muscles overstretched or torn muscle fibers
  • Grade 2: damage to several muscle fibers
  • Grade 3: entire muscle damaged

People who have a thigh strain usually experience one sudden shooting pain in the area of ​​the thigh.
While a 1st degree thigh strain usually heals without complications, the smallest bleeding under the tears in the 2nd and 3rd degree thigh strains often causes severe ones Bruising (Hematomas).

Treatment for a hamstring strain should ideally immediately after their creation kick off. For this reason, affected patients should immediately cool their thighs cool. By cooling the affected thigh, the pain can be relieved and bleeding into the muscle can be largely prevented.
However, the coolant must never be applied directly to the surface of the skin. Careful cooling of the hamstring should be followed by a period of approximately twenty minutes Compression bandage be created.

Figure thigh

Figure thigh muscles: A muscles on the front, B muscles on the outside and C muscles on the back

Thigh muscles

  1. Thigh Tie Tensioner -
    Muscle tensor fasciae latae
  2. Iliac muscle -
    Iliacus muscle
  3. Lumbar muscle -
    Psoas major muscle
  4. Comb muscle - M. pectineus
  5. Lean Muscle - M. gracilis
  6. Tailor Muscle - M. sartorius
  7. Hamstring muscle -
    Rectus femoris muscle
  8. External hamstring muscle -
    Vastus lateralis muscle
  9. Inner thigh muscle -
    Vastus medialis muscle
  10. Iliac-tibial tendon -
    Iliotibial band
  11. Kneecap - patella
  12. Long Dresser -
    Adductor longus muscle
  13. Big Dresser -
    Adductor magnus muscle
  14. Biceps thigh muscle,
    long head -
    Biceps femoris muscle,
    Caput longum
  15. Biceps thigh muscle,
    short head -
    Biceps femoris muscle,
    Caput breve
  16. Half-tendon muscle -
    Semitendinosus muscle
  17. Semi-membranous muscle -
    Semimembranosus muscle
  18. Femur -
  19. Gluteus Muscle -
    Gluteus maximus muscle

You can find an overview of all Dr-Gumpert images at: medical illustrations


The hamstring strain basically represents one Protective reaction of the affected muscle to one excessive stress During the strain, the muscle contracts reflexively and hardens. In this context, those forces are particularly relevant that suddenly act on the muscle and stretch it unexpectedly. For this reason, the causes of thigh strains are in most cases in sports.

For most of those affected, the thigh strain occurs in the area of ​​the rear thigh on. The corresponding muscles run from the ischial tuberosity to both sides of the Knee joint. In the hip the corresponding muscles act as themselves Straightener, they move the leg backwards. In the knee joint, however, they act as Flexor muscles.
However, the most important function of the hamstrings is in the Stabilization of the body while walking and running. Suddenly occurring forces are absorbed by the flexible muscle mass to allow the force to act on the Joint capsule and Tapes to reduce. Rapid changes of direction and particularly high loads ensure that the load and elasticity limit of the corresponding muscles is quickly reached.

Overstretching a muscle (Thigh strain) is mainly triggered when the force acting on the muscle exceeds the force of the muscle itself. The degree of muscle damage that occurs depends on the extent of the overload.
In some cases, the load and elasticity limit is exceeded so clearly that the Capsule and ligament tissue is additionally affected.

In addition to the physical causes of the thigh strain, the physical requirements of the affected patient plays a crucial role. In general, it can be assumed that an untrained muscle reacts much more poorly to suddenly occurring forces than a trained one. The reason for this is the fact that the untrained muscle has both the necessary strength, as well as the coordination is missing.
Another cause of the occurrence of a hamstring strain is bad Warm up before exercise. A "colder“Muscle has been shown to have a significantly lower load and elastic limit. In addition, an optimized technique during exercise can significantly reduce the likelihood of a thigh strain. In this context, the Quick change of direction process and the Behavior in the event of a fall a crucial role.


The symptoms of a hamstring strain mainly depend on the person Severity of injury from. A slight thigh strain is typically characterized by an overstretching of the muscles, which leads to the smallest tears within the muscle fibers leads. For this reason, the affected patients have a clear Limitation of muscle strength and des Range of motion observe.
In addition, those affected experience severe pain with every active movement as well as with passive stretching of the muscles. Usually this pain occurs for the first time immediately after the traumatic event. Affected patients describe the Thigh pain in the presence of a strain as spasmodic, pulling or stabbing.

An enormous strain in the thigh leads to large tears in the corresponding muscles (Torn hamstring). Typically, an affected patient develops immediately after the traumatic event visible and palpable dent in the muscle. In the course of this, however, this dent can go through severe swelling are covered.


In most cases, a muscle strain is diagnosed in several steps. Typically, the diagnosis of muscle strain begins with a detailed one Doctor-patient conversation (anamnese) in which various questions need to be clarified. During this conversation, the complaints perceived by the patient concerned play a major role. In addition, the Trigger mechanism (Was it exercised?) a decisive role in the diagnosis of muscle strain. The doctor-patient interview is usually followed by an orientational physical examination carried out. In this context, it is urgent to clarify whether the patient concerned is only suffering from a muscle strain or even a torn muscle fiber. The doctor will check both that Appearance, as well as the Functionality of the affected area. In addition, the attending physician pays attention to any Skin changes (Redness, injuries) and Swelling. May be during the physical exam Tissue gap (Dent) or bump are found in the painful area, it is reasonable to assume that the affected patient has a torn muscle fiber. The suspicion of a torn muscle fiber is confirmed if the muscle has ceased to function properly since the triggering event.Although many factors, which can be clarified during the doctor-patient conversation and the physical examination, allow a distinction between pulled muscles and torn muscles, the final diagnosis can often only be made with the help of imaging procedures respectively. In this context, the ultrasound examination of the painful muscle plays a crucial role. During the ultrasound examination, fluid accumulations within the muscle as well as the smallest cracks can be detected. If, even after an ultrasound examination, no clear distinction can be made between a pulled muscle and a ruptured muscle fiber, further imaging procedures (such as magnetic resonance tomography) can be initiated.


Treatment of the hamstring strain should ideally begin immediately after the traumatic event. If there is a thigh strain, the affected muscle group must be cooled as quickly as possible. Immediately after the onset of pain, the pulled area can be treated for a period of about fifteen to twenty minutes with a Ice packs, cold compresses or special cold sprays are supplied.
Affected patients should however ensure that the coolant is never applied directly to the surface of the skin. The best variant of cooling is to wrap the coolant in a thin towel. It can then be placed on the pulled site.

In addition, sporting activity must be stopped immediately after the symptoms appear. In the case of a thigh strain, the corresponding muscles will typically swell over the course. However, this phenomenon can be avoided by elevating the affected part of the body. In addition, existing swellings can subside faster by elevating the affected leg.

Furthermore, the thigh strain can be treated by applying special sports ointments. In addition, if necessary, a bandage, or an elastic bandage. However, care should be taken to ensure that the blood flow is not interrupted by applying the bandage too tightly.

In addition, those affected should stop any sporting activity for a period of about a week after a thigh strain. As soon as the symptoms have completely subsided, you can start again with light exercises.
Medical treatment of the hamstring strain is usually not necessary. However, if the pain persists over a longer period of time, it is advisable to consult a doctor and rule out more serious damage.

Find out more about the topic here: Thigh brace.

Course / prognosis

The course of a hamstring strain mainly depends on how severe the injury is and how much the muscle fibers have been overstretched. Depending on the severity of the thigh strain, the thigh strain takes a period of about two to three weeks to heal completely. With the right treatment measures, however, the healing time of the thigh strain can be positively influenced and thus significantly shortened. As a rule, consequential damage is not to be expected after a simple thigh strain.

Prevention (prevention)

Appropriate footwear plays an important role in prevention

A thigh strain can be prevented by simple means. In this context, it should be noted that any sporting activity with a light Warm-up program must be started. In this way, the muscles are effectively warmed up and prepared for the later sports unit. Thigh strains are also particularly common cold weather conditions on. To prevent this phenomenon, great importance should be attached to an extensive warm-up before the actual training. On cold days should be used for warming up at least 15 minutes be planned.
Although the risk of developing a thigh strain is significantly higher in cold weather, it cannot be assumed that extensive warm-up training can be dispensed with in warm weather conditions. Although a higher ambient temperature reduces the cold-related risk of a thigh strain occurring, the organism loses a lot, especially in warm weather Fluid and electrolytes. This loss of fluids and electrolytes in turn increases the likelihood of developing a hamstring strain. For this reason, the regular supply of water and electrolytes prevent a thigh strain.
In addition, the right equipment can help effectively prevent thigh strains. Especially suitable footwear plays a crucial role in this context.