Physio advice needed- pulled hamstring

Hey all,

Was in the pool 2 weeks ago and I think I pulled my hamstring. It wasn't all of a sudden- I was doing 20 x 100m at a hard pace, had warmed up before going in. Didn't feel much, if anything, whilst swimming (front crawl). Got out and found that there was a tightness and some clicking at the back of my knee, coming from the thin tendon parts of the hamstring where they attach. They weren't sore to touch but a little tender. There wasn't much pain at all just a bit of discomfort when walking. Things eased off so I went in again 2 days later and did 8 x 200m at a slower pace so that it was less intense on the joints. I felt a bit of the clicking/locking in the same place and walking home was quite uncomfortable. I haven't been in the pool since or done anything else as I am battling shin splints hence why I'm in the pool. I tried stretching and it seemed to make the pain worse. Yesterday I tried gentle stretching again and it brought it back slightly. There appears to be some small swelling behind the knee joint. I applied ice when the pain was at it's worst.

 In the Summer (August-Sept) I was swimming almost every day without pain at all but last week was my first swim for a month. When is it safe to go back in the pool and how do I treat it?


  • Don't stretch as if its a tear in your muscle, it will have started to form scar tissue around it and stretching might rip it and slow down the healing process.

    If its still painful, try ice and heat alternate.

    Once the scar tissues has formed and is still soft (from 4 weeks after injury onwards....up to about 12 weeks), its best to have specific soft tissue massage on it to break down the healed tissue and re-align your muscle fibres to prevent any future niggles.

    As for returning to pool.... well only you can tell. Depends on the severity of the injury. Listen to your body. If swimming hurts, don't do it. There's a degree to pain as well though. I would have advised maybe stay off from any sternous exercise until the scar tissue has formed, which is 4 weeks or more.

    Meanwhile you can do other stuff that doesnt make it hurt as much.

  • Thanks! Stopped stretching as that hurt- it's been pain free for a good week and a half now so tried a swim again tonight. Went tight after and clicked a lot but no pain.. still I'm gonna have to give it more time I think image

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