Symmetry Blog

Injury of the week - Hamstring Strain

Symmetry Physio - Friday, April 12, 2019

You may wonder how a swimmer ends up with a Grade 1 Hamstring Strain?


Injury of the week - Grade 1 hamstring strain


The 2019 Australian Swimming Championships are currently underway in Adelaide and less than a week ago swimmer Matthew Wilson suffered a hamstring strain.

Even Matthew could not believe it when he suffered a hamstring....yep during swimming! He admits he is probably the first swimmer to ‘ever blow a hamstring doing swimming’.

Lucky for him the strain was only a mild grade 1 and had a week to recover. His chosen sport also favours an early return given less demands on the hamstring compared to his track athlete counterparts who would have likely found it difficult to compete at their elite level let alone break any records a few days later. Matthew went on to break the commonwealth 200 m breaststroke record by 0.14 s and win the Australian title.

What is a grade 1 hamstring strain?

The hamstrings are a group of 3 muscles found in the back of the thigh. They help bend the knee and also move the hip backwards. Given the action at both the hip and knee joint they are a common spot for injury particularly in running sports when speed is required.

Strains range from grade 1 to grade 3 depending on severity.

A grade 1 strain is the mildest form and is usually classified by a tightness and pain felt in the back of the thigh or lower buttock either during walking or running, there may also be discomfort when bending and/or straightening of the knee resulting in reduced flexibility along with some hamstring tenderness.


Generally within a few days the hamstring will start to feel better. A collaborative effort between you and your physio will guide you back to sport.

Exercises focusing on restoring range of motion, strength, control and lastly speed is advisable in order to reduce the risk of re-injury.

A mild grade 1 strain could take between 1-3 weeks to return to games and/or racing dependent on the athletes sporting demands. A swimmer such as Matthew was able to return within a week, however a track sprinter may take a little longer.

5 Strategies for Hamstring Injury Prevention


Kim Garland

Symmetry Physiotherapy


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