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Posterior Thigh

Whilst sometimes the mechanism of injury is obvious, occasionally the problem is insidious with a steady increase in symptoms over time. Your physiotherapist is an expert in assessing and differentiating the causes of pain in the back of the leg. In cases of torn muscle tissue, structured rehabilitation and careful management of scar tissue during the repair process are essential.

Treatment may include:

  • Soft tissue massage
  • Scar tissue management
  • Exercises to glide the sciatic nerve
  • Passive range of movement at the knee and hip joint
  • Weaning from walking aid
  • Gait re-education
  • Stability exercises
  • Concentric and eccentric muscle loading activities
  • Taping for pain, proprioception and to reduce swelling
  • Therepeutic ultrasound
  • Fracture and Post operative rehabilitation
  • In cases of sciatic irritation, assessment and treatment of your back

Hamstring Tear
There are three hamstring muscles that run down the back of your thigh bone. If a hamstring muscle is forcibly stretched beyond its limits the muscle tissue becomes torn. A tear in the Hamstring is classified depending on its severity as a first, second or third degree strain:

A first degree strain is damage to a few muscle fibres, there may be a sensation of cramp or tightness and a slight feeling of pain when the muscles are stretched or contracted.

A second degree strain is damage to a more extensive number of muscle fibres and is classified as a moderate injury. Because there is a greater amount of tissue damage, a second degree strain will have significant impact on the functional ability of the leg. A patient may have swelling, localised bruising, muscle spasm, tenderness over the injury site, reduced or limited range of motion, and weakness in the muscle. Over the next few days the bruising may track down the leg because of the effect of gravity.

A grade three strain is a complete rupture of the muscle either within the muscle belly or at the musculotendinous junction (where the muscle and tendon connect). There is an immediate burning or stabbing and the patient is unable to walk without pain. The muscle is completely torn and there may be a large lump of muscle tissue above a depression where the tear is. There is normally extensive bruising that appears shortly after injury and may be down the whole of the leg into the calf and ankle.

Sciatic Pain
If anything happens to impinge the sciatic nerve, it can become symptomatic. It is common to feel pain in the buttock, the back of the thigh, the outside of the lower leg and even the foot and ankle. There may be burning, toothache, numbness or pins and needles. There can be weakness in the muscle groups the sciatic nerve supplies and sensory perception can be reduced.