Hamstring Injury: Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 4/13/2020

A hamstring injury is trauma or damage to the hamstrings, the tendons that attach the large muscles at the back of the thigh to bone. The hamstring muscles are the large muscles that pull on these tendons.

Signs and symptoms of a hamstring injury include a

  • sudden and severe pain during exercise along with a
  • snapping or popping feeling.

Other associated symptoms and signs can include

  • pain in the back of the thigh and lower buttock when walking, straightening the leg, or bending over, as well as
  • tenderness or bruising of the affected area.

Causes of hamstring injury

Muscle strain typically experienced in rapid acceleration activities when running or initiating running activity causes hamstring injuries. Hamstring injuries are common in those who play sports such as soccer, football, and track.

Other hamstring injury symptoms and signs

  • Pain in the Back of the Thigh and Lower Buttock When Walking, Straightening the Leg, or Bending Over
  • Snapping or Popping Feeling
  • Sudden and Severe Pain During Exercise
  • Tenderness or Bruising of the Affected Area


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Jameson, J. Larry, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 20th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Education, 2018.