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A hamstring support is a brace designed to provide support to the muscles in the hamstring group located in the thigh. Supports can be worn to reduce the risk of injury and they can also be used during recovery and rehabilitation to stabilize the muscles while they heal. It is advisable to consult a doctor for treatment in the wake of a hamstring injury and to check with a doctor to see if the use of a support is indicated. Many drug stores carry hamstring supports and they can be ordered through medical supply catalogs.
The basic hamstring support is a compression garment worn around the thigh. Some take the form of simple sleeves, while others may have straps to allow the wearer to tighten the garment. Breathable stretchy materials are commonly used to construct hamstring supports and some designs include compression pads or straps to address particular problem areas.
People at risk of hamstring injuries may choose to wear a support to stabilize the muscles during workouts and other activities. The support reduces the risk of an injury and may help to prevent more serious injuries. People with an active injury can use support to limit pain and promote healing, as supporting the muscles under compression can help them heal more quickly. Some hamstring supports can be heated or cooled before wearing to address pain and inflammation.
Chronic hamstring pain may be addressed with the use of a hamstring support. If the muscles are consistently sore and tender, the pressure can help people walk and engage in other activities more comfortably. Support can be combined with physical therapy, medications, and other treatment options, depending on the patient and the situation.
A mild strain of the hamstring can usually be treated at home with rest, plenty of fluids, and applications of hot and cold compresses. If hamstring pain is deep, accompanied with significant bruising, or persists for more than a few days, the patient should see a doctor. Hamstring injuries can include issues like ruptured tendons that will require medical treatment. A doctor can examine the patient and make appropriate treatment recommendations, including recommendations to wear support garments to keep the muscles stable during the healing process.
While fitting a hamstring support, people should make sure the garment is not too tight. While compression is desired, cutting off circulation is not. If patients notice numbness, tingling, or color changes around the support, these symptoms indicate the hamstring support is too tight and needs to be loosened or replaced with a larger size.