The "hamstring" is actually a group of three muscles behind the thigh. Stretching or tearing any of these muscles is called a pull. A player might pull his hamstring if he suddenly shifts speed when running or sprints from a standing position. Although common, pulled hamstrings are hard to treat. Usually, treatment is RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation). If the muscle is completely torn, surgery may be needed. Healing can take some time -- between one to 10 weeks -- and it's important for a player to stay off the field until he fully recovers.
Medically Reviewed: September 19, 2007