Phit’s Cousin, Phred, Strains His ‘String

Phit’s cousin Phred is a 28-year-old former collegiate football player. Since graduating from the University of Pickle, his workout routine typically involves several days of weightlifting and the occasional pick-up basketball game. Phred is an engineer working 40 hours a week, primarily seated at his desk. Recently, work has been very busy, as his company has been assigned a new project. Phred hasn’t made it to the gym in several weeks.

One Friday afternoon as he is leaving the office, Phred runs into a college buddy on his way to the gym for a game of pick-up basketball. Phred decides to join him. When he gets to the gym, the game has already started, so he has to rush and doesn’t have time to warm up.

During the first game, Phred runs down the court on a fast break but doesn’t see a defender step into his path until the last second. To avoid colliding, he stops suddenly. When his foot hits the ground, he feels a sudden, sharp pain in the back of his thigh, like a very bad cramp, and he has to limp off the court. Even after 20 minutes of resting and trying to stretch, Phred is unable to walk normally without pain.

When Phred wakes up the next morning, he is very sore, still unable to walk properly, and sees a bruise forming on the back of his thigh. He contacts his local physical therapist.

During his initial evaluation, Phred’s physical therapist assesses his signs and symptoms and indicates that he has suffered a grade II hamstring strain. That day, Phred is given a compression wrap for his thigh, is instructed in gentle stretching exercises, and educated on applying ice to the injury and on modifying his activity level. He discusses his goals with his physical therapist, indicating that, following his recovery, he would like to be more consistent with his workout routine and participate in a recreational basketball league.

Over the next 4 weeks, Phred attends physical therapy 2 times a week. As his pain improves, he is guided through a progressive exercise program to strengthen his hamstrings and improve his body control when running, jumping, and “cutting.” His therapist also uses manual therapy techniques to improve the mobility and flexibility of his hamstring muscle. When he is reevaluated, his therapist is happy with his progress and offers recommendations for a gradual rebuilding of his workout routine.

A month later, Phred calls his physical therapist and states that he is feeling great! He is going to the gym 3 times each week, using the therapist’s recommendations for exercise as his guide. Phred says he has started shooting baskets without any trouble, and he’s planning to sign up for the basketball league with his own team, The Buff Pickles.