how we fix – Hamstring Tension | Injuries
Melbourne Muscular Therapies – Richmond
written by Aaron Kiegaldie – General Manager | Senior Practitioner
- Deep Myofascial Release to the entire Hamstring Complex and surrounding Pelvic Musculature
- Neuromuscular Activation of Pelvic Musculature, Postural Correction and Hamstring Re-Tensioning
- Neuromuscular Facilitated Power Training to increase strength and function ofthe Glute and Hamstring Complex.
Can’t touch your toes? Always feeling the need to stretch? Suffering from Lower Back Pain? If you answered ‘Yes’ to just one of the above questions, chances are you are suffering from some form of Hamstring Dysfunction. Hamstring tension is one of the most common forms of dysfunction seen within the human body. It affects a high percentage of the population and is often implicated in instances of Lower Back Pain and Hip/Pelvic Pain. Hamstring injury is just as common, however most commonly found to occur during some form of athletic activity. Commonly misdiagnosed and mistreated, Hamstring dysfunction can be a very frustrating problem to encounter. However, no reason to worry – Melbourne Muscular Therapies are Experts in treating and fixing all forms of Hamstring Dysfunction. Read on to find out more!
What Are Hamstrings?
The Hamstring Complex consists of three (4 including two heads of Biceps Femoris) muscles and are located on the back of the thigh. These muscles are:
- Biceps Femoris
- Short Head
- Long Head
All of the above muscles are responsible for Knee Flexion (bending the knee), while all but the short head of Biceps Femoris are responsible for Hip Extension (Straightening the Hip). All three major muscles originate at the Ischial Tuberosity (sit bone) at the bottom of the pelvis, whilst Biceps Femoris Short Head originates on the Femur. All four muscles insert onto either the Tibia or Fibula.
Why Are My Hamstrings Tight?
1. Pelvic Imbalance
The Hamstrings often become tight and painful due to muscular imbalance within the structures attaching to the pelvis. Prolonged sitting, lack of exercise, improper training, and lack of treatment causes certain muscles to become overactive and tight, whilst others including the Hamstrings become weak and elongated. This imbalance is often referred to as an Anterior Pelvic Tilt. Muscles implicated tend to be the Hip Flexors and Lumbar Paraspinals (Deep Front Line). These directional imbalances are also accompanied by an anterior pelvic shift, due to Hip Flexor shortening.
Stereotypical stretching of the Hamstrings as a way of treating this form of imbalance is NOT advised. Deep Myofascial Massage is needed to restore function of the Pelvic Musculature in particular the Hip Flexor and Hamstring complex. Neuromuscular Activation and Power Training is also needed to cement the change and to increase strength within the TVA (Core), and Glute/Hamstring Complex.
2. Neural Tension
Sometimes symptoms felt in the Hamstring may not actually be the Hamstring Musculature itself. Quite often it can be put down to radicular pain coming from a trapped nerve root within the Lower Back. Disc Injuries, Facet Sprains, Lumbar Tension and Joint Compression can all affect the way in which a nerve works. If a nerve is trapped or compressed, pain can often be felt down the entire leg – especially the Hamstrings. This pain can feel like tightness, and is often associated with either a sharp, burning, numb or tingly sensation.
Nerve entrapment within the soft-tissue can also cause neural tension within the Hamstrings. Tight muscles within the Lower Back and Glute – commonly Piriformis, can entrap a nerve which can imitate neural tension further down the leg.
Stereotypical aggressive stretching can cause these symptoms to worsen – It is advised that you contact us if you feel these are your symptoms. We will fix it!
3. Truly Tight Hamstrings
Sometimes people genuinely have shortened and overactive Hamstrings! These people often have significant Posterior Pelvic Tilt and cannot distinguish Hip Flexion from Lumbar Flexion (these folks are normally quite hunched!). This dysfunction is also caused by excessive amounts of sitting in hip flexion, lumbar flexion and knee flexion – very poor sitting position!
These people need serious re-training. Deep Myofascial Massage to the Hamstring complex, followed by significant amounts of functional rehabilitation in order to correct this pelvic imbalance.
4. Previous Hamstring Injury/Strain
Quite often, Hamstring tension and reoccurring injury may be caused due to excess scarring, solidified tension and knots within the Hamstrings due to previous strains/injury. If left untreated, Hamstring injuries heal in quite an adhesive, thickened manner. This thickening can cause tension and inhibit function, which can lead to re-injury or chronic tightness. It is very important to properly rehabilitate any form of Hamstring injury, especially if you are suffering from reoccurring strains.
This is where our treatment style can be so effective. We can release the most stubborn forms of adhesive restriction within the hamstring muscle. Our massage can break up distortions, scarring, and knots in order to improve range of motion, decrease pain and increase strength in the Hamstrings.
How We Fix Hamstring Dysfunction | Tension | Strains
Deep Tissue Massage
This video gives great insight into how effective the deep-tissue massage delivered by practitioners at Melbourne Muscular Therapies is at releasing tension within the hamstrings.
Not for the ‘faint-hearted’, treatment can be quite painful yet amazingly effective. Cliental often see immediate elimination of pain and increases in range of motion and strength.
Neuromuscular Activation | Re-Tensioning
Restoration of muscular activation is paramount in order to correct pelvic imbalance and increase strength within the Glute and Hamstring complex. The nervous system plays a major role in all forms of muscular dysfunction. It is important that communication between the brain and musculature is restored in order to overcome persistent tension and injury. Often the pelvic imbalance previously spoken about can render the Glutes, Core and Hamstrings ‘Down-Regulated’ (WSSC – Christian Woodford) – meaning they are weak and inactive. The videos below contain exercises we commonly use to ‘Up-Regulate’ (WSSC) the Glute and Hamstring complex – as well as a particular isometric technique we use to reset the pelvis and hamstrings.
Barefoot Neuromuscular Power Training
Following on from our Neuromuscular Activation Programming, we must significantly improve the functional strength within the Glutes/Hamstrings. Once proficiently activated, with increased range of motion, clients are introduced to our Functional Deadlift and Primal Power Squat. These two compound movements significantly improve performance and strength of the Glutes, Hamstrings, Quads and Core – whilst also assisting in correct postural asymmetries. Performing these lifts with slow, deliberate form is taxing on the nervous system, and also requires maximal muscular involvement – meaning it is highly effective in creating change within the nervous system and increasing strength within the pelvic musculature.
If you have seen countless health professionals with no positive result – Please come down to Melbourne Muscular Therapies – We guarantee to eliminate your ongoing Hamstring Dysfunction – BOOK IN TODAY!