HThe hamstrings are
three muscles that originate at the ischial tuberosity (your sit bones) and run
along the back of the leg until they connect with bone just below the knee.
When you run, your hamstrings work to extend your hips and flex your knees.
Hamstring strains are common in runners. Chronic hamstring tightness can easily arise in people who spend a lot of time sitting, as is common for people with desk jobs and commutes.
- Long and weak or short and tight hamstrings all pose injury risks. Also muscle imbalances with over-powering quadriceps can create problems.
- Hamstring is a ‘two-joint muscles’ which works hardest driving up hills, and during power/sprint
1. Strain or Tear
- Acute injury that usually occurs during dynamic running activities: sprinting, jumping, fast stop / starts, striding with straight leg
- Overuse / overloading of the muscle tendon attachment at the origin of the Hamstring on the ischial tuberosity (your sit bone) deep in your buttocks.
- Sudden onset of pain whilst running
- Sharp, stabbing, possibly even a snap or pop sound
- Bruising on back of the thigh
- Can have associated back and buttock pain
- In Grade 2 or 3 injuries may have difficulty walking
- R.I.C.E – rest, ice, compression, elevation
- Physiotherapy to promote tissue healing and reduce scar tissue
- Massage and manual therapy to release tight surrounding structures Exercise therapy – slow and progressive over stages depending on the severity of the initial tear
- Strengthen pelvis and core including the glute (buttock) muscles as they work together with the hamstrings.
- Manage any muscle imbalances in weakness or flexibility through exercise correction
- Neural mobilisation stretches
- Progression to full leg strengthening exercises, squats, deadlifts etc and finally ECCENTRIC strengthening of the hamstring.
- History of increased load, more hill running, increased speed work, unaccustomed deep lunges, yoga and dead lifts
- Tendon is poorly perfused (blood flow) which makes healing and recovery slow
- Buttock pain, point specific pain on or just below the ischial tuberosity (sit bone)
- Chronic stiffness
- Aggravated by periods of sitting and driving, deep lunges, hamstring stretches and running at high speeds and uphill
- Stiffness or soreness first thin in the morning followed by a ‘warming up period’ where the pain disappears
- Following exercise pain may be delayed by 24-48 hours.
- Physiotherapy. A proper general assessment, followed bio-mechanical assessments, gait and running analysis strengthening and stretching exercises will help to solve the hamstring problem. In addition specific exercise plan, strapping, massage, deep frictions, electrotherapy can help to reduce the pain.
- Untreated injuries can increase the risk of suffering of a chronic problem and chronic pain and reduce the pleasure of running and even walking.
At Swissphysio we have helped many people to be pain free and many athletes from different backgrounds to get back to their optimal performance level.
So, don’t run into troubles. Book your appointment today.