Suffering from chronically tight hamstrings can leave you feeling restricted with robotic motions and rigid movements.
The hamstring complex consists of three muscles that run down the thigh, from the buttocks to the backs of the knees. This muscle group’s function is to extend the hip and flexing the knee and allow our bodies to perform powerful movements such as jumping, climbing, running, or lifting. Because of the heavy-duty nature of their work, hamstrings are often at risk for tears, strains, and tightness.
Several culprits, both controllable and involuntary, can be blamed for the stiff leg limbs.
- Genetics – Some people are genetically predisposed to shorter muscles and might need to regularly give their hamstrings some extra TLC.
- Sedentary lifestyle – Those with desk jobs and long commutes are prone to nerve entrapment due to lack of daily movement. Over time, this can lead to short, tight leg muscles.
- Back problems – The hamstrings will often counterbalance pressure and protect the back muscles by contracting and overworking themselves.
Often, tight hamstrings are merely a symptom of overcompensating for weakness or instability elsewhere in the body. If tight hamstrings are left unaddressed, additional damage could tip-toe in.
Over time, severely stiff hamstrings can start to alter movement patterns during daily activity or exercise and make the body more susceptible to muscle tears. Additionally, when hamstring muscles are constricted, the hips and pelvis rotate backward, flattening the lower back and causing postural and back problems, such as sacroiliac joint pain.
The hamstrings are not an isolated limb and are essential for the body’s motor operation. For that reason, tightness will likely go uncured by long sessions of static stretching alone. Get a leg up on tight hamstrings with these tips:
- Strength-training – Building your core and leg muscles will make hamstrings less susceptible to injury. Try incorporating exercises like leg curls, dead lifts and hip extensions into your training routine.
- Stretching – For the safest and most effective hamstring relief, stretch by lying on your back while bringing the leg towards your face. Avoid stretching standing up and reaching for your toes, as this can overextend the lower back instead of isolating the hamstring muscle.
- Massage – Using a lacrosse ball for myofascial release will target trigger points, enable circulation, and can help restore the hamstring’s full range of motion.
While traditional pain management methods can have you sidelined for weeks, Airrosti’s technique will get your hamstrings back pain free, typically in as few as three visits, based on patient-reported outcomes. Our providers will assess your specific injury and target the pain at the source. Don’t tolerate the tightness and come see Airrosti.