Tight Hamstrings Could be the Cause of Knee Pain?
Narrow hamstrings are the bane of every athlete’s life, opening the way to a whole host of pains and problems ranging from muscle strains, sore knees and poor posture to reduced strength and performance. Maybe that’s why hamstring stretching is such a ubiquitous feature in fitness programmes, pre-competition warm-ups and physiotherapy protocols. If you are experiencing these problems, a knee pain specialist can help you solve them.
Injuries to the hamstrings
The hamstrings are a group of powerful muscles that extend from the pelvis to the knee at the back of the upper leg. Their two main roles are to extend the leg (pull it back) and bend the knee, movements we use both in mountain walking or running and in everyday life. We engage and overload the hamstrings more than we realise, which creates tension and can lead to acute or chronic injuries due to overuse.
Hamstring injuries are one of the most common and unpleasant soft tissue injuries suffered by athletes. There are two main types of injury: acute strain and proximal hamstring tendinopathy, and chronic traumatic overuse, often associated with improper movement and muscle imbalance. Regardless of the cause, hamstring problems are difficult to treat.
Avoid unhealthy movements
Avoid movements that put a lot of strain on the hamstrings. Steep climbs cause your legs to be pushed hard and bent over while running, hiking or walking – it’s fine when your hamstrings are strong and can take the strain, but if they are weak or already overstretched, there’s a chance of a serious injury or causing a recurrence. If you activate the hamstrings and start to experience pain in them, reduce the load or avoid that particular movement altogether. If hamstring injuries begin to haunt you frequently, see a qualified trainer or doctor for a biomechanical analysis.
Ways to eliminate the problem
- Remember that the thigh muscles and hamstrings work together. These tendons ‘belong’ to the posterior thigh muscles and work together with them accordingly. Start by stretching the entire thigh as a whole and then move on to the tendons. This way you will remove any blocks in the hip that may be masked by tendon tightness. Greater flexibility also promotes healthy muscles and their tendons.
- Do c stretches every day. A simple stretch is the Pigeon pose and forward bending from a sitting position. Another simple variant: sitting on the floor with legs outstretched, bend your right leg and bring it over the left leg. Hug your knee and bring it to your chest, and you will feel the back of your thigh stretching. Repeat to the other side, holding each for 60-90 seconds.
- Try myofascial therapy. Sometimes stretching alone is not enough, especially for chronic tightness. The myofascial therapy method aims to restore the natural geometry of both individual muscles and the entire muscular corset. With this method there is a gentle effect on the muscles and ligamentous tissues. Many masseurs, chiropractors and physiotherapists are proficient in myofascial therapy.