This Article is About
tight hamstrings
poor posture
long periods of time
scar tissue
different reasons
posture
physical activity
muscles
legs
Tight Hamstring - Explanation And Remedies
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Tight Hamstring - Explanation And Remedies

The hamstrings are an important part of your leg and if they become injured you will find it difficult to walk and exercise without pain. This part of your leg is made up of one large hamstring muscle and several smaller muscles which assist in its function. The hamstring is positioned on the rear upper part of each leg and is responsible for the movement of your leg.

When the hamstring becomes tight, this will begin to cause issues which will need to be examined and dealt with quickly. Leaving this form of injury for too long can cause more damage and may affect your ability to walk and run in the future. Research is essential to guarantee that you understand what to do if you are suffering from tight hamstrings.

What causes tight hamstrings?

There are several different reasons that you may suffer from tight hamstrings and these may include:

• Poor posture and sitting for long periods of time will affect your hamstrings and make them tighter than normal. If you need to sit at a desk for long periods of time, you may need to adjust your position.

• Naturally short hamstring muscles are far more common than you may think and women and children typically have more flexible hamstrings than men. There are several different genetic causes which will result in your hamstrings being shorter and tighter.

• Old injuries can cause problems in the future with your hamstrings and the build-up of the scar tissue within your legs may cause the hamstring to be tight. Any injuries which occur will need to be dealt with to avoid problems in the future.

• Bad stretching techniques, or no stretching at all, will result in your hamstrings being tight. Learning how to stretch correctly is essential and will guarantee that you remain injury free in the future. Once your muscles have warmed up they are far easier to stretch and this needs to be performed both before and after any physical activity.

Sitting for long periods of time at a desk or driving, especially with poor posture or ergonomics, can cause the muscle fibres to become firmer or more stubborn to move. If exercise or movement isn't part of your lifestyle, then these stubborn muscle fibres can become stuck together and less able to stretch.

Unresolved injuries can result in a build-up of scar tissue within the hamstrings causing a restriction in the full range of movement. This limitation to the range of movement can cause the hamstrings to weaken, or the over development of the neighbouring muscles due to compensating for the weakened hamstrings. Scar tissue is a harder fibrotic tissue that can be broken down using massage techniques.

The issues that a tight hamstring can cause:

• Injury and tearing is exceedingly common with tight hamstrings, since forcing any muscle to perform a task that it is not comfortable doing will result in problems.

• Back problems are typical when you have tight hamstrings, as your pelvis and hips move backwards.

• Limited sporting abilities are another issue which you may find becomes a problem when your hamstrings are tight. You will find that you struggle to perform well and there will be sporting events which you cannot participate within at all.

Dealing with the tight hamstring:

• You can never do enough stretching and this is one of the best remedies for tight hamstrings, which can improve the condition in the future. There are several different stretches which you can perform which will help the tightness. These include passive, dynamic and static stretches which can all be done before or after exercise.

Massage is fantastic when you suffer from tight hamstrings; however, it should only be performed by a professional. They will be able to assess the extent of the damage and be able to make your hamstrings more flexible.

Author: Fran Kehoe, M.I.P.T.I.

Fran is fully qualified and insured with ITEC Diplomas in Sports Massage, Reflexology, Anatomy & Physiology, Holistic Massage and a FHT Certificate in Deep Tissue Massage.

Call 020 8166 8958 for more information on how to treat your tight hamstrings.


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