Treating Hamstring Tightness and Trigger Points
The hamstrings are amongst the most overworked muscles in the body
There's a common myth that hamstring injuries are the domain of athletes and don't generally affect the rest of us.
The reality is that even standing upright requires continuous performance from these muscles, making them prone to develop active trigger points.
This in turn may often lead to many other painful disorders, including lower-back, hip, thigh, and knee pain.
When one muscle group is much stronger than its opposing muscle group, the imbalance can lead to the development of trigger points, and eventually to the process whereby these trigger points become active.
In the world of athletics this is frequently recognized as something that happens with the hamstring muscles. The quadriceps muscles at the front of the thigh are usually more powerful.
During high-speed activities, the hamstring may become fatigued faster than the quadriceps. This fatigue will then lead to hamstring strains.
The exact same thing happens when you replace the concept of "fatigue" with trigger points.
Whilst in the case of an athlete it is likely to be a sudden over-exertion or over-training that causes the muscle fatigue, in the rest of us (non-athletes) it is commonly the development of trigger points over time that leads to muscle "fatigue" and the onset of musculoskeletal pain, and injuries.
Trigger point activity is almost always connected with any form of muscular overload. For example, people who work in the retail industry, airlines, waitering, or any other occupation that requires being on your feet for extended periods are likely to develop trigger points in the hamstrings.
In the world of athletics, it's generally accepted that muscle overload is the main cause of hamstring muscle strains (ex. when the muscle is stretched beyond its capacity or faced with a sudden load).
However, what is often overlooked is that trigger points (often latent) are responsible by making their host muscle shorter and weaker which in turn makes the muscle more vulnerable to overload.
Similarly, trigger points in one muscle will often result in other muscles becoming overloaded as they work to compensate for the muscle weakened by trigger points. Again, this applies to all of us, not just athletes.
Tight muscles are vulnerable to the development of trigger points. Again, using the comparison to athletes, it is obvious and natural for anyone who performs regular sports, that they need to stretch their hamstrings and receive regular massage.
So what about the rest of us? So may of us use our hamstrings day in day out to perform our daily activities, without a second thought for looking after them.
Consequently, over a period of years and sometimes decades, these muscles become weakened through the development of trigger points.
Without us realizing what's taking place, our body compensates for our tighter, shorter and weakened hamstring muscles, by overworking other muscles to help us get through our daily routines.
Eventually, these other muscles begin to send us signals that they are overworked, which is often when clients walk into our clinics with that knee, thigh, or lower back pain.
About NAT Courses
As a manual therapist or exercise professional, there is only one way to expand your business - education!
Learning more skills increases the services that you offer and provides more opportunity for specialization.
Every NAT course is designed to build on what you already know, to empower you to treat more clients and grow your practice, with a minimal investment in time and money.
About Niel Asher Education
Niel Asher Education is a leading provider of distance learning and continued education courses.
Established in the United Kingdom in 1999, we provide course and distance learning material for therapists and other healthcare professionals in over 40 countries.
Our courses are accredited by over 90 professional associations and national accreditation institutions including the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) and National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB). Full details of all international course accreditations can be found on our website.
Printed course materials and other products offered on our websites are despatched worldwide from our 3 locations in the UK (London), USA (Pennsylvania) and Australia (Melbourne).
We are honored to have received the "Excellence in Education" Award from the National Association of Myofascial Trigger Point Therapists.
Since 1999 Niel Asher Education has won numerous awards for education and in particular for education and services provided in the field of trigger point therapy.
Award Winning Instructors
Niel Asher Healthcare course instructors have won a host of prestigious awards including 2 lifetime achievement honorees - Stuart Hinds, Lifetime Achievement Honoree, AAMT, 2015, and Dr. Jonathan Kuttner, MD, Lifetime Achievement Honoree, NAMTPT, 2014.
If you are a qualified/licensed manual therapist or exercise/fitness professional you can expand your credentials with NAT certification.
In addition to national accreditation for continued education, each course that we offer includes "NAT Learning Credits". By taking and completing courses you can accumulate NAT credits to qualify for NAT certification.
There are currently 3 levels of NAT certification. Certifying NAT is a valuable way to show your clients that you take continued education seriously, and to promote your skills and qualifications.
Most of our courses are accredited for CE/CPD/CPE. A full list of CE accreditations can be found by clicking on the link below.
Niel Asher Technique
Since 1999 the Niel Asher Technique for treating trigger points has been adopted by over 100,000 therapists worldwide, and has been applied to the treatment of a number of common musculoskeletal injuries.
The Niel Asher Technique for treating frozen shoulder was first introduced and published in 1997 and has been widely adopted by therapists and exercise professionals working within elite sports and athletics.
Most of our courses are available as either "Printed" or 'Download" editions, wherever you live. Internet connection is required to access online and downloadable material.
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We offer a range of over 50 courses, presented by some of the worlds leading manual therapists. All courses are reviewed annually, and new courses are regularly added.
Our courses are modular, and designed to build on what you already know. For more information, please visit our "Where to Start?" page.
This trigger point therapy blog is intended to be used for information purposes only and is not intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or to substitute for a medical diagnosis and/or treatment rendered or prescribed by a physician or competent healthcare professional. This information is designed as educational material, but should not be taken as a recommendation for treatment of any particular person or patient. Always consult your physician if you think you need treatment or if you feel unwell.
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