Stretching and Exercise Tips for Healthy Hamstrings
Because the hamstrings have their origin at the sitting bones - Long periods of sitting may affect their function
We rely on our hamstring muscles for walking, jogging, running and jumping.
These are the workhorse muscles that enable us to flex our knees and extend our hips at the beginning of each step that we take.
When we are walking, jogging or running, our hamstrings are antagonists to the quadriceps muscles in the action of deceleration of knee extension.
The hamstrings consist of three muscles. From medial to lateral they are the semimembranosus, semitendinosus, and biceps femoris.
Ischial tuberosity (sitting bone). Biceps femoris also originates from back of femur.
InsertionSemimembranosus: back of medial condyle of tibia (upper side part of tibia).
Semitendinosus: upper medial surface of shaft of tibia.
Biceps femoris: lateral side of head of bula. Lateral condyle of tibia.
Flex knee joint. Extend hip joint. Semimembranosus and semitendinosus also medially rotate (turn in) lower leg when knee is flexed.
Biceps femoris laterally rotates (turns out) lower leg when knee is flexed.
Branches of sciatic nerve, L4, 5, S1, 2, 3.
Basic Functional Movement
During running, the hamstrings slow down the leg at the end of its forward swing and prevent the trunk from flexing at the hip joint.
Biceps Femoris - Typical Referred Pain Pattern
Semimembranosus/ Semitendinosus - Typical Referred Pain Pattern
Trigger Point Referred Pain PatternsSemimembranosus and semitendinosus: strong 10 cm zone of pain, inferior gluteal fold, with diffuse pain posteromedial legs to Achilles tendon area.
Biceps femoris: diffuse pain posteromedial legs, with strong 10 cm zone posterior to knee joint.
Posterior thigh pain sitting/walking (worse at night), tenderness in back of legs may cause limping, pain worse on sitting, post back surgery, hamstring pain cycling/soccer/ basketball/tennis/football.
Prolonged driving, improper sitting/ work chair that digs into back of thighs, hip surgery, sitting cross- legged, hip/knee/ankle injury/ fracture, leg casts, high-heeled shoes, PSLE, sacroiliac joint dysfunction, improper stretching before/after sport.
Sciatica. Radiculopathy. Muscle tears. Osteitis. Bursitic osteoarthritis of knee. Knee joint dysfunction. Tenosynovitis.
Piriformis, popliteus, gluteal muscles, obturator internus, vastus lateralis, plantaris, gastrocnemius, thoracolumbar paraspinal muscles.
Trigger points in hamstrings often occur from improper stretching before and after sports. It is very important to get the stretching techniques down pat. Balls and foam rollers can be very good for relieving pain and stiffness when you are at home.
Trigger Point Treatment Techniques
|Spray and Stretch||YES|
|Deep Stroking Massage||YES|
|Muscle Energy Techniques||YES|
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