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Trigger Points - Healthy "Hammies"

Posted by Jane Ziegler on

 

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. 

Anatomy

The hamstrings consist of three muscles. From medial to lateral they are the semimembranosus, semitendinosus, and biceps femoris.

Origin

Ischial tuberosity (sitting bone). Biceps femoris also originates from back of femur.

Insertion

Semimembranosus: 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.

Action

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.
Antagonists: quadriceps.

Nerve

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 Trigger Points

Biceps Femoris - Typical Referred Pain Pattern

 

 

Semimembranosus/ Semitendinosus Trigger Points

Semimembranosus/ Semitendinosus - Typical Referred Pain Pattern

 

 

Trigger Point Referred Pain Patterns

Semimembranosus 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.

Indications

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.

Causes

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.

Differential Diagnosis

Sciatica. Radiculopathy. Muscle tears. Osteitis. Bursitic osteoarthritis of knee. Knee joint dysfunction. Tenosynovitis.

Connections

Piriformis, popliteus, gluteal muscles, obturator internus, vastus lateralis, plantaris, gastrocnemius, thoracolumbar paraspinal muscles.

Self Help

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
Compression YES
Muscle Energy Techniques YES
Positional Release YES
Dry Needling YES
Wet Needling YES

 

Links

Find a Trigger Point Professional in your area

More Articles About Hip Injuries and Treatment

Online Hip Course - Stuart Hinds

Dry Needling for Trigger Points

NAT Professional Courses

Certify as a Trigger Point Therapist

Trigger Point Workbooks 

NAT Education Membership Plans

More Articles About Hamstrings

 

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NAMTPT AWARD

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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