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Myofascial Release Techniques for the Hamstring Muscles

Posted by Judith Winer on


What are the Hamstrings?

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.


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.



Soft Tissue Release - Treating the Hamstring Muscles



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.


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 prevents the trunk from flexing at the hip joint.


Hamstrings - Referred Pain Patterns


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.


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More articles about the Hamstrings

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John Gibbons (video above) is a qualified and registered osteopath with the General Osteopathic Council, specialising in the assessment, treatment, and rehabilitation of sport-related injuries. Having lectured in the field of sports medicine and physical therapy for over 12 years, John delivers advanced therapy training to qualified professionals within a variety of sports. He has also published numerous articles on various aspects of manual therapy. 


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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  • Thank you for sharing! I just learned that the hamstring group could be causing my lower back pain. Will have to get my LMT friend to practice on me.

    DOnna on

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