Pulled hamstrings is a common injury among competitive athletes and weekend warrior types.
The hamstrings are a group of three large muscles on the posterior thigh that flex the knee and straighten the hip.They attach at the ischial tuberosity, also known as the sits bones, and span across the back of the knees.
Surprisingly, these large muscles are not very active with normal walking or standing. However, they are exceptionally critical in power activities such as running, jumping, and climbing. Thus, sedentary individuals can get by with quite weak or unconditioned hamstrings, whereas athletes and very physically active individuals undoubtedly depend on healthy, well-conditioned hamstrings.
Sports Massage speeds up the recovery of pulled hamstrings by breaking down the new collagen network.
What’s this mean? When a muscle is strained, the body’s natural response is to lay down collagen fibers (the building blocks of scar tissue). The new scar tissue resembles a disorganized web of collagen fibers, so what massage does is break down the new collagen network allowing for correct muscle fiber realignment in such a way that it minimizes scar tissue.
Massage also helps to soften and lengthen the tight muscles and increases the blood flow to the injured area, so it can get the oxygen-enriched nutrients it needs to be healthy and injury-free.
Hamstring strains can come back if not treated, so a regular massage routine is suggested to improve the condition of the muscles.
To reduce the risk of hamstring pulls, it has been proven that a good warm up is essential. Click here for a some recommended hamstring stretches.
Using a Thera-band Stretch Strap has been shown to be extremely effective at increasing the hamstrings flexibility and restoring range of motion. Instead of doing a long static stretch of 15-30 seconds, one would do a pre-stretch contraction with the elastic strap for 3-5 seconds, and then stretch for 10-15 seconds. Using this kind of strap, would remove any need for a stretching partner.
This video demonstrates how to use the Stretch Strap for the Hamstrings.
Morgan has an instinctual way of finding every knot and trigger point in my body, and with just the right amount of pressure getting rid of them. I’ve never known a massage therapist who is so focused on what he’s doing. I’ve yet to leave his table not feeling completely rejuvenated.
- John Stark