Hamstring tightness is a very common problem among many of the patients in our Austin-area physical therapy clinic. And for most, simply stretching the hamstrings doesn’t result in much of a lasting improvement. Our active clients often tell us, “I do hamstring stretches like crazy, but they just never loosen up.”  Does that sound familiar? Aggressively stretching the hamstrings—or any muscle for that matter—without first loosening up the muscle and connective tissue, called fascia, can actually be a waste of time. But adding a simple myofascial release technique to the stretch, as shown in the video below, can make a huge difference.

Please note, if you have a hamstring strain, this stretching technique may not be appropriate and is no substitute for diagnosis and treatment from a licensed physical therapist. If you’d like to speak with an expert manual physical therapist about your hamstring strain or tightness, you can do so for free by requesting a phone consultation here, or simply calling/texting us directly at: 512-693-8849.

Overly tight hamstrings can lead to a variety of problems and can be involved in many common issues like low back pain, knee pain, and also be a precursor for a variety of injuries in these areas…. especially the stubborn, painful hamstring strain.

Active release technique that beats the old hamstring stretch

So please check out this video for a simple, but very effective “Active Release” technique you can do on your own. You’ll use a lacrosse ball to help quickly release those tight hamstrings. Please leave your questions/comments at the bottom of this page.

It seemed that every time I get over one injury, get healthy for a week, the very next week I would tweak or pull something else. This past Thursday, we were scrimmaging at the end of practice and I felt something pop in the back of my leg. Thankfully, practice was ended shortly after I got hurt. I went to Carter Physiotherapy the next day, and my therapist immediately knew what had happened, and was able to treat me for a large tear in the fascia of my hamstring. The treatment was very painful, as he pushed and manipulated the injured area, but I left the ONE treatment being able to run (which he had me do in the parking lot after the session).

He did a complete analysis of my body and showed me all of the problem areas that were leading to my injuries. I have worked with physical therapists in the past, through college, and after, and I have never ever been more impressed. If not for Carter Physiotherapy, I wouldn’t be fit to play this weekend, and who knows how long I would be out.

AJ, Professional Soccer Player

If you are dealing with tight hamstrings and would like to know how we can help, call or text us at 512-693-8849.

If you’d like to request a call with one of our physical therapists, Click Here.

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Video Transcription

[Please excuse grammatical errors due to the conversational nature of the video]:

Hey guys! Jarod Carter with Carter Physiotherapy.

This is a short video on a great way to loosen up the hamstring myofascial. A lot of people crank into stretches, but it would be less effective without any conservative loosening of the tissues. Sometimes, the foam rollers broad flat service isn’t quite good or deep enough to loosen tissues in specific spots.

I recommend using a lacrosse ball. First, you sit on the lacrosse ball or a regular chair, a little bit of give to the surface if possible. You’re going to start high and go low. Basically, you’re going to put the ball into the hamstrings and sit up nice and tall. Second, you’re going to extend your legs forward with your toes pulled back. It puts tension in the fascia and tissues all the way through.

Next, you’re going to extend the knee as straight as you comfortably can to the point of a stretch, but not a hard core stretch. Do that repeatedly three to five times on each spot.

If you really want to get the entirety of the hamstring, do three or four spots on the lateral or outside of the hamstrings, then three or four spots down in the middle, followed by three or four spots in the medial or the inner thigh.

Specifically, it means you have to just find another spot on the lateral or outside of the hamstrings after you are done with one spot. You either move it down or up and extending until you feel a nice stretch. Keep the toes pulled back with three to five times on each of those spots.”

Again, we provide free phone and in-person consultations at our Austin manual therapy clinic so there’s no reason you shouldn’t get answers to what’s causing your pain or limitations from the active lifestyle you deserve. If you’d like to speak with an expert manual physical therapist about anything that’s holding you back, you can do so for free by requesting a phone consultation here, or simply calling/texting us directly at: 512-693-8849.

 

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