Why are hamstrings important?
The hamstring muscles are a group of three muscles that sit in the back side of your upper leg, or thigh. These muscles often have limitations, either in mobility or strength. This can alter normal biomechanics during your regular daily activity or sports related activity. Some common hamstring injuries include a tear or strain of the muscle or tendon. Your hamstring muscles are also essential in low back health as you age. They are muscles that will constantly need work. They also assist in extension of your hip as well as flexion of the knee.
The attachment point of the hamstring muscles is the ischial tuberosity, which is part of your pelvis. Tension is quite common in your hamstrings. This leads to a pulling in your pelvis. This will case a pelvic tilt and consequently, a flat back posture, which affects the normal curvature of your spine. We find this most commonly in the elderly. This can lead to weakness of the lumbar spine when your muscles are not able to contract properly and can lead to further back injuries. Stretching will improve the mobility of your hamstring muscles. This also decreases the potential for further injury in your low back or legs.
Another common issue for your hamstring includes a muscle imbalance, in which there is a decreased strength of the hamstrings or an increased strength of the quadricep muscles. Research shows that quadricep muscles are often more powerful than the hamstrings. The hamstrings seem to fatigue quicker than the quadriceps. This can often lead to a muscle strain and occurs most commonly in the athletic population. Strengthening the hamstring muscles will help create a 1:1 ratio of strength in these muscles and decrease a risk for injury.
Come in and see us.
There are plenty of issues that occur in the hamstring which can lead to serious injury. It is important to assess the hamstrings and determine if flexibility or strengthening is better for you and to proscribe an appropriate exercise program. If you are experiencing any of these issues or feel that you could benefit from our services, please contact us.
Casey Badder PT