Treating the Hamstrings - Stuart Hinds
Notes for the Video Above:
Although it has become common to refer to the long muscles at the back of the thigh as the hamstring muscles or the hamstrings, they are in fact the tendons that attach the large muscles at the back of the thigh to the bone.
The hamstring muscles themselves are the large muscles that pull on those tendons.
Anatomists refer to these as the posterior thigh muscles, and more specifically as the semimembranosus, the semitendinosus, and the biceps femoris muscles.
These muscles span the thigh, crossing both the hip and the knee. They begin at just below the buttocks and connect by means of their tendons onto the upper parts of the lower leg bones, the tibia and the fibula.
Although the tendons themselves can sometimes be involved in injuries, in this blog we refer to the hamstrings as the large muscle group at the back of the thigh as this is where our clients most frequently encounter tightness, trigger point activity and injury.
Who is prone to hamstring injuries?
The job of the hamstring muscles is to actively bend the knee and also to help straighten the hip - as in the motion of moving the thigh backwards.
The hamstring muscles are not employed to any great degree with normal walking or standing. However, they are extremely important in power activities such as climbing, running and jumping.
Because of this, most people can get by with even quite weak hamstrings, whereas athletes and those who are very physically active will depend totally on healthy, and well-conditioned hamstrings.
Any activity that is associated with sudden acceleration when starting or during running can lead to a hamstring injury.
Common athletic activities where hamstring injuries occur include track and field events, football, baseball, soccer, and tennis.
Hamstrings and Trigger Points
The hamstrings are amongst the most overworked muscles in the body.
Whilst it's true that people who are less physically active are much less likely to develop hamstring injuries, they are still prone to developing trigger points in these muscles. This is especially so for those who stand for long periods in their daily work, or as a result of poor quality footwear.
Left untreated, hamstring trigger points may lead not only to injuries in the hamstring themselves, but to many other painful disorders, including lower back, hip, thigh, and knee pain.
*Tess Kirsopp-Cole (featured in the video above) is Australia's current U18 National 400m Champion
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.
About the author
Stuart Hinds is one of Australia’s leading soft tissue therapists, with over 27 years of experience as a practitioner, working with elite sports athletes, supporting Olympic teams, educating and mentoring others as well as running a highly successful clinic in Geelong.
Stuart has a strong following of practitioners across Australia and globally who tap in to his expertise as a soft-tissue specialist. He delivers a range of highly sought after seminars across Australia, supported by online videos, webinars and one-on-one mentoring to help support his colleagues to build successful businesses.
In 2016, Stuart was awarded a lifetime membership to Massage & Myotherapy Australia for his significant support and contribution to the industry.