Hamstring strains are often seen in runners and sports that require a quick change of direction such as soccer players, sprinters, and football players. Many patients also present with tightness in the hamstrings, however other issues can cause hamstring tightness such as lumbar (low back) and imbalances in the pelvis.
Causes of Hamstring strain/tightness
- Quick change of direction
- Pelvic muscle imbalances
- The hamstring is a secondary hip extensor. If the glute muscle is not functioning properly, the hamstring will get overworked.
- A lower cross syndrome, or one side of your pelvis shifts forward, will put tension on the backside of the hamstrings.
- Lumbar (lower back) issue
This is a test you can do to yourself to see if you hamstring tightness is coming from your back.
- Sit with your legs hanging or on the ground
- Round your back and tuck your chin
- Slowly straighten one leg then lower it, repeat with the other leg
- Note any pain, tightness, or discomfort in the lower back or hamstrings
If this test causes pain or discomfort in the hamstrings, your tight hamstrings might be coming from your back. Please consult a medical professional if this is the case.
Treatment for Hamstring Strains
- Active Release Technique
- Graston Technique or myofascial release
- Restoring pelvis biomechanics
- Proper hamstring stretching