Complex Injuries

Tight/Sore Hamstrings Benefit With Chiropractic

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Tight and sore hamstrings commonly occur during workouts and exercise but can just as easily result from a fall or other accident. Individuals usually experience pain located at the back of the thigh with associated weakness, the feeling of the muscles becoming tighter, and a consistent soreness. Consistent tightness in the back of the legs is uncomfortable and can make movement difficult.

Many individuals stretch every day, do yoga, etc., trying to relieve hamstring tension with short-term relief only to have the tightness return. This is frustrating but indicates that the problem might not have to do with the muscle’s length. There could be an underlying issue that needs to be identified and addressed. A chiropractic approach will diagnose and treat the root of the pain, not just the symptoms.

Hamstring/s Tightness

The hamstring is not a single string. It is a set of three muscles running along the thigh’s back. The muscles allow for the bending of the leg at the knee. With a hamstring strain, one or more of these muscles can become overloaded and can start to tear. Strains often happen during activities that involve running, jumping, and/or sudden stopping and starting. If stretching doesn’t help, chiropractic adjustment can help.

Weak Muscle Compensation

One possible cause for the tightness is various related muscles, not the hamstrings. Muscles that stabilize and facilitate movement could be too weak or not functioning properly. What usually happens is that the muscles that are active have to work harder to compensate for the others that are not working/functioning properly.

The tension in the hamstrings can be alleviated through chiropractic exercises/stretches that activate the stabilizing muscles and get the circulation moving to promote strength and take the pressure off the hamstrings.

These muscle weaknesses can be caused by spinal misalignments that pull the body in an awkward fashion, throwing the body’s balance off. Each condition feeds the other as the hamstrings have to work harder, the body leans to the side that doesn’t cause pain, causing the spine to shift out of alignment, and so begins the awkward body shifting to avoid the pain cycle. A chiropractic adjustment will restore balance and stability to the entire body.

A Pelvic Tilt

Pelvic tilt could be a contributing factor to tightness and soreness. This comes from:

  • Poor posture
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Weight gain

These factors can cause the pelvis to shift forward ever so slightly. But just that slight tilting could be pulling on the hamstrings. To rectify the tilt, exercise is recommended, and chiropractic manipulation to realign any spinal shifting.

Sciatic Irritation

Another issue is sciatic nerve irritation that could mimic tightness in the muscles. The sciatic nerve runs down the back of the leg, and the irritation could make the hamstring appear tight. This is where stretching the hamstrings can worsen the condition by irritating the sciatic nerve, causing inflammation.

The sciatic nerve could also be experiencing irritation from spinal misalignment. A vertebral disc could be bulging or herniated. This could inflame the nerve root. A bone spur or inflamed joint could be impinging/compressing on the nerve root exits.

A chiropractic treatment plan will relieve the tension being placed on the nerve and allow for proper blood circulation and transmission of signals without interruptions. Talk to a chiropractor about an examination to identify the exact root causing the discomfort.


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References

Hoskins, Wayne, and Henry Pollard. “Hamstring injury management–Part 2: Treatment.” Manual therapy vol. 10,3 (2005): 180-90. doi:10.1016/j.math.2005.05.001

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The information herein on "Tight/Sore Hamstrings Benefit With Chiropractic" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

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Our information scope is limited to Chiropractic, musculoskeletal, acupuncture, physical medicines, wellness, contributing etiological viscerosomatic disturbances within clinical presentations, associated somatovisceral reflex clinical dynamics, subluxation complexes, sensitive health issues, and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions.

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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN*, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*

email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com

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