Hamstring syndrome is a condition where the sciatic nerve gets pinched between the hamstring muscles and the pelvic bone or by the tissue bands that connect the hamstring muscles causing compression on and around the nerve. It is seen in individuals that play sports that involve running, kicking, or jumping, in middle-aged individuals engaged in daily activities that have suffered falls, and in individuals that sit for many hours. Chiropractic care, massage, and decompression therapy can relieve the symptoms, release the trapped nerve, relax and stretch the muscles, and restore function.
Hamstring Muscles Trapped Sciatic Nerve
Three muscles make up the hamstrings in the back of the thigh. The sciatic nerve runs from the low back down the leg into the foot. A trapped sciatic nerve can cause various symptoms and sensations in the back of the leg, hip, buttock, and foot. It may hurt to sit down or stretch the legs out, and there is usually tightness in and/or around the buttock and back of the leg. The symptoms typically recede when lying on your back.
- Regular wear and tear on the back muscles and hamstrings can contribute to the condition.
- Often the sciatic nerve and/or the sheath surrounding the sciatic nerve gets trapped and irritated as it travels around the ischial tuberosity. The ischial tuberosities are known as the sit bones.
- The area where the sciatic nerve runs down the back of the leg can become narrowed, leading to nerve irritation and stinging, numbing, and tingling sensations.
- The injury often happens during sudden, quick, forceful movements that overstretch the tendons and/or muscles but can also happen during slow movements.
- Movement agitates the pulling and rubbing of the nerve on the muscles.
- A non-painful pull or pop of the hamstrings can cause the muscles to spasm and wrap around the nerve.
Symptoms usually include the following:
- Leg pain that worsens when sitting.
- Intense electrical shooting pain that makes it hard to stand or move.
- Difficulties moving the leg or foot.
- Numbness and weakness in and around the leg.
- Tingling or burning sensations running down the leg.
- Persistent pain on one side of the lower back.
Chiropractic treatment can relieve the symptoms and release the trapped nerve. Treatment includes:
- Accurate Diagnosis – A chiropractor will examine and review physical activity, work, and medical history.
- Ice and Heat therapies will stop the swelling and increase blood flow.
- Massage therapy relaxes the muscles and increases circulation.
- Decompression therapy incrementally and gently stretches the body.
- Chiropractic adjustments realign and reset the body.
- Targeted stretches and exercises will keep the muscles loose and increase strength.
- Nutritional recommendations will help reduce inflammation and prevent flare-ups.
Hamstrings and Sciatic Nerve Relationship
Lohrer, Heinz, et al. “Nerve entrapment after a hamstring injury.” Clinical journal of sports medicine: official journal of the Canadian Academy of Sports Medicine vol. 22,5 (2012): 443-5. doi:10.1097/JSM.0b013e318257d76c
Mattiussi, Gabriele, and Carlos Moreno. “Treatment of proximal hamstring tendinopathy-related sciatic nerve entrapment: presentation of an ultrasound-guided “Intratissue Percutaneous Electrolysis” application.” Muscles, ligaments and tendons journal vol. 6,2 248-252. 17 Sep. 2016, doi:10.11138/mltj/2016.6.2.248
McGregor, Catriona, et al. “Traumatic and overuse injuries of the ischial origin of the hamstrings.” Disability and rehabilitation vol. 30,20-22 (2008): 1597-601. doi:10.1080/09638280701786138
Saikku, Kari, et al. “Entrapment of the proximal sciatic nerve by the hamstring tendons.” Acta orthopaedica Belgica vol. 76,3 (2010): 321-4.
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