RUNNING INJURIES SERIES – HAMSTRING INJURIES
Running injuries are a pest and can be incredibly frustrating when they stop you from staying active and doing the thing you love to do. We’ve gone through the common knee injuries; Runners knee and IT band syndrome and then covered Achilles Tendinitis and shin splints. The next area we see many runners get issues with is with the hamstrings.
The hamstrings are a key muscle group which help your leg decelerate during the swing phase of your running cycle. This is control is critical before you strike the ground with your foot and if your hamstrings are tight, weak or tired then they could be at risk of injury if not addressed.
While hamy tears are much more common in sprinters due to the high velocity nature of their running, longer distance runners are more likely to experience lower grade hamstring strains and irritation. This is often caused by repetitive stress and small tears in the fibres and connective tissue of the hamstring over time.
If you have a hamstring injury, you may experience:
- dull pain in the back of your upper leg
- a hamstring muscle that’s tender to the touch
- weakness and stiffness in your hamstring
So, what’s the plan of attack when these issues start to arise?
Here are some of our go to areas to target when we see our clients presenting with hamstring issues:
- Strengthening your glutes! Sound Familiar?! The glutes are a key muscle group which create power in hip extension when running and can help offload the stress put on your hamstrings while running.
- Stretching/Rolling/Heat are all options to help relieve the sensation of tight hamstrings and help promote blood flow
- Strengthening your hamstrings. A tight muscle is a weak muscle! Get those hamstrings nice and strong under varying positions and loads to help build up their tolerance.
- Changing your running technique. We often see that simple technique changes in running can have big impact on the amount of stress put through various parts of the bodies. Commonly when we see people overstride extra stress can be put n the hamy’s as they work extra hard to slow down before foot strike. Speeding up your step frequency (Cadence) is a simple way to do this!
- And finally, warm up effectively. Getting the right muscles groups active with some bands and simple strength exercises for your Glutes, hamys and calves primed before you run is a great way to get moving in the right way from the get go. See our videos below for some easy simple options.
Crab Walks for the glutes
Raised bridges for the hamstrings
Soleus raises for the deep calf
If you’re suffering from pain when running and want to get thoroughly assessed and an individualised treatment plan made, then book in a full Running Assessment at Befit Physio’s: The Running Space in Coogee.