The hamstring group is made of tendons and muscles located on the back of the thigh. It consists of three hamstring muscles that cross the hips and knees.
The hamstring muscles and tendons are responsible for bending the knee and extending the hip. These muscles are important for lower body movement, especially in sports and physical activities where movements such as sprinting and jumping are involved.
As such, hamstring injuries are common in sports, limiting movement in the knee and hips of the athlete.
Injuries often occur when there is abnormal load on the hamstring muscles. These are often due to excessive stretching of the tendons. These may occur while performing different manoeuvres such as running, kicking a football or tackling an opponent during a game.
Common symptoms of hamstring injuries include:
The severity of injury can range from acute strains of the bicep femoris muscles to tears caused by excessive stretching of the hamstring muscles which may hinder lower body movement. The risk of hamstring injuries may increase with improper warm-ups, muscle weakness, poor core stability and history of hamstring injuries.
If a weak foot posture is present, the injury may take longer to heal. This is because of the added stress placed on the knees and hips.
For instance, with flat feet, excess stress is created when the shin and thigh bones twist inwards as a response to the foot arch collapsing. Additionally, abnormal movements in the hip muscles caused by a weak foot posture may increase the risk of hamstring injuries.
For athletes, an extended period of healing translates into more time on the sidelines which could have otherwise been spent training and playing. This is why preventing and managing hamstring injuries are essential for an athlete’s career.
In most cases, hamstring injury treatment involves conservative care. Rest, ice application, and stretching/strengthening exercises are generally recommended by health care professionals. Foot insoles can also be included as part of active rehab programmes if flat feet are involved.
MASS4D® insoles help restore healthy movement in the knees and hips by promoting postural alignment. This allows for speedy recovery and reduces injury risk in the long term.
By supporting the feet in their corrected posture, MASS4D® also helps improve shock absorption ability of the feet which can further reduce stress on the injured muscles. This facilitates optimal healing of the affected muscles and a successful return of the athlete to the field.
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Reference: Ahmad, C. S., Redler, L. H., Ciccotti, M. G., Maffulli, N., Longo, U. G., Bradley, J. (2013) Evaluation and Management of Hamstring Injuries. The American Journal of Sports Medicine: May 2013, Vol. 41, No. 12. DOI: 10.1177/0363546513487063
Reference: Opar, D. A., Williams, M. D., Shield, A. J. (2012) Hamstring Strain Injuries. Sports Medicine: March 2012, Vol. 42, No. 3, pp. 209-226. DOI: 10.2165/11594800-000000000-00000
Pilates refers to a series of exercises that target the core – the abdomen, obliques, lower back, inner and outer thigh, and so on. The movements involved in pilates also help to improve flexibility and posture while promoting core stability.