Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Anatomy of a potential hamstring injury.
Recently I have had 3 of my athletes experience a dull aching pain in their upper hamstring (all 3 were on the right side).. The common link between the 3 were that they started increasing intensity and were starting track sessions. Intuition tells me that because they were all 3 experiencing the pain in their right hamstring that the stress of running on a track and running fast around the left hand turns is causing this. Duh.
The potential injury is caused (possibly) by inflammation of the ischial tuberosity (circled in the picture above). The what? The ischial tuberosity turns out to be a critical little place that can be a real pain in the ass.. it is the site of attachment of the sacrotuberous ligament; the site of origin of the inferior gemellus, quadratus femoris and the hamstring group- semitendinosus, semimembranosus, and long head of biceps femoris. Injure this site and you are actually affecting many different muscles and tendons.
There could be argument for strengthening exercises like walking lunges (one of the better hamstring exercises), straight leg dead lifts if you know how to do them correctly, hamstring curls, straight leg "paw back" or glute exercises that mimic your run form (use a cable or stretch cord attached to your ankle). Gentle stretching of the glutes and hamstrings could help keep the site more resilient but only stretch after the pain in 100% gone.
I suspect that the track and the added intensity is to blame- so step one is to eliminate the track and perform harder run sessions on a trail with few turns.