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Discussion: Hamstrings

in: Charlie; Charlie > 2020-04-01

Apr 1, 2020 2:59 PM # 
Any success with nordic hamstring extensions?
Here's a good selection hamstring exercises.
Apr 1, 2020 3:25 PM # 
No, although I quit doing them. Maybe I'll try them again. This all started the last day I was in Riga at WMOC last year, pain in both hamstrings walking up the stairs. Just never got better, although now it is significantly worse on the left, and significantly worse than it was before. Recently I've been doing some single leg exercises (standing up from a bench, lunges in place with my rear foot on the bench) and some conventional stretching. After the single leg exercises I feel better for a day, but it doesn't last. I have been doing them with weight, but maybe that is a little counterproductive, thinking I'll just do them without the weight, or with a light one. Particularly the weighted lunges seem to stress the hamstring.
Apr 1, 2020 3:31 PM # 
Luckily I've resolved my hamstring problems for the moment, and I think the extensions had a lot to do with it. Last May I apparently all but fully tore away the L hamstring according to subsequent xrays and MRI, but it now seems to have healed enough to do track work and hills. It's been a long time working to get any speed, but endurance is fine. And yes, easy on weights to give it time (about 6 months for me).
Apr 1, 2020 3:36 PM # 
My discomfort is in the belly of the muscle. Both sides, but just much worse on the L. Several years ago I had a lingering problem at the upper end, not sure now how I resolved it, but it was certainly a problem for at least a year.
Apr 1, 2020 3:39 PM # 
I remember now, it was another mysterious WMOC injury, first appeared the day after the last race in Germany in 2012. Just out for a little jog with Rhonda and it started to bug me, pretty quickly became a big problem.
Apr 1, 2020 3:40 PM # 
Different problem area than me -- mine was the upper attachment. Have resolved other belly muscle issues by getting PT with ultrasound. Maybe worth checking out.
Apr 1, 2020 6:21 PM # 
PT in the age of coronavirus? I dunno.
Apr 1, 2020 9:44 PM # 
Maybe they can just email you the ultrasound.
Apr 3, 2020 5:55 AM # 
Or just play the sound on YouTube.
Apr 3, 2020 10:54 AM # 
Oh, sure, just click this link, and therapeutic ultrasound will start playing from your computer speakers and heal your hamstring. (You won't hear it, of course, because it's ultrasound, but trust me, it will suffuse your house and cure all sorts of things.)
Apr 3, 2020 3:17 PM # 
need a phone app for this! just plug in the probe and cover it with gel ;)
Apr 3, 2020 10:45 PM # 
@kadley - how did you tore your hamstring in the first place?
I had a head on collision with another skier at Craftsbury. It has been only 2 month, still lots of issues.
@Charlie - I remember, in the past, you used roller for your hamstring massage, since therapy may be not available for another month, self therapy is the way to go. Do not give up! KT tape does not heal it, but certainly relieve the suffering, at least in my case. Shave your leg in the application area, before placing KT tape, I learned it hard way, after experiencing "Brasilian wax" pain, removing the tape after a week.
I also do daily massages with pain killing sports creams.
Apr 4, 2020 12:59 AM # 
@darth - Track work last spring on a tight muscle, muscle pull followed by two 5K races the following week and the Billygoat. It was 3 months of deteriorating results before I saw an ortho and got an analysis. Ended up a couple months later after two more orthos and a hamstring specialist who advised that since it seemed to be resolving on its own, surgical repair was not the right move now. Basically, go back to training and if it totally rips, then we'll sew it up and you'll be immobilized for months.
Apr 4, 2020 10:27 AM # 
@Darth: I do roll it every day, sometimes a little relief from that. Hydrotherapy is also good. Haven’t tried KT tape. But it’s worth looking into.
Apr 4, 2020 8:34 PM # 
Foam rollers won't do much good if you have scar tissue in the middle of the muscle. Might take a look at The Orb, a ball that comes in two diameters, 5" and 7". Rolling on those really gets to any deep scar tissue. There are some vieos on YouTube about how to use them. I have the 5" version, which penetrates more than the 7", and it can really hurt as it breaks up the scar adhesions. You don't just roll back an forth on the ball, but more circulare moves instead, or just find the tight spot and hold it there for as long as you can stand.
Apr 4, 2020 9:52 PM # 
Fred: have you tried this? Tried it once and it's even more brutal.
Apr 4, 2020 10:25 PM # 
@Fanatic: I have quite an extensive collection of rolling devices of different sizes, textures and lumpiness. Turns out I have a ball pretty much like that 5" ball you describe, which has been out of the rotation for a while. I tracked it down and applied it to my hamstrings and it felt terrible. That is to say, excellent. I will be using it for a while, see if it makes any permanent improvements. The immediate effect was quite salutary, though. Thanks. If necessary, I may have to work up to kadley's spiky ball, but this one seems pretty good so far. I use a lacrosse ball a lot, but this eemed more effective for this application.
Apr 5, 2020 8:10 PM # 
@kadley: Yes, I have one of those that I used for plantar fasciitis, but never felt the urge to use it on my hamstrings. I'm not that stoic.

@Charlie: Good to hear, hope it helps substantially.
Apr 5, 2020 9:12 PM # 
Here are the devices in general rotation:

From the top:

1. TP Roller (formerly Trigger Pin, but they changed the name). This is my most critical piece of equipment. Excellent for general upper back and mid-back maintenance, glutes and piriformis. Very good for quads. Standing on it is good for the plantar fascia. If I only had one thing, this would be it.
2. Is a newer version of the TP roller, which I bought when I thought I had broken the other one, but I fixed it, and now I have two.
3. The reliable, cheap and really effective lacrosse ball. Good when I get a spasm along the scapula, really good at glute and piriformis work. Good for plantar fascia. Killer on the hamstrings if seated on a bench or chair, but can't get the leverage for it if laying on my back.
4. Roll spring-loaded roller device. Gail had one and it seemed pretty good, so I got one too. Good on quads, hamstrings, ITB, adductors. Pretty good on calves, but one has to be careful not to abuse the shin. Can use it in a lot of places I wouldn't have thought it would work.
5. TRX rocker. Really good on the hips, pretty good on hamstrings and quads. Actually better on the hamstrings than the TP Roller, because I can get a little more leverage on it. Probably the best thing for the calves, again because of leverage.
6. 5" massage ball. Not "The Orb", but the same idea. This came from TP, too. Kind of forgot I had this, but now I see that it is just the thing for my recalcitrant hamstrings. I'm finding that the tight and sore spots it is finding are lower down and more to the outside than the pain sensation I get walking or running.
7. Knobby foam roller. Nice enough, but doesn't do anything the other things don't do better, so doesn't get a lot of play.

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