An individual with tight hamstring muscles can consider it as a minor issue. Nevertheless, this will leave an individual susceptible to develop severe strains or become a contributing factor to other issues such as back pain.
Aside from an increased risk for injury, tight hamstring muscles can also affect the performance of the individual in sports in which some techniques are difficult or impossible to perform such as in martial arts or high hurdling techniques. If a muscle is forced to move at a speed outside of its comfortable range, it increases the risk for a muscle tear. When engaging in sports or even recreational activity, the individual should not push his/her limits beyond than what is normally accustomed to.
Overview on tight hamstring muscles
It is important to note that the hamstring muscle group is comprised of the semitendinosus, biceps femoris and semimembranosus. If an individual has tight hamstring muscles, it can cause the pelvis and hips to rotate backwards which flattens the lower back, thus resulting to back problems that can be minor or debilitating. Remember that tight hamstring muscles are also responsible for posture issues and other back issues such as sacroiliac joint pain since there is a tendency to pull the pelvis out of its normal position.
What are the possible causes?
Once the muscles become tight, blood is squeezed out of them thus the overall functionality of the muscles is reduced as well as the performance. Regular sports massage and stretching of the hamstring muscles can help improve the muscle condition to minimize the risk of injury but also improve the sporting performance.
The possible causes of tight hamstring muscles tend to vary. Genetics also plays a role in which an individual is born with naturally short hamstrings. Generally, children and women possess supple hamstrings than men.
An individual who engages in sports and does not stretch properly will put him/her at risk for developing tight hamstring muscles. It is vital to observe proper stretching exercises after exercise since this is the time when the muscles are warm and receptive to stretching.
Issues with the lower back can apply pressure on the sciatic nerve that travels down the legs and trigger the tightening of the muscles.
Hamstring muscle stretching
Even if an individual is not naturally supple, he/she can still improve the flexibility level by observing proper stretching. The types of stretching that the individual can perform include dynamic, static and passive. It is vital to avoid ballistic stretching which involves bouncing and forcing of the muscles further than the comfortable level, thus resulting to damage. In addition, sports massage can also help loosen up tight hamstring muscles. Sports massage that is performed regularly on the legs is also beneficial in order to restore functionality of the affected muscle.