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Why your Hamstring Strain is not getting better?

You have been to the doctors, physical therapists, massage therapists to get help with your hamstring injury and wondering why your hamstring is not getting better.

After you did run and felt a pull in your hamstring and now it is hard to do anything other than walk.

After all it looks and sounds like a hamstring problem, but is it?

The problem with our healthcare is no one spends time to truly figure it out. A 10 min conversation with a doctor is not always going to be enough time to solve the problem.

Most healthcare providers including doctors go to the site of the pain and never really look for other areas that could be the source of the problem.

You are given hamstring stretches and you are getting massage on the hamstring and doing hamstring exercises, but you still not run. Or you are still limited in doing dancing kicks because you still do not have the flexibility in that hamstring even though you are doing everything to help with the flexibility.

If you get to a healthcare provider who can SPEND TIME with you, ASK you a lot of GOOD QUESTIONS, and LISTEN, then you will see clues that this might NOT BE A HAMSTRING PROBLEM.

What are clues that it might not be a hamstring problem?

You can run a race and feel a hamstring pull but you are able to finish the race… If you pull your hamstring, you cannot continue to run, it will cramp up.

You stretch and stretch but seem not to be able to have the same flexibility that you had before the problem.

You have gone to do the traditional hamstring protocol and you are not getting better. (Most healthcare providers will tell you it just takes time, keep doing the same thing- Seriously!)

Your hamstring pain moves. It is not always in the same spot- a hamstring strain does not present like that)

Your hamstring pain can be good one day and then bad another. A hamstring strain would be consistent, and it would not come and go with activities.

What are other areas that could create a hamstring problem that could mimic what we would think might be a hamstring strain?

First of all, you must rule out the back if you have a hamstring issue.

Did you know that 71% of leg pain comes from the back? Yet no one looks at that as a source of the problem.  I always say where the site of the pain is often not where the source of the problem is coming from.

You must rule out the back. If your pain comes and goes and moves around, the back could be a likely source of the problem. You might only have back stiffness that could create pain in the hamstring. You do not have to have back pain to have hamstring issues that come from the back. It happens. We have seen it.

By the time the patient has gotten to us, they have had PT that has not worked, imaging that has not worked, dry needling, massage and months and months of wondering why they are not getting better. Lots of money they have spent on treatments and imaging that is getting you nowhere!

And they finally found our physical Therapy clinic in Dallas, and it is a simple back problem that got them back to feeling good after the first visit! Now that does not mean they were back to 100% after the first or 2nd visit, but they were well on their way to the solution and getting their life back!

The other area to look at that could cause hamstring issues is your hip!  

How does your hip relate to your hamstring problem?

Well what happens, is your hip does not move very well. You will notice you cannot fully bend your hip to your chest like the other side, or hip extension (moving backwards) is limited. You could be limited in rotation or a combination of all these directions, which is usually the case.

So your hip does not move creating problems recruiting your hip extensor muscles. They just flat out do not work. You can try to strengthen them all you want, but it won’t help.

What takes over your hip extensor muscles not working very well. Your Hamstring creates muscle tension in that muscle by over working it. Overworking the hamstring will create your hamstring pain!

Or you will feel a lot of tightness in her lateral hip muscles taking over (which can create lateral knee pain).

If you do not get to the source of either the back or the hip being the problem, then you will have a lot of frustration because you will not get better!

I always say you have to fix the mobility issues first before you can get to the stability (muscle strengthening and functional or movement correction strengthening).

That means how do your joints move in your back, hip or knee and even your ankle. These all can create problems.

How do we fix this hamstring problem?

If you cannot move through the full Range of motion in the joints, you will not be able to get your muscles to fire correctly. Most healthcare providers miss this step!

First, we have to get you moving and you are probably stretching the wrong way. It is almost opposite of what you think would be the correct stretching because we think it is a muscle tightness problem and it really is a joint stiffness problem.

Then we can start the strengthening phase of the treatment getting the individual weakness worked on first with exercises and then progress you to a more functional or movement corrective exercises.

It is a process, and most healthcare providers miss on or more of the steps, but the most important step they miss is getting to the source of the problem!

So, there you have it, it is not a hamstring problem! The hamstring was just a symptom!

What to learn more on how mPower Physical Therapy in Dallas can help you resolve your back, hip or knee problems, then CLICK HERE to sign up to Talk to one of our Specialists for free!

But do not delay as we only have a few spots open per week for this type of appointment. You have nothing to lose. We will spend more time with you for FREE than going in and seeing an orthopedic surgeon and you will get more answers to help you make a better decision about your health! You have nothing to lose, so SAVE YOUR SPOT HERE!