Importance of Hamstring Flexibility…

It has been a very long time since writing the last newsletter and I apologize for that. My wife and I have welcomed a new addition to our family…Harper Rose Yanchus. Our baby girl was born on November 6, and weighed 6lbs 13 oz and was 20 inches long. It is amazing to watch her grow in even the short time she has been with us.

The other day while watching Sportscenter on ESPN, they were discussing Derek Rose’s (NBA player for the Bulls) nagging hamstring injuries still plaguing his performance after undergoing ACL surgery in 2011 and missing all of 2012 while intensely rehabbing.The analyst was talking to Tim Legler (another former basketball player) on why Rose might be injuring a body part that had been aggressively rehabbed…

“Any time you are rehabbing an ACL tear you end up overworking the quadriceps muscles. Because of this concentration on the muscles directly attached to the knee, often times the hamstrings in the back of the leg are neglected responsible for slowing down or stopping rapidly.”

Although none of you are professional basketball players, I thought of our patients that come in with anterior knee pain or pain just below their buttocks that travels down the back of the thigh just above the calf. Many misdiagnose this as “sciatica” but it is nothing more than pain from structures overworking to compensate for inflexible hamstrings. Any deceleration movement which includes going down stairs or hills will cause pain in either the front of the knee or back of the thighs if performed on inflexible/tight hamstring muscles. With tight hamstrings, the knee/patella becomes the “new” major brake the body to prevent the person from falling on their face when trying to stop.

Any time a change in the body’s biomechanics or primary jobs/roles/functions, there is an increased likelihood of injury in that muscle or the muscle group that is compensating for the weak group. Strong quads need flexible hamstrings in this scenario. To have a strong low back you MUST HAVE flexible hips and hamstrings. How many of you have one injury that leads to another injury and then another injury? I often see patients with knee pain have stiff low backs and lack proper hip mobility…this is no coincidence!

You must address the body as a whole and strive for balance of the spine and muscles. These changes can occur due to sitting for long periods of time, standing for extended periods of time or just being sedentary. We all must find a healthy balance of rest and exercise.

For best results…

Dr. Christopher Yanchus

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