Hamstring Pull in Runners: What You Should Know

Unfortunately, it’s a pain known all too well by runners: You’re jogging along, having a great run, when suddenly you feel it, that twinge. You’re in agony the rest of the day, constantly rubbing the back of your legs and willing to do anything to relieve that pain.

A hamstring pull is a very painful experience and one to which runners are particularly prone. Here’s a quick overview of what it is and how you can treat it.

What causes a hamstring pull in runners?

A hamstring pull in runners is caused by a strain or a tear in the muscles which attach the hamstring tendon to the back of the leg bone. Depending on the severity of the injury, this can be minor (gone in a couple of days) or severely painful and requiring physical therapy, chiropractic care or surgery to correct.

Why are runners prone to hamstring pulls, and how can runners prevent them?

Most of the time it is because our hamstrings are too tight to begin with. The majority of people nowadays sit too much. This keeps our hamstrings in a state of contraction or shortening. Then you go out for a run and lengthen the hamstrings quickly. When you run, you are obviously keeping your legs in constant (and repetitive) motion, and this can cause your hamstring muscles to tighten. If the muscles fatigue or tighten too quickly it can cause them to stretch, pull or tear. This can be exacerbated by continuing to run causing more strain on your muscles, a common problem in runners who don’t want to stop and get it properly treated.

Fortunately, there are ways in which runners can treat a hamstring pull. These include warming up and stretching before running , dynamic warm-up stretches or active foam rolling before a run is advised while static stretching and isolated foam rolling should be done after a run. Always stop stretching when you feel a sharp pain in the back of your thigh, there should be a stretch feeling not painful feeling when stretching. Preventing yourself from over striding can also be very helpful. 

How can chiropractic for runners help promote quicker recovery and overall wellness?

Chiropractic for runners can be a great way to treat a hamstring pull and help you get back into shape.

This can happen for two reasons. First, chiropractic is great for preventative care. Runners are prone to numerous types of injuries, including repetitive strain injuries (like hamstring pulls) or ones that result from being out of alignment. A chiropractor can help adjust your body, so you run with more smoothness and balance, leading to better overall health.

However, if you do suffer a hamstring injury, our sports chiropractors can perform soft tissue work to the hamstring like Active Release Technique , thus promoting muscular health and helping recover. They also can give you proper exercises for a quicker recovery. Furthermore, chiropractors can adjust your legs and spine in a manner that will promote overall spinal health, leading to you feeling better and recovering faster.

Give our staff a call if you are in need of a visit. We’d love to help you feel better and prevent any injuries. Call us at (415) 788-8700 or book at any of our SF chiropractic locations.