Hamstring & Calf Pulls

by Peter on August 5, 2010

This came to me through Facebook and I would like to share this with everyone.

“C” posted something on your Wall and wrote:

“Pete, do you have any suggestions on what to do about constantly pulling calf and hamstrings muscles? It seems to be happening to me more and more while playing soccer nowadays. I try to give them a good stretch before hand but without much success. more rest in between games maybe? help!”

Sign, C

Dear C,

Aaah my old friend, so here we are 50 years of age. This is what I see a lot in my practice these days. The hamstring/calf pulls. In my experience of 26 years of practice I have found this to be the most effective way to treat these problems.

The first thing “C” is to have someone check to see what the pelvic angles are. See my article http://bayswater.ca/2010/04/neuromuscular-therapy-pelvic-angles-for-pain-relief/ Making sure that you pelvis falls between 0-5 degrees of forward flexion (anterior rotation) is the first step. Too much forward flexion will dictate that your hamstrings are on a constant pull or stretch, and stretching them will only make matters worse. If this is the case you will need to have your pelvis adjusted so that it sits in its neutral position and that you stretch your quads, not your hamstrings despite getting the hamstring pulls. If your pelvis is forward your hamstrings are already stretched, much like an elastic band stretched to the end. Any further stretch will just cause it to pull and tear.

Next make sure that your pelvis is not projected forward. This increases your chances of pulled hamstrings AND calves. Any Neuromuscular Therapist can show you how easily it is to move back to a neutral position. Kneeling ball squeezes and quad contraction exercises will help move  you back into plane. If you need more information on how to do this let me know.

Next look my article http://bayswater.ca/2010/06/world-cup-injuries-er-your-injuries/ . Welcome to 50 Mr. C!  One of the biggest things I have found in practice with high hamstring pulls is bunions. The mechanics of bunions on our gait and our hamstrings is bad. If you suffer form high hamstring pulls and have bunions you need to see someone ASAP. All the stretching in the world will not help decreasing your incidence of pulls.

Low intensity laser therapy will help increase the healing time of your injuries also. What happens as we get older is that the healing time between games becomes bigger, meaning more rest between sessions. With pulls and tears of the lower limbs, the healing can’t keep up with the tear down. Laser helps to speed up this time of repair so as you are not re-tearing the same spot over and over. Call me if you need more information on the parameters to use. See http://bayswater.ca/2010/04/how-red-light-initiates-atp-synthesis/

Unless you are standing in front of me it is very hard to assess what specifically is happening with you. If you can’t get in to see me have your therapist call me and I would be happy to communicate and work out how we can get you off of the “hamstring pull” train.

Keep me up to date. You have always been an active person as far as I know, and seeing your most recent pictures you are in great shape. We just have to look after ourselves differently than we did at 25!

Feel free to call me anytime or if you are in town call me and I’ll have a look.

In Health & still your old school buddy,


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