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Pulled hamstring (Read 614 times)


I'm back!

    Thanks all. Yesterday I had another massage, this time from someone I trust a little more (but is in Portland, where I am less often). She laid the blame more on tight / weak adductor magnus, gave me some homework. Also tight quads, causing my pelvis to be anterior rotated on both sides, thus adding strain to the hamstrings.

     

    Good news was she doesn't think there was any real damage, otherwise it would get worse instead of better during the run.

     

    In order to fit the amount of running I do into the life I've chosen for myself, I don't have ANY extra time for things like massage therapists, PT, yoga, weights etc. so I've never tried any of that really.

     

    Wow. I would never have made it to my first marathon without finding my awesome PT in Vancouver. I came to rely on her and my Vancouver massage therapist quite a bit; I'm really missing them now that I no longer live there. The value of a good massage therapist, that you can see every couple weeks or so, is that they get to know your legs, and can fix stuff before it really becomes problematic.

     

    I don't do any weights, but (in principle) I do follow Pfitzinger's supplementary exercise plans: core 3x / week, strength 2x / week, stretching 2x / week (plus post-run stretching, of course, and pre-speedwork dynamic stretches and form drills). No gym needed, only equipment is 10lb dumbbells. That doesn't take much time, 10-15 minutes before bed. Where I went wrong this time is in slacking off in this program.

       

      Walk on your heels with your knees locked and your toes pointed up. It doesn't seem like it should but it stretches your hamstrings really well.

       

      Darn, and I've been doing it Chuck Berry style all these years.


      I'm back!

        BTW, this is a really useful gadget for seeing where all the relevant muscles / tendons are, where they attach, etc.:

         

        http://zygotebody.com

         

        You need a browser that supports WebGL. Click on the help thing to see the navigation controls. You want to turn off everything but bones and muscles. Also you want to figure out how to hide individual muscles, to see what's underneath.

          I had a confirmed hamstring tear about 1.5 years ago. It took about a year to heal up. Did very little speedwork during that time but ran regularly. Had lots of PT to ensure that the scar tissue laid down properly. Tests determined that my left hamstring had gotten somewhat atrophied due to a previous stress fracture and I hadn't "rehabilitated properly" after that injury. I was given some eccentric load exercises (e.g. dead man lifts, bridges, clams, etc) to re-balance the strength in the two legs and I haven't had a problem in a while. You've got to have lots of patience with this injury.

          Suffering Benefiting from mature onset exercise addiction and low aerobic endorphin release threshold. Hoping there is no cure.

          lamerunner


            Be careful. I had a tear, about level 2,  of my right hamstring at Boston last year; got through the race ( not well but that was the heat) then felt like someone shot me through the ass the first time I tried to run after. it took 8 weeks of complete rest ( no running; I did elliptical, swim, hike) and months of PT before it was better, then several more months before my running fitness started to really come back. If you just strained it,  PT, stretching and strengthening may do the trick, but I would not push it. In my case tight quads have been the culprit in several injuries.


            I'm back!

              Thanks. Still no change, ugh. 100 miler coming up in two weeks(!).

               

              From a FB friend today, who is missing races due to injury:

               

              it's so hard trying to balance being a badass and being a dumbass!!!

               

              I think that captures a lot of ultrarunning.

              northernman


              Fight The Future

                This is probably bogus, but for my own hamstring injury, I found that it finally started to get better when I (temporarily) gave up coffee. I was thinking that possibly the increased twitchiness from caffeine was making my running movements pull on the torn muscle fibers more, and making them more inflamed, thus making them slower to heal. That, plus doing gentle hamstring curls on the machine seemed to do the trick. Thankfully back on high dose coffee now, and no more hamstring pain.


                Las Vegas Dave

                  Wow, your hamstring injury sounds very similar to mine that has been an on and off battle for several years now.  I originally injured it doing some crazy downhill sprints.  I tried lots of rest, massage, ice and stretching with only limited success like you are describing.  I then started doing 1 legged squats and that gave me some immediate relief.  After two days of one legged squats I was out running 5 miles pain free and after a couple of weeks I was back to over 90%. Those squats held that hamstring strain at bay for several years until this summer when I really don't know what happened.  After hiking the John Muir trail in the Sierra's for 3 weeks I felt that I was in the best shape of my life, but when I tried running a local 5K I knew my hamstring was in trouble.  This time even those sqauts didn't help.  I finally found a good massage therapist who has pinpointed the problem to a very hard knot in the lower bicep femoris of my hamstring.

                   

                  Of all the post I read I would most agree with Srlopez's recommendations.  That and find a massage thearapist who knows athletes and is willing to go deep and work hard.  In Las Vegas I recommended Scott at http://www.proactivehealththerapeutic.net/

                   

                  Also this time stretching seems to be also provided me a lot of relief and enabling me to run longer distances again contrary to a lot of other advice I am reading. I am sure this other runners know what they are talking about for themselves, but for me really intensive static stretching of 15 minutes on each leg, twice a day has been doing a lot of good. I am using a pulley and a rope attached to a door knob for this hamstring stretch. With deep tissue massage, strengthening and stretching I went from no being able to hardy run a mile in the end of October to running a 50K in the mountains here in Las Vegas.

                   

                  Hope you find relief and good luck in your race.

                   

                  Hoping to read more good advice from other runners here.  For more dtails on what I am doing check out my blog. http://travelingbyfoot.blogspot.com/2013/01/stretching-strengthening-and-massage.html

                  When the going gets tough, the tough get going.

                  jjameson


                    Been dealing with a bad hamstring off and on for 2 years or more.  It sort of went away for awhile but reinjured fall 2012 and did a 50K and 50M race.  STILL bothering me quite a bit.  I can run but only very slowly.  NO WAY I could do any speed work.  It sucks.

                     

                    I don't have any solutions but thought I'd commisurate!

                     

                    Like the quote about badass and dumbass

                     

                     

                      Been dealing with a bad hamstring off and on for 2 years or more.  It sort of went away for awhile but reinjured fall 2012 and did a 50K and 50M race.  STILL bothering me quite a bit.  I can run but only very slowly.  NO WAY I could do any speed work.  It sucks.

                       

                      I don't have any solutions but thought I'd commisurate!

                       

                      Like the quote about badass and dumbass

                       

                      Hamstrings are weird. I'm not sure I have any solutions either - except that I think running an ultra with a sore hamstring is probably not a good idea. I did something to mine a couple years ago doing Hudson style "hill sprints" where you sprint uphill for 6-7 seconds. ONE of those bad boys put me out of commission for six weeks! So not as long as yours is taking to heal, bhearn, but in case it's worth anything, here is what I think helped:

                       

                      - running very slowly with a shortened stride. I know changing your stride can be dodgy, but after a couple weeks of not running and still hurting, I decided to just run really slowly and see what happened. I swear this was better than not running at all.

                       

                      - dynamic stretching with a thera-band. There are some youtube videos on this if you aren't doing it yet. I don't do any static stretches for the hamstring anymore, just dynamic stretching and foam rolling.

                       

                      - standing as much as possible during the work day. Sitting was really painful and I swear it was making it worse. I also tried to sit on an ice pack a few times a day in the office. You should have seen my colleagues' faces.

                       

                      Oh, and when it's better, you have got to strengthen that shit! There are some yoga poses, like the shoulder bridge (? direct translation from German...) that help. And the one where you pull the exercise ball toward you with your feet (I think Stevie Ray described it) is good as well. I also do lunges and squats.

                      jjameson


                        Agree with you and several other posters that SLOW running with shortened stride seems not to aggravate it much and probably is beneficial.  Foam rolling.  Agree sitting isn't the best.  Doesn't bother me at all walking.

                         

                         

                        DoppleBock


                          Per our PT guy at work

                           

                          If it is related to an injury ~ Over stretching is bad ... takes a long time to work through

                           

                          My issue was not related to one event or injury, but tightness and inflexibility, so I agressively stretch it 2-3 times a day, do strengthening exercises and it has almost gone away.

                          http://a-big-horse.blogspot.com/ 

                          2013 Goals ~ Mar < 3:00, 5M < 29, 10k < 35  

                           


                          I'm back!

                            I am at a loss to really know whether it's an injury or just tightness. Two massage therapists have been unable to find anything wrong, other than overall tightness, but it's very persistent. Meanwhile running slow and low miles for for past two months has made me fat and slow. Rocky Raccoon 100 is tomorrow... I'm going for it. Crossing my fingers.

                             

                            I miss my Vancouver PT and sports massager. They always kept me going, never sidelined for long -- any problem, they tracked it down pronto and fixed it. I may have to make a trip back to Vancouver just to see them again.

                            DoppleBock


                              I would get tight either when I ran fastish (say LAT to marathon pace for more than 3 miles) or any time I ran really fast - say 5k pace.  It would keep twinging etc.  This lasted for 5-6 months.  Then I started the stretching, core work, leg curls and lunges it slowly got better over 2 months.  Now every once in awhile I think it is going to twinge in a run, but it hasn't.  It is still tight a lot when I am not running.

                               

                              I am at a loss to really know whether it's an injury or just tightness. Two massage therapists have been unable to find anything wrong, other than overall tightness, but it's very persistent. Meanwhile running slow and low miles for for past two months has made me fat and slow. Rocky Raccoon 100 is tomorrow... I'm going for it. Crossing my fingers.

                               

                              I miss my Vancouver PT and sports massager. They always kept me going, never sidelined for long -- any problem, they tracked it down pronto and fixed it. I may have to make a trip back to Vancouver just to see them again.

                              http://a-big-horse.blogspot.com/ 

                              2013 Goals ~ Mar < 3:00, 5M < 29, 10k < 35  

                               

                              DoppleBock


                                Relax and enjoy RR100 until 60-70 miles then fight hard to keep up the consistent pace.

                                http://a-big-horse.blogspot.com/ 

                                2013 Goals ~ Mar < 3:00, 5M < 29, 10k < 35  

                                 

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