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Hamstrings, Calves, and Quads

chiropractic athletes hamstrings

Regular Chiropractic Care and Safe Exercise

We all want to be injury-free when doing our exercise programs. Of course, stuff happens, but several critical action steps will go far toward preventing exercise- and sports-related injuries. Among these preventive measures: stretching is key. Importantly, regular chiropractic care helps us get the most out of our stretching activities and also avoid injuries that may be associated with the act itself.

In order for stretching to be effective, the joints at either end of the muscle being stretched need to freely move. With respect to the quadriceps and hamstring muscles, those joints are the pelvis, hip joint, and knee. By detecting and correcting limitations of joint motion in the low back and sacroiliac joints, regular chiropractic care helps ensure maximum mobility in the pelvis and hips, and by extension, the knees. By addressing these sources of potential mechanical dysfunction, regular chiropractic care helps us stretch consistently, obtain necessary vigorous exercise, and increase our overall levels of health and wellness.

Many of us are continually amazed at the frequency with which professional baseball players suffer season-threatening muscular injuries. There they are, running hard down the first base line trying to beat the throw from the shortstop or third baseman when suddenly, they pull up lame and must hobble to reach base safely despite their sudden injury. In other scenarios, the batter or runner is not even running full-out, but rather moving at moderate speed, and still they suddenly bend over, grabbing their hamstring or calf muscle.

What's going on with these world-class athletes? Aren't they in great shape and supremely conditioned? Why do so many players get hurt and have to spend significant time on the disabled list? The answer frequently lies in a failure of sufficient preparation, that is, a failure to adhere to a consistent, long-term program of stretching.

This analysis also applies to us non-professional athletes. We want to make sure our exercise efforts are time well spent, and all of us want to avoid exercise-related injuries that slow us down. Despite the best preparations, still injuries can happen, but there are steps one can take to minimize the likelihood of sustaining an injury, regardless of severity. A regular, consistent stretching program will go far toward protecting us from muscle strains that interfere with our activities. The key is to incorporate stretching in your overall exercise program and make sure to devote sufficient time to this important preparatory activity.

The large muscle groups of your legs, your quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves, provide for locomotion and support all activities that are done while standing and even some that are done in a sitting position. The four quadriceps muscles act to extend the knee,1 the three hamstring muscles act to flex the knee,2 and the two primary calf muscles enable you to rise up on your ankle and foot and take a step. If any of these large muscles are not ready to work, injury may result. Stretching prepares your thigh and leg muscles for physical work. Stretching carefully, with intention, will help you succeed in your exercise activities and maximize the health benefits.3

Sources:

  1. Pourahmadi MR, et al: Effects of static stretching of knee musculature on patellar alignment and knee functional disability in male patients diagnosed with knee extension syndrome: A single-group, pretest-posttest trial. Man Ther 22:179-189, 2016
  2. Ichihashi N, et al: The effects of a 4-week static stretching programme on the individual muscles comprising the hamstrings. J Sports Sci. 2016 Apr 26:1-5. [Epub ahead of print]
  3. Konrad A, et al: Effects of acute static, ballistic, and PNF stretching exercise on the muscle and tendon tissue properties. Scand J Med Sci Sports 2016 Jul 1. doi: 10.1111/sms.12725. [Epub ahead of print]
Dear Practice member,
With the New Year off to a brand new beginning, it's a great time to start over. Set new goals. Break bad habits. Resolve to become healthier.
That's why I'm writing today.
If you're thinking about starting a physical fitness program, losing some weight, eating a better diet or improving some other health behavior, remember your spine! A healthy spine and nervous system should be the starting point of any New Year's resolution for better health.
To start the New Year off on a healthy note, we're offering chiropractic checkups at a special low fee. We'll perform a quick check of your flexibility, posture, and other aspects of a brief examination. The fee for our brief exam, record update and necessary chiropractic adjustments is just. That's a savings of more than.
Resolve to begin the year on a healthy note - and save money too!
Our offer lasts only until the end of January, so call now to set your appointment for this popular annual event.
Happy New Year!
Sincerely,
Dr. Myers