Can chiropractic treat a hamstring strain?
Hamstring strains are one of the most common sports injuries. There are many ways chiropractors help athletes recover from a strain and reduce the chances of them reoccurring. Sports chiropractic treatment for hamstring strains involves reducing pain, reducing muscle tension, and improving biomechanics. Sports chiropractors work to strengthen the injured hamstring and surrounding muscles, examine movement patterns, and educate the athlete on lifestyle modifications.
How does chiropractic care reduce hamstring pain?
The most common way chiropractors reduce pain is through chiropractic manipulation/adjustment. Chiropractic adjustments are most effective in decreasing pain for 2-3 days after the adjustment is given. Common areas adjusted with a hamstring injury are the low back, hip, knee, and ankle. It’s important to include other types of treatment with an adjustment to help the effects last. Chiros in Motion reduces pain after a pulled hamstring by decreasing muscle tension through soft tissue work, therapeutic exercises, and modifying movement biomechanics.
How to reduce the likelihood of a hamstring re-injury.
After a hamstring strain, the eccentric strength of an injured hamstring muscle is reduced. Deceleration from sprinting or running uses eccentric contraction of the hamstring muscle. Eccentric contraction of the hamstring when decelerating is the most common mechanism of injury for a hamstring pull. Knowing this information is crucial in terms of rehabilitation exercises and reduction of re-strains. Research shows that the exact cause of recurrent hamstring injuries is unknown, but the focus of rehab should be on increasing eccentric strength, correcting strength imbalances, and improving flexibility. Sports chiropractors are specialized in those three areas, making them great providers to help you recover from any strain injuries. Read this peer-review article to learn more about factors that lead to injury and re-injury of hamstrings.
Should I stretch a hamstring strain?
Yes and no. The strain grade, pain level, and stage in recovery time determine the type of stretching that should be done. Deep static stretching should be avoided the first week or two after a hamstring injury. If you experience any increase in pain when stretching then it should also be avoided. As stated above, flexibility is important for recovery from a muscle strain, but it should not be overdone or done too early. Early pain-free range of motion is the best treatment for most injuries. Other types of treatment that improve flexibility without static stretching and that can be performed early on include soft tissue mobilization and therapeutic exercises.
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