The short hamstring syndrome (SHS) is a common problem among athletes. It is often difficult to diagnose because it occurs in both sexes and all age groups. The condition causes pain when performing any type of running or jumping exercise with your legs. Many times, the symptoms are so severe that they prevent you from doing anything strenuous at all. There are many theories about what causes the SHS, but there isn’t much research into this condition either. One theory suggests that the cause lies in the muscles that attach to your calves. These muscles are called the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles. They have been known to become stiff during periods of overuse, which could explain why some people develop SHS while others don’t. Another theory says that the shortening of these muscle fibers leads to a decrease in blood flow through them, which would result in decreased oxygen delivery to the tissues surrounding them. Finally, other researchers believe that the shortened muscles themselves may contribute to the problem. However, no one really knows for sure.
What Is The Cause Of The Short Hamstring Syndrome?
There are several possible causes of the short hamstring syndrome. These include:
Injury: Most cases of this condition occur after an injury or trauma to the hamstring muscles. It is usually caused by a sudden increase in the intensity of your training. If you’re not used to running every day for 30 minutes, for example, you may injure your hamstring muscles after just a few days of training.
Repetition: The short hamstring syndrome can also be caused by the repetition of certain motions, such as kicking a ball. If your body is not used to this activity, your hamstrings will quickly become overworked and eventually undergo degenerative changes. It is easy to overwork muscles that are not used to performing a specific activity. Weak Glutes: The short hamstring syndrome can also be caused by weak gluteus muscles. The gluteus muscles are the strongest muscles in the human body. Without a strong butt, the hamstrings have to work harder to compensate. Runners with weak glutes often suffer from short hamstring syndrome.
Muscular imbalances: Weak hamstrings can be caused by muscular imbalance in the hip and knee joints. Muscle imbalances are caused by everyday activities such as sitting at a desk or performing repetitive leg movements. These imbalances can alter the way your body moves and places more stress on certain muscles than others.
Muscular imbalances can be caused by tight hip flexors, weak glutes and quadriceps, and underdeveloped leg muscles.
These are all factors that may lead to the short hamstring syndrome.
What Are The Symptoms Of The Short Hamstring Syndrome?
The main symptom of the short hamstring syndrome is pain and discomfort in the back of the thigh, behind the knee or lower calf. You may experience pain during or after exercise, or just feel a general discomfort. Pain will be felt when trying to stretch your hamstrings and may even be experienced at rest.
Tight quadriceps muscles can also contribute to the short hamstring syndrome. Because the quadriceps are not as flexible as the hamstring muscles, the quadriceps can shorten, pulling the thigh bone forward and throwing the body’s center of gravity off balance.
How Is The Short Hamstring Syndrome Diagnosed?
The short hamstring syndrome is diagnosed through a physical exam and a review of your injury and exercise history. Your doctor will ask you several questions about how you’ve been training, what symptoms you’re experiencing and how long they’ve lasted. A physical exam will determine whether you have any muscular imbalances or if any injuries are contributing to the problem. Diagnostic tests, such as an MRI, may be ordered to rule out other conditions.
How Is The Short Hamstring Syndrome Treated?
The short hamstring syndrome is treated by correcting the underlying cause. In the case of muscular imbalances or overuse, rest and ice will help to reduce swelling and get you back in the game more quickly. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatories can also reduce swelling and relieve pain.
Correcting muscular imbalances requires physical therapy. A physical therapist will design a specific exercise routine to strengthen your leg muscles and restore balance to your body. Your therapist may also use massage and stretching to relieve tightness in your muscles to improve flexibility.
If you have an injury, such as a hamstring strain or hamstring tear, your doctor will recommend rest and physical therapy. You may also be prescribed analgesics to reduce pain and anti-inflammatory medications to reduce swelling. Depending on the severity of the injury, you may need to wear a knee brace or leg brace and use crutches for a period of time after the injury.
You should always check with your doctor before resuming exercise after an injury. Complete recovery depends on healing of the injured tissue, so rushing back to exercise before the tissue is healed can lead to further injury and may even cause permanent damage.
If you experience short hamstring syndrome during exercise or activity, stop immediately and rest. Apply ice for 15 to 20 minutes and take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory to reduce swelling. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, you may need to take a short break from training until you’re able to resume your activity pain free.
The short hamstring syndrome is caused by overuse of the hamstring muscles, muscular imbalances or injuries to the hamstrings. It can be prevented by warming up before exercising and stretching regularly, especially if you’re new to an exercise routine. It is also important to strengthen the muscles of your core and lower body, especially your hamstrings.
If you have this condition, treatment depends on the contributing factors, such as muscular imbalances. Injuries should be treated by a professional.
Most cases of the short hamstring syndrome are caused by muscular imbalances that can be prevented with regular exercise. However, injuries do happen, and you may not always be able to prevent them from happening or recurring. If you’ve had an injury which caused short hamstring syndrome, regular exercise can reduce your risk of injury and recurrence.
It is important to incorporate both stretching and strengthening exercises into your routine. Always consult your doctor before starting an exercise program.
Stand on your right leg and lift your left leg out to the side as high as you can. Hold for five seconds and then lower your leg back to the ground. Repeat this ten times and then switch legs.
While standing, place your hands on a wall at shoulder height. Place your left foot forward about one foot ahead of your right foot. Bend your right knee and pivot on the ball of your left foot.
Your left knee should be bent at a 90-degree angle. Hold this position for five seconds and then return to the start position. Perform ten repetitions and then switch legs.
Make sure to stretch both legs evenly.
Perform one set of 15 repetitions of both the wall squats and the side leg lifts three times per day. Add a second set of each exercise three times per week, seven weeks after the first, for a total of four sets each. You can add a third and final set four weeks after the second set, for a total of five sets each.
This program should be conducted three times per week to see results. Always perform at least one day of rest between exercising consecutive days.
The short hamstring syndrome is not caused by any serious conditions and can be prevented with a few easy changes to your exercise routine. If you’re new to an exercise routine or introducing a new type of movement, such as running, start out slowly and work your way up to prevent injury.
It is also important to stretch before and after exercise, and especially after a long day of sitting at a desk job. Stretching helps prevent muscular imbalances that can lead to injury.
Most cases of short hamstring syndrome can be prevented, but if you think you’ve injured yourself and are experiencing symptoms of the condition, talk to your doctor or physical therapist about the best way to heal and recover.
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