Hamstring injury can result in thickening and adhesions at the site of injury resulting in poor skin glide and mobility. This is a scar tissue mobilization technique using cross friction massage and pump massage to break up adhesions and sticky spots.
This is a very effective technique that can really help restore proper mobility and tissue health of the hamstring muscle.
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Hey guys, this is Manu Kalia, physical therapist and Ayurveda herbalist. So, wanted to share a quick video on treatment of hamstring strains and soft tissue mobilization techniques to break up scar tissue and adhesions. Hamstring strains are quite common, and your hamstrings are a group of muscles that is made up of, on the inside you have your semimembranosus, semitendinosus, on the outside you have your biceps femoris.
So of course the strain or pull, which is quite common in athletic activities, can be anywhere along the length of the muscle, the muscle belly or further up at the attachment site at the ischial tuberosity, but we’re going to talk more about the strain along the muscle belly. So you’ll have to palpate and figure out where the strain is along the muscle belly. So movements that either stretch the hamstring muscle or contract the hamstring muscle are going to be painful, and these tend to become often into recurrent problems where it seems like it’s getting better but then the person continues to strain that tissue or irritate that tissue, which causes pain, and it’s often due to the initial injury if there are micro-tears in the fibers, and it ends up getting fibrotic changes, thickening or adhesions that form in the injured area.
So around that area things could be moving well and possibly strong, but that area becomes the weak point. So working at improving that mobility, breaking down the scar tissue so the whole tissue moves well—there’s good tissue between multiple layers—allows that tissue not only to heal but also to start working on strengthening to strengthen that tissue again. So those recurrent injuries, after a while they might form more scarring and thickening, and weakening the whole muscle.
So one of the things we want to do, of course, we want to find out first where along the belly you’re having the problem. So let’s say if we say that it’s—we’re going to pick just a spot in the middle of the muscle belly—so the muscle fibers are running up and down, so once you find those tender and thickened areas, you want to work at doing cross friction massage, you want to work at breaking down the thickening. So muscle’s going this way, I’m going across the fibers, not just on the skin but I’m also putting a little pressure and I’m going to back and forth. And you might find it’s not just across this way. It might be that at different angles you might find restrictions or thickening along that tissue. So I want to find that spot, put a little pressure and work on cross friction work.
So I can use my thumb, I can use knuckles and get a wider area, I can use my elbow where I can put a little pressure here and I can go back and forth. Now, I put the muscle, when I’m holding this here, I put it in a slightly slack position. It’s not as stretched as when the leg comes down, so it’s more comfortable when it’s really irritated. I can put it in a slightly slack position and I can get it in these positions and I can come across fibers in various directions. I’ll apply pressure with my elbow, go back and forth, back and forth. Usually it’s quite tender, it’s not very comfortable, but very effective.
So along different angles, different planes, I want to work at breaking down that expert, but then also lengthwise too. So I might want to work at massaging upwards and downwards direction also so I hit it from various angles. After you’re done with your massage part or especially cross friction massage—so spend about 5 to 10 minutes, that’s about how much time a person’s going to tolerate, I don’t apply it more than that—then I want to work at doing a little bit of tack and stretch, like that tack that tissue down and I stretch, tack and stretch. There’s also a bit of a pump massage technique to just globally stretch out the various tissues and from different angles. So I’m tacking it down and I’m pulling the leg down so I’m stretching that tissue from different angles, and also I’m improving circulation, just getting things moving up and just stretching out tissue from various angles. So I’m not applying too much pressure, just a little bit of pressure, upward direction, tack and stretch, tack and stretch.
And so usually this part is quite comfortable and people like this part and it doesn’t cause as many problems, so quite an effective technique to get rid of those problems. And I would do, starting off, you probably want to do that every other day or even take two days in between. Or, if it gets sore after the treatment, you want to give it a day or two to kind of settle down before you do the technique again. And after some time you’ll find that it won’t get as sore and it starts to move better, and then you can start focusing more on the strengthening aspect of things as well as doing more other stretching and mobility exercises.
I hope you found that helpful. Make sure you check out the site. We have our program on it now, it’s been live, Build Better Knees, and I think it’ll really help a lot of you with various knee injuries and problems. Subscribe to the channel and leave a comment. Thanks.