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Tight Hamstrings Part 2: Neural Tension

After the original post of Tight Hamstrings, I got some great feedback and some questions regarding the topic.

The question we have to ask ourselves, “Is the tightness that we feel coming from a truly SHORT muscle?”

The answer to this question is:
1. multi-faceted
2. a hard one to nailed down in a black/white sense.

However, most often, the answer is ‘No’.  The muscle is not anatomically short.  This video does a good job at explaining some other variables that can contribute to the sensation of tightness.

High amounts of neural tension will facilitate the muscle to sub-maximally contract.  In other worse, if there is some excess input from the brain to the muscle, the muscle will inherently be ‘tighter’ because it is contracting at level higher compared to when it is at ‘rest’.  If we can removed or decrease some of the signals from the nervous system, the muscle will return to its normal resting state and voila, we have looser feeling Hammies!

If you’re feeling like you can never get you hamstrings to loosen up, or you’ve been experiencing some low back tightness, give this technique a try and see if you have any tangible results.  I bet you will..

As always, if you’re in the St. Louis area and you want some help dealing with an injury or getting back to an activity you’ve been avoiding, give us a call.

Dr. B



Tyler Bryant