Archive for Thursday, February 15, 2007

Hamstrung by hamstrings

February 15, 2007

Hamstring injuries are common in many sports. The contributing factors for these injuries are believed to be lack of hamstring strength, inadequate warm-up procedures prior to strenuous exercise and plain old-fashioned muscle fatigue. Lack of flexibility also adds to the problem.

When I was a kid we did not do the stretching before a game that they are required to do now, and I can't help but think we did the stretching without even knowing it. We ran everywhere we went, rode bikes all over town, climbed everything in sight and did not have television to watch. There was no air conditioning and we did a lot of sweating.

Last November, I endured a complete surprise. After playing sports most of my life and performing lots of heavy lifting, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I was trying to put into storage our wrought-iron patio chairs. For years I had hung them on hooks that were connected to the ceiling of the garage with no problem. When I attempted to do this, I missed the hook on the first four attempts because of my own stubbornness in refusing to get something to stand on and thinking my tiptoes would do the trick. On the fifth try, something snapped. Both sides gave out. I have never had so much pain that has lasted so long.

I have checked dozens of Web sites that say they have an answer - from stretching, to hot and cold applications, to ultrasound. Nothing worked. They keep talking about increased age, and that's the part that bothers me the most. Surely they are kidding. The Internet says the pain occurs because muscle fibers rub together due to a lack of water. So I drank more water, and it helped. I am feeling much better now but still have a ways to go.

My advice would be to know your limits and get help. Don't be stubborn like I was. I guess the articles that continue to talk about age just might be true. By the way, the chair hit the hook on the fifth try.


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