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Preventing Knee Pain

Tom Jennings exercise extension flexibiltiy hamstrings performance recovery self-myofascial release sports stretch therapy

Something as simple as stretching the hamstrings can aid in preventing knee pain. In recent years, some have suggested that stretching is not an important function of sports. In my 22 years of dealing with athletic injuries I can tell you it is important. I don't have research to back it up, but I do have experience with injuries. And recently I have seen an increase in decreased flexibility in the hamstrings leading to chronic knee, hip and back injuries. Why? In my opinion it  is pretty simple, over-activity and lack of static stretching. Many are riding the wave of  dynamic movements for preparation of sports activity, which is important, but some are  substituting it for the post-activity static stretch.

Don't throw the baby out with the bath water folks. Stretching is important and has a place in sports performance, injury prevention and recovery. I do believe that dynamic movement prior to activity is beneficial. And I believe that static, multi-planar stretching is important after activity. In particular, the hamstrings can become over-active which produces tightness and can have an affect on the knee (patellofemoral) joint. It does not take much to alter the biomechanics in the knee and a little tightness in the hamstrings can easily create dysfunction in the knee. So do yourself a favor and stretch your hamstrings after activity to reduce over-use knee injuries. And please teach your kids how to stretch their hamstrings-it may save you a lot of visits to the doctors for knee pain or even worse- back pain.

 

Hamstring Stretch:

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