What to do about Hamstring Tendon Tears
By Ashton Szabo
Yoga butt, aka proximal hamstring attachment tears, are one of the most common “in practice” injuries I hear about as a yoga teacher. They also tend to linger for a really long time. Why do they happen so often, why do they linger, and what can we do about it? Before we get into the challenge of hamstring tears, we have to look at the conditions that are causing so many hamstring attachment tears.
“I have tight hamstrings.” I hear it almost every day. And while it may be true, it’s usually only a small part of the truth. In most modern cultures, we tend to be very strong and tight in our hip flexors (in large part because of how much time we spend sitting). Most of the muscles of the body work in an agonist/antagonist relationship, meaning that one muscle group works in contrast to another. Think of a tug of war. Two sides are battling back and forth in attempt to pull all the tension over to their side. And that’s precisely what usually ends up happening. One side “wins” the tug of war. That muscle (or group of muscles) “wins” and ends up tight, short and strong. The muscle (or group of muscles) that “loses” ends up tight, LONG and weak. Generally, when we stretch tight, short muscles it feels good, because they are dying to be stretched. And conversely, generally speaking, when we stretch tight long muscles it can feel a little painful or uncomfortable as those muscles are already being pulled at length.
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