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tight hamstring

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    tight hamstring

    Because I have an incomplete injury, I have a tight hamstring in one leg. Since there is no muscle in the top of the leg, I can't straighten it. As time goes by, it is getting worse. If straight is 180 degrees, I can only straighten it to 150 degrees. PT's don't want to mess with it, because it takes too much time. What kind of treatment can I try to improve ROM and decrease pain?

    Maybe you need a different PT.

    Prevention of conractures is always best, and this can be achieved with stretching and range of motion exercises. Once the contracture has occured, it is always more difficult to manage, but unless it is an old contacture and has become calcified, stretching should be able to help you regain the full range.

    Here are some exercises you can do on your own, until you can get a better PT.

    Lay on your stomach on a bed or mat table with your knee just on the mat. Have someone put a sandbag weight (start with a sack of rice) over your ankle. Rest in this position at least 1 hour daily. Stop if you get AD or excessive pain.

    Sit on the edge of the mat with your contracted leg stretched out in front of you. Your other leg can be bent and off the side of the mat to help with balance. Place a flexible weight on the top of your knee cap on the straight leg. Maintain this for 30-45 minutes (work up to this).

    Getting into a standing frame that allows you to wedge your knee and your foot can also be helpful, as long as your gradually adjust the foot wedge to get your knee stretched straighter and straight.

    Good old fashioned range of motion should be combined with all of this. You don't need to be a PT to do range of motion, just know what you are doing and avoid such extreme stretching that you risk rupturing tendons or breaking bones. A friend or famiily member can also help with this.

    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.


      What do you think Samuel means when he says he has this contracture problem b/c he is incomplete?



        [This message was edited by teesieme on 02-01-04 at 01:22 AM.]

        [This message was edited by teesieme on 02-01-04 at 01:23 AM.]
        "I want to make a difference! However small it may be~ as long as it's a positive one, then this is what my life will have been about and I will go knowing I did my best.~ T.


          I have some control of the hamstring muscle, but there is no muscle on top of the leg to counterbalance it. That's why it pulls so tightly backwards. Unfortunately, KLD, I'm 30 yrs. post and just recently retired. All these years of sitting have helped create the problem. I don't live anywhere near an SCI facility and the PT's I've spoken to or tried here are interested in patients who do not take up a lot of time so that they can handle 8-10 people at a time. Your exercise regimen sounds right, but an hour is a long time to be in that position. I'm looking for some treatment; massage, acupuncture, botox, even another PT, to help expedite the process.


            In the stone age..
            We used night splints to prevent this.
            Day bracing...night splinting.
            It appears there has been zero advancement
            in regards to this most common problem.
            The splinting did help though I must admit.
            Though not at all comfortable to say the least.
            SCI nurse's methods also have been around along are proven.
            Can't hurt to try them and get a new she recommends.

            Life isn't about getting thru the storm but learning to dance in the rain.