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tight hamstring causing pf?

Posted by susan K on 9/03/03 at 08:40 (128667)

i have had a partial ACL tear in my left knee for many years. I believe this has caused many of my pf symptoms but i have not found a doctor who believes this is true. I find that when i try to do simple exercises like riding a stationary bike that my hamstring immediately tighten up, my calf muscles tighten up (they are always tight) and the fascia on my left foot gets very tight. regardless of what any doctor has said, i believe this causing a lot of my problems. how could it not since everything in the body is connected? Does this sound crazy to anyone? does anyone have any ideas on how to handle this problem?

Re: tight hamstring causing pf?

Mike W on 9/03/03 at 09:43 (128675)

Hello Susan,

I believe that you are right. Tight posterior leg muscles are connected and can be a contributing cause of PF.

I have found that most people with PF also have weak anterior(front) leg muscles and tight posterior foot and leg muscles.

Muslces generally work in pairs and when one of them is contracted the other is automatically relaxed. This is known as reciprocal muscle innervation.

So if you have tight hamstrings then contract your quads, tight gastrox then contract your tibialis anterior, tight flexor digitorum brevis then contract your extensor digitorum brevis.

For more info please check out my website http://www.foottrainer.com and click PF then click foot and leg anatomy and you will see all foot and leg muscles.

Regards,

Mike W

Re: tight hamstring causing pf?

susan K on 9/03/03 at 09:48 (128676)

thanks mike! how often should i do this and how many reps? I assume the purpose is to strengthen all these muscles to take pressure off the pf?

Re: tight hamstring causing pf?

Ed Davis,DPM on 9/03/03 at 10:45 (128681)

susan K:

A very common situation. The gastrocnemius muscle (the big calf muscle) actually starts above the knee. If the hamstrings are tight, the gastroc will be tight in turn placing tension on the plantar fascia.
Ed

Re: tight hamstring causing pf?

dave r on 9/03/03 at 11:55 (128693)

I have read many articles on exactly that dr. ed.

Re: tight hamstring causing pf?

Mike W on 9/03/03 at 13:18 (128699)

Hello Susan,

I would start with 5 reps with 5 second holds. Add 1 rep every day till you get to 10 reps. Then go back to 5 reps with 10 second holds and add 1 rep every day till you reach 10 reps. Also it is best to start with isometric exercises Which means contraction without movement.

Regards,

Mike W

Re: tight hamstring causing pf?

susan K on 9/03/03 at 15:22 (128705)

dr. ed, what would you recommend doing for this problem along with mike's advise?? stretching doesn't help much, it sometimes tightens my muscles up even more???

Re: tight hamstring causing pf?

Ed Davis,DPM on 9/03/03 at 21:13 (128732)

susan:

This is an area where a good physical therapist can help especially one with good manual therapy technique.

Generally speaking, the goal is to achieve a stretch of sufficient intensity to be effective but not strong enough to ellicit muscular contraction. Muscles, when placed under stretch react via reflex by tightening -- a protective mechanism. Approach the stretch with very low intensity and hold, very slowly increasing the intensity -- duration of stretch is more important than intensity.
Ed