For those suffering from tight hamstrings, there has been some encouraging research of late into the effectiveness of Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT) in improving hamstring flexibility, especially combined with stretching exercises in healthy participants (see https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5368153/).
Interestingly, the study concluded that shockwave therapy combined with stretching exercises was more beneficial than stretching alone:
“While ESWT and stretching both reduced hamstring tightness immediately after interventions, only ESWT with stretching exercise maintained the significantly improved relief of hamstring tightness significantly after 4 weeks.
To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to evaluate ESWT or stretching exercise combined with ESWT on hamstring tightness in normal individuals. Flexibility is an important component of a physical condition that allows the tissue to readily accommodate to stress, to dissipate shock impact, and to improve efficiency of movement, thus minimizing or preventing injury.23 The prevalence of low back pain was found to be increased in patients having tight musculature in the lower spine, as well as the hamstring muscles.24 Hamstring tightness is also a risk factor for the development of patella tendinopathy and patellofemoral pain,23,25 hamstring strain injury, and symptoms of muscle damage following eccentric exercise.26”
At Spine Sport Feet we regularly incorporate Shockwave therapy and stretching exercises as treatment options, so are well-placed to help with hamstring tightness, or other musculoskeletal problems including:
- Tendinopathies, e.g. rotator cuff tendon strains, tennis elbow etc;
- Fasciopathies, e.g. plantar fasciitis
- trigger points
- muscle strains
What is Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy?
Shockwave therapy is a series of high-energy percussions to an affected area. The shockwave is a physical sound wave “shock”, not an electric one. It is used to assist in recovery from a range of musculoskeletal issues, by:
1) Enhancing / speeding up the body’s healing process. Shockwaves produce an inflammatory response that increases metabolic activity at the site of injury, promoting the remodeling of dysfunctional collagenous tissues (such as injured muscles, tendons, ligaments etc).
2) Breaking down scar tissue and/or calcification
3) Diminishing the transmission of pain is through neurological mechanisms (inhibition of nociceptors).
We are here to help
Spine Sport Feet Clinic (previously Coomera Wellness Centre) has been providing allied health care services to the Gold Coast area for over 15 years. We are located in Homeworld Helensvale, 502 Hope Island Road, in the medical precinct.