The primary techniques for reducing
muscle tension are basic effleurage, compression-broadening techniques,
and sweeping cross-fiber methods. Because the primary goal of
these treatment methods is to reduce excess muscular tension,
it is important to perform these techniques within the client’s
More specific attention can be applied
to reducing muscle tension with deep, longitudinal stripping techniques.
Because these techniques are usually applied with more pressure
(close to the client’s pain tolerance), be mindful of the
region of tissue damage where the strain has occurred, and avoid
putting too much pressure on this area.
In addition to reducing tension on
the affected muscle, deep transverse friction applied to the site
of the muscle injury is used to help build a healthy and functional
scar. If the muscle is kept immobile during the healing process,
scar tissue will bind adjacent muscle fibers and reduce muscle
flexibility, increasing risk of further injury due to adhesions
in the muscle fibers. Therefore, deep transverse friction is usually
performed perpendicular to the fiber direction in order to create
the greatest degree of mobility in the developing scar tissue.
the later stages of rehabilitation, various forms of massage with
active engagement are a beneficial adjunct. These methods enhance
functional restoration of the hamstring group by emphasizing soft-tissue
manipulation during movement, which reduces muscle tension and
minimizes scar-tissue binding. Both broadening strokes and lengthening
strokes are used for this purpose. Additional muscular effort
may be used to enhance the effectiveness of pressure during various
strokes, including resistance bands, weights or manual resistance
by the practitioner.
In addition to massage approaches,
stretching is an integral aspect of addressing hamstring strain.
Not only is stretching helpful for reducing muscle tightness,
it may also decrease adverse neural tension in the sciatic nerve.
Stretching may be performed a variety of ways, from long-held
static stretching to short-duration methods, such as those used
in active isolated-stretching techniques.
Hamstring strain is a common occurrence
and a frequent reason that people seek the help of a massage therapist.
Various other problems may have similar symptoms, so it is important
to perform an accurate assessment to provide the most effective
Because hamstring strain is frequently
not a serious injury requiring immediate medical intervention,
clients are likely to directly consult a massage therapist for
help with the condition, without seeing a physician or other health-care
provider. Consequently, it is essential that the massage therapist
understand the nature of this common pathology and the most appropriate
strategies for resolving it.