T Nation



Well, not too long ago I pulled my right hamstring and was injured for ~3 weeks. Because of this, I used my left leg dominately in everything such as walking, going up stairs, etc. Now it has been fully recovered for about 5 weeks but I cant help but notice that my left hamstring feels alot more "rock-solid" and my right is kinda...not. It is getting better though. Sometimes I feel like since I have this, I run unevenly (I have strong strides with my left leg, and just a little weaker strides with my right leg).

My question is, should I ignore training my left hamstring for 1-2 weeks to focus on my right and to even the imbalance, or should I keep on going like I am?

P.S.- It is getting better. Say my left hamstring was a 8 in toughness, now my right is about a 6.



Toughness? Stick to unilateral movements till the imbalance is dealt with. Don't do more for the stronger hamstring than you can with the weaker.


I see your problem very often in my clinic. Pro football players strain/pull their hamstring often and treatment resolves their problem but they strain the other hamstring soon after. Favoring one side creates changes from the ankle up the kinetic chain into the pelvis. I would seek treatment to release the restrictions and adhesions that have developed early on with a soft tissue technique preferably ART. However, if you elect to skip treatment try PIR (post isometric relaxation) stretching.
1. Lie on your back use a bath towel keep your leg straight and stretch the hamstring as soon as you feel a little resistance, this is you starting point. 2.Keeping the leg straight push into the towel to try and bring your leg to the floor about 10% of your strength (just a contraction) Hold the contraction for 10 seconds (resist using the towel)
3. Take a deep breath in and relax and pull the bath towel in order to stretch the hamstring A LITTLE more.
4. Hold this relaxed position for 10 seconds.
5. Without losing this position push into the towel again and repeat steps 3 and 4

Do this 3 times push/relax push/relax push/relax.
Repeat this every 2-3 hours during the day.
It's not hands-on treatment but should loosen up your hamstring.
Good Luck.


Agree with Dr Gregg, I love stretching this way.
Hijack warning: Hey Doc, I went to an ART practitioner for my ankles.
He told me I was on the All-TIme list for scar tissue, not surprising since I had sprained each one about 6-7 times and I haven't received good advice on taking care of them and haven't been as proactive as I should have been either.

My ? is this: every time he treated me, the session lasted 1 or 2 mins, tops. He'd stretch, "poke" and repeat 2-3x per ankle and that was it.

Did I get ripped off? That's not a lot of time for therapy, esp since my ankles are so heavily scarred.

Every chiro I've gone to who practices for a couple of minutes and says "that's it" has been one I never went to again because I know they're ripping me off and not doing all they can.

Is this the same case, ot is 2-3 minutes a legit session?


Sorry to say but it sounds like you got ripped off. I set aside 20 minutes MINIMUM with each patient for effective treatment then depending on the injury I usually use a modality to help decrease inflammation in the area so there is another 15 minutes on the machine. Important thing to remember is that in every profession there are questionable people. Was the doc doing ART with you certified? The treatment that you mentioned didn't sound very accurate. Tampa Terry recently drove 8 hours to see me and is writing a case study that will be posted in the next couple of days, keep an eye out for her experience with ART. If you have any questions PM me.

Good Luck


Question, how do you know if you have strained/pulled your hamstring? My left hamstring has been feeling, well, tight. There is a mild pain up to my glute. I stretch and stretch, but I feel like I'm loosing flexibility no matter how much I stretch. It bothers me during runs since Boot Camp (2/28/03). I found out I have plantar fasciitis in my left foot, as well as a bone spur in that heel. I don't know if it's due to overcompensating or something else, but it's starting to be a pain, but I hate going to medical and being on light duty. This q is for anyone, I'm not trying to mooch free medical advice.