Hamstrings, Sacrotuberous Ligament

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As we learn anatomy, learning the origins and insertions of muscles, we are led to believe that the muscles start and stop at those points of attachment. In reality the fascia in our body is a continuum, and stress in muscles can communicate beyond the muscle attachments. I am indebted to Tom Myers, who explains this concept well in his book Anatomy Trains

We are taught that the hamstrings attach at the ischial tuberosity. The sacrotuberous ligament goes from the ischial tuberosity to the sacrum, and the superficial fibers of this ligament are continuous with the hamstring tendon, so they can carry the tension of the hamstrings up to the sacrum.

I have found that when working the hamstrings if I can continue the strokes up to the sacrum it can help to better release tension in the hamstrings. This technique is a variation on the hamstring stretch stroke from the Deep Tissue Massage DVD.

With the drape tucked carefully around your client's leg, have your client's hip flexed so that their knee is close to their chest. Once their hip is fully flexed, gently extend your client's knee, taking it only as far as comfortable. Work with your knuckles going from behind the knee up to the sacrum. Go slow, and treat the ischial tuberosity as a speed bump, going lighter as you go over bone.

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