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Injury to soft tissues/muscles account for something like 10-30% of all injuries in sport and hamstring tears are the most common of these. The hamstring acts as both a knee flexor and a hip extensor as well as contributing, to a lesser extent, to external rotation of both the hip and knee. Most common injury to the hamstrings, approximately 70% of all injuries, occur to the biceps femoris, the lateral of the 3 hamstrings, and usually during high speed running where the muscle is required to lengthen and contract at the same time to slow down the leg. The tear is normally in the long head of biceps femoris around the tendinous junction where the muscle is at it weakest.

Back pain is often spoken about in structural and biomechanical manner where you can get the impression that you may have to give up doing what you love to do be it golf, crossfit, rugby or gardening because you have issue X. The big issue with this is that it on the one hand over simplifies the problem and catastrophises it all in one go so that you are left thinking that your wonky leg is the cause of all your pain and trying to run on it is a recipe for disaster.

The idea of having a leg length discrepancy and how it might relate to back pain or other issues is something that comes up in the clinic all the time. Having a difference in leg lengths is quite common though for the most part these will only be noticeable when lying on the couch rather than when standing as they aren't congenital, that is to say there isn't a difference in the length of the bones. The apparent difference comes from tension in the soft tissues of the thigh and hip which pull on the femur and/or pelvis giving the appearance of a difference in length between the two legs.

There’s often a lot of fuss made about biomechanics and injury prevention and how they relate to one another. In the clinic this tends to appear in the misconception that the better my running technique is, or other appropriate activity,  the less likely I am to get injured. Yet whilst this is true to some extent there’s less of a direct relationship than you might think between biomechanics and  injury. If we are looking at how likely we are to get injured how well the movement is performed is less important than how much load is placed on the tissues involved when performing it. So how much you do has a much bigger impact on whether an injury might occur or not rather than the actual way you’re doing it.

I often find when clients develop nonspecific aches and pains they start, almost randomly, introducing low load rehab work into their program in an attempt to solve the problem.  This is usually done after a quick google search which makes various reasonable suggestions as to what might be wrong and the exercises to do to help the problem. This though really doesn't tackle the problem well, if at all, given it misses out looking at why the aches and pains developed to begin with.

When the sciatic nerve becomes irritated it can create pain, pins and needles or numbness down the back of the leg. Nerves can be compressed, trapped or irritated in a number of ways at the point where it leaves the spine but there is quite a bit of space around the nerve at this point so the chances of it getting pinched here are low. If it does happen the most common of way is where a disc herniates and pushes against the nerve. Whilst this is the most common way for the nerve to become “trapped” it is still only likely to affect 1 in 10 of those suffering from back pain.