Do you have tight hamstrings? Release suboccipital region

When the tone of suboccipital muscles falls, it has been reported that the tone of knee flexors such as the hamstrings also decreases due to relaxation of the myofascia. This is because the hamstrings and suboccipital muscles are connected by one neural system, which passes through the dura mater, whihc has been called Super ficial back line : Tom Mayer said)

The sub-occipital muscles are located in your posterior neck at the base of your skull. Their function is to extend the neck & assist in rotation of the head and also stabilise the skull on its first two vertebrae, the atlas and axis. If these muscles are short and hold tension the posterior neck will feel tight and inhibited, headaches may occur and proprioception and balance may also be affected.

The hamstring muscles are located on the posterior side of the thigh and their action is to flex the knee and extend the hip. They also play an important role in hip stability and tight hamstrings will sometimes cause lower back pain.

How these two have relationship?

The superficial back line (SBL) is a continuing line of  fascia and muscle from head to heel which includes both the sub-occipitals and the hamstrings. The SBL helps keep us upright and is connected by the one neural system. The very small sub-occipital muscles have a link to the dura mater ( the membrane enveloping brain and spinal cord) and because of this are often described as the control centre of the SBL having an effect on the movement of the muscles within the SBL, particularly the hamstring group.

How to inhibit suboccipital muscles?

[restrict]The therapist places his/her hands below the subject’s occiput and applied pressure to the area below the atlas, which was the first cervical spine, in the upward direction, toward the patient’s nose, toward himself/herself, and in the direction of the head, and this induced relaxation of the suboccipital muscles).The Suboccipital  muscle inhibition technique was applied for 5 minutes.

Why these study is relevant?

When an athelete has hamstrinng strain which is in acute phase  and its not allowed  to use foam roller to release the fascia. You can use this technique to release hamstring. This study provides some indirect effect on muscles, which is quick interesting.

Take home message:

In summary, there is often a noticeable benefit in massaging the sub-occipitals in order to gain release of the hamstrings. This indirect approach is very beneficial when the hamstrings are injured and sensitive or just have not responded to direct massage and stretching techniques.

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