The hamstring muscles (biceps femoris, semitendinosus, and semimembranosus) are long muscles that cross 2 joints (your hip and knee) and work by contracting and expanding. The contraction or expansion motion of the hamstring muscles is determined by the signals that are sent to the brain. When a muscle contracts involuntarily (i.e. the signal for the muscle to contract overcomes the signal for it to expand, or relax) it can result in a hamstring muscle spasm.
The hamstring muscles, along with the quadriceps, calves, feet, hands, and abdominals are the most common muscle groups affected by muscle spasms. A muscle spasm can be a small twinge or extremely painful and cause you to immediately stop whatever you are doing until the pain passes. A spasm can involve the entire muscle, part of it, or other muscles adjacent to it.
In some cases, a severe muscle spasm may not release on its own and manual stretching may be necessary to help relax and lengthen the contracted muscle. If the connective tissue attached to the muscle is weak or the spasm is particularly severe, it may cause the tendons or ligaments to strain or tear.
Causes of Hamstring Spasm
A muscle spasm is caused by abnormal activity in the hamstrings, either in the nerve signals or within the muscles themselves. This abnormal activity can be caused by:
- A muscle that has been overstretched or held in one position for a long time.
- New exercises that involve unused muscles.
- Inadequate warming up or stretching before exercise.
- Inadequate stretching after exercise (no cool-down).
- You have a pinched nerve near the spinal cord, probably in the lower back
- Pregnancy - spasms are more common in pregnant women. Calcium deficiency can sometimes cause muscle cramping in pregnant women.
- A hamstring injury.
- Lactic acid build up when overloading or overexerting the muscle.
- Low levels of electrolytes or dehydration - Muscles require water, calcium, magnesium, and potassium to function properly. An example of foods rich in such minerals include dark, leafy greens - nuts & seeds - broccoli - bananas - canned fish with edible bones (canned sardines, salmon, tuna) - milk products - egg yolks - brussel sprouts/broccoli/citrus fruits, etc.
- Poor Blood Circulation
- Inadequate blood supply caused by narrowing of the arteries (atherosclerosis).
- Multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, other nervous system diseases, or spinal cord damage.
- You take diuretics - medications which cause your body to shed water. Many blood pressure medications and high cholesterol medications (statins) are diuretics.
- Disease such as diabetes, kidney disease, anemia, or thyroid abnormalities.
Symptoms of Hamstring Muscle Spasm
When you experience a hamstring muscle spasm you may feel:
- Twitching in part of the muscle, the entire muscle, or surrounding muscles.
- A sudden burst of pain that stops after a few seconds to a few minutes.
- A bulge in the muscle where the spasm occurs.
- The feeling that you need to stretch your hamstrings.
Treatments for Hamstring Muscle Spasm
Hamstring spasms are frustrating to live with especially when they occur during activity and sports. Keeping your body hydrated and replacing electrolytes during and following activities are positive steps toward preventing spasms. When a spasm occurs, there are home treatments you can use to relax the muscle and reduce the spasm. Proper treatment will get you back to regular activities sooner, stop your pain, and reduce the risk of hamstring muscle injury and further spasm.
If you are getting spasms due to a pinched nerve from a spinal injury, you really need to see your physician. You might be able to use conservative treatment methods to help reduce the frequency or severity of such spasms, but the underlying cause will remain without assistance from a physician or surgeon.
The most widely recommended conservative - yet effective - treatments for muscle spasm are:
- change of diet - eat foods rich in postassium, magnesium and calcium
- drink more water - stay hydrated
- heat therapy
- increase blood flow
Outside of change in diet, the remaining conservative treatments focus on heat (this temporarily increases flexibility and elongates muscles, tendons and ligament), an increase in blood flow and stretches. Cold compression IS NOT a good method to deal with hamstring muscle spasms, but can be used if you suffer re-injury of your hamstring due to the spasms or other activities. Anytime when your hamstring is swollen, inflamed or painful without experiencing the spasms, you should be using cold. The rest of the time, when you are suffering from hamstring muscle spasms, you should be using Deep Tissue Regeneration Therapy to relieve your hamstring muscle spasms.
Promoting blood flow within a muscle or soft tissue injury to help improve muscle function and/or heal muscle strians/tears is a concept that has been utilized for centuries. This is where the focus has to be if you are seeking long-term improvement.
Oxygen and nutrients, carried within the blood, are critical for the body to heal itself. Without proper blood flow, recovering from an injury or condition will be delayed...sometimes for a very long period of time.
When people think blood flow beyond exercise, they instantly think "heating pad". Unfortunately, many individuals make the mistake in believing that a simple heating pad or microwavable gel packs will provide the blood flow needed to heal injured tissues. Nothing could be further from the truth.
To begin with, heating pads and warmed gel packs work on conduction. The heat they generate has to be forced through multiple layers of skin and fatty tissues. With each layer of skin the heat passes through, there is a corresponding energy loss because that heat is absorbing into each layer it passes through- the skin is an excellent insulator! Your body responds to this heat by increasing the blood flow near your skins surface (not in your injured tissue) to dissipate the heat and it does so quite effectively.
By the time what little heat reaches below the skin, sub-dermal layer and fat layer into the targeted area (the dense, injured tissues), very little energy remains and this does not effectively enhance blood flow. With little blood flow reaching these injured tissues - healing just doesn't happen.
The heating pad may feel comforting when on the body, but that is because the warmth is absorbing into the skin. Moist heat has been believed to be more effective at warming internal tissues versus dry heat, because it is believed that water transfers heat more quickly than through air. Clinical studies do not support that popular belief.
When you are using a heating pad, all that you are really accomplishing is warming of the skin. The unintended consequence is that you draw blood flow AWAY from the targeted tissues (the injured ones deeper in the body) and direct the blood flow to the surface of the body.
Warming the skin will not significantly contribute to healing of muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, or any other tissues.
So If A Heating Pad Is Not The Answer, What Is?
In order to effectively stimulate blood flow to the dense tissue deep within the body, an energy based on an electromagnetic principle (diathermy) is needed. In essence, this is a conversion energy vs a conductive heat (like the heating pad example above - that is conductive heat).
Electromagnetic energy waves are not conductive heat waves - they are a much longer wavelength and hence, penetrate deep into the body. They are very safe and very effective as research over decades has shown. The F.D.A recognizes this as fact.
When these energy waves are emitted,they penetrate right through your skin and fat layers until they are absorbed by tissue high in protein. This means ligaments, muscles, cartilage, tendons and bone. Once they reach the targeted areas, they are absorbed and quickly converted into thermal energy... right at the location of the injury.
This results in relaxation of the vessel walls. The vessels then gently expand, allowing for more nutrient rich blood flow along with extra oxygen and antibodies to reach spasmed muscles. Plus, the enhanced blood flow helps in flushing cell waste and fluid build-up from the muscle - further enhancing the ability of the body to heal.
As mentioned above, standard heating pads and heated gel packs accomplish the exact opposite of your goals. They direct blood flow to the skin, not to the injured muscles and soft tissues you are trying to aid.
Electromagnetic energy is a form of energy will easily penetrate through clothing, skin, and fatty tissues... directly into your spasmed muscles and soft tissues - deep within your leg. After the energy absorbs into hamstring muscles, the metabolic response then kick starts the repair and rebuilding process.
More blood now begins to flow effectively to spasming muscles deep within the body. Spasmed muscles are typically starved for nutrients - and need the extra blood flow to recover as it is through the blood the body carries the oxygen, nutrients, and antibodies needed for proper and long-term healing.
While the concept of electromagnetic energy is slowly catching on in North America, the truth is, it is a technology that has been utilized in other societies for decades. Over the past 30 years, researchers in Japan and China have completed extensive studies on the use of the modality and their findings have been impressive. In addition, success has been reported in studies from countries such as Sweden and Germany.
Research is continuing and soon, much of North America will know what the Far East and Europe has known for a long time; electromagnetic energy provides a wide range of health benefits for those not only suffering from hamstring spasms, but for any muscles spasms or ailments such as bursitis, tendinitis, Tenosynovitis, , tennis elbow, etc..
Now, on to recommendation number two in the journey to deal with your spasming muscle...
The Leg T•Shellz Wrap® - Deep Heat & Increased Blood Flow for Your Hamstring Spasms
Deep heat and increased blood flow can best be achieved at home via use of the T•Shellz Wrap®. Using a Leg T•Shellz Wrap® on your hamstring stimulates blood flow on a deep tissue level within the hamstring muscle - blood flow that relaxes the spasming muscle to end the spasm cycle. Use of this device results in a dramatic increase in blood flow to the injured tissues located deeper within the body - all in a non-invasive manner.
Have you seen what happens when you add water to a flower wilted from drought? In essence, your injured muscle is much like a "wilted" flower; your body wants to heal its injury, but needs lots of nutrients to do it. Blood brings new life to your cells by delivering healing nutrients and oxygen that are vital to your tissue. In addition, the blood carries away toxins and cellular waste cleaning the area and healing it faster. Without a good supply of blood, your spasming hamstring muscle simply won't get the nutrients it needs and will continue to spasm.
Using a T•Shellz Wrap® will not expose you to the risk of causing further harm to soft tissue like you can when using rigorous exercise. The Leg T•Shellz Wrap® accomplishes the goal of enhanced blood flow without the need for intensive exercise and as such reduces your risk of re-injury.
T•Shellz Wrap® = Accelerated Healing Power for Your Hamstring Strain or Hamstring Spasm
The Leg T•Shellz Wrap® is based on the scientifically validated principle of Electromagnetic energy as we discussed previously. This form of treatment is safe and effective as shown in numerous studies which can be referenced through the National Library of Medicine. Professional athletes and those in the medical field have been users of the technology for decades - it really hasn't been until recently that companies like ours introduced the treatment devices to the home user.
The healing energy from the T•Shellz Wrap® does not absorb into the skin - it absorbs directly into the damaged muscle and soft tissue (as a result, you will not feel the same level of heat on the skin versus a heating pad). The longer wavelength provides the electromagnetic energy wrap with the capability of penetrating deep into the body (well over two and a half inches).
EM energy emitted from the T•Shellz Wrap® is absorbed by high protein tissue (muscle, tendon, ligament, cartilage) and is converted into Kinetic energy - much of this energy being released as heat. Overall, EM energy will warm soft tissues, improve blood circulation, and boost metabolism and enzyme activity. In stimulating localized blood flow to damaged soft tissue, you provide needed oxygen, nutrients, and antibodies to regenerate new, healthy collagen. In addition, you will experience a clearing of toxins and excess fluid build up from the injury site. Over the intermediate term, this helps to reduce incidents of swelling as trapped fluids will be whisked away - reducing pressure on blood vessels.
Using the T-Shell Wrap is truly a unique experience. Within moments of applying a treatment to your spasming hamstring, you can feel the healing sensation due to the increase in blood flow deep within the area. During a treatment, and for quite some time after you finish, the treated area will feel relaxed and less painful. It's a very soothing sensation and extremely effective.
Who Should Use the T•Shellz Wrap®
We recommend the use of a T•Shellz Wrap®:
- If you are experiencing muscle spasms, the T•Shellz Wrap® will introduce heat and increased blood circulation to the muscle - exactly what is needed to stop a spasming muscle.
- If you have injured your hamstring muscles or tendons or other soft tissue in your leg, then the T•Shellz Wrap® will accelerate your body's healing rate via increased blood circulation.
- If you are dealing with conditions affecting your range of motion such as an impingement or even arthritis.
- If you have a chronic leg condition that has lasted for years- this device will help start the rebuilding process and help strengthen the surrounding and supporting tissues. Many of our past clients had suffered for years, then were completely amazed at the results only after a few months of treatments.
- If you are encountering hamstring spasms at work , the T•Shellz Wrap® will help relax your hamstring prior to work and after a day at the job. This will help reduces the frequency or risk of muscle spasms.
- If you are still trying to enjoy your favorite activities such as gardening, tennis, golf, etc - use the T•Shellz Wrap® prior to activity to help reduce chances of re-injuring or re-aggravating those targeted tissues.
- If you are experiencing atrophy in your hamstrings or quadriceps and want to reduce the chance of re-injury - this is a perfect treatment to use on a regular basis.
- If you have been to physical therapy for some form of regenerative therapy and your physical therapist or physician told you to get a radiant energy wrap for muscle spasm, then this is exactly what you need.
- If you have injured your leg and need surgery, then this is exactly what you need after your surgery to help the surgically repaired tissues rebuild for long-term health. (once the surgery wound has healed)
Increased Blood Circulation = Reduced Risk of Muscle Spasm
T•Shellz Wraps contain a unique, flexible Carbon Fiber Energy Pad which is flexible and will shape to conform to your body. This Energy Pad emits a uniform wave of perfectly safe electromagnetic energy over its entire surface. This energy travels deep inside to the muscles and tendons in your leg, stimulating blood flow your own body needs to feed your starved muscles. It is the electromagnetic energy that is crucial to the healing process.
Benefits attributed to Electromagnetic Energy (the energy used in TShellz Wraps):
A Summary from Chapter 9 of "Therapeutic Heat and Cold", 4th edition.
(amazon.com link) Ed. Justus F. Lehmann, M.D., Williams, and Wilkin.
Generally it is accepted that heat on soft tissue (muscles, tendons, ligaments) provides the following desirable therapeutic effects:
- Electromagnetic heat increases the extensibility of collagen tissues
Tissues heated to 45 degrees Celsius and then stretched exhibit a nonelastic residual elongation of about 0.5 to 0.9 percent that persists after the stretch is removed. This does not occur in these same tissues when stretched at normal tissue temperatures. Therefore 20 stretching sessions can produce a 10 to 18 percentage increase in length of tissues heated and stretched.
Stretching of tissue in the presence of heat would be especially valuable in working with ligaments, joint capsules, tendons, fascia, and synovium that have become scarred, thickened, or contracted. Such stretching at 45 degrees Celsius caused much less weakening in stretched tissues for a given elongation than a similar elongation produced at normal tissue temperatures.
Experiments cited clearly showed low-force stretching could produce significant residual elongation when heat is applied together with stretching or range-of-motion exercises. This is safer than stretching tissues at normal tissue temperatures.
- Electromagnetic heat decreases joint stiffness.
There was a 20 percent decrease in rheumatoid finger joint stiffness at 45 degrees Celsius (112 degrees Fahrenheit) as compared with 33 degrees Celsius (92 degrees Fahrenheit), which correlated perfectly to both subjective and objective observation of stiffness. Speculation has it that any stiffened joint and thickened connective tissues may respond in a similar fashion.
- Electromagnetic heat relieves muscle spasms.
Muscle spasms have long been observed to be reduced through the use of heat, be they secondary to underlying skeletal, joint, or neuropathological conditions. This result is possibly produced by the combined effect of heat on both primary and secondary afferent nerves from spindle cells and from its effects on Golgi tendon organs. The results produced demonstrated their peak effect within the therapeutic temperature range obtainable with electromagnetic heat.
- Electromagnetic heat treatment leads to pain relief.
Pain may be relieved via the reduction of attendant or secondary spasms. Pain is also at times related to ischemia (lack of blood supply) due to tension or spasm that can be improved by the hyperemia that heat-induced vasodilatation produces, thus breaking the feedback loop in which the ischemia leads to further spasm and then more pain.
Heat has been shown to reduce pain sensation by direct action on both free-nerve endings in tissues and on peripheral nerves. In one dental study, repeated heat applications led finally to abolishment of the whole nerve response responsible for pain arising from dental pulp.
Localized electromagnetic therapy using lamps tuned to the 2 to 25 micron waveband is used for the treatment and relief of pain by over 40 reputable Chinese medical institutes.
- Electromagnetic heat increases blood flow.
Heating muscles produces an increased blood flow level similar to that seen during exercise. Temperature elevation also produces an increased blood flow and dilation directly in capillaries, arterioles, and venules, probably through direct action on their smooth muscles. The release of bradykinin, released as a consequence of sweat-gland activity, also produces increased blood flow and vasodilatation.
- Electromagnetic heat assists in resolution of inflammatory infiltrates, edema, and exudates.
Increased peripheral circulation provides the transport needed to help evacuate edema, which can help inflammation, decrease pain, and help speed healing.
- Electromagnetic heat affects soft tissue injury.
Electromagnetic healing is now becoming a leading edge care for soft tissue injuries to promote both relief in chronic or intractable "permanent" cases, and accelerated healing in newer injuries.
Best of all...
The Leg T•Shellz Wrap®, is an FDA Registered Medical Device and is suitable for use in therapeutic clinics and FROM HOME. It is completely safe for people and patients to use for themselves.
As mentioned earlier, the use of electromagnetic energy is becoming much more commonplace in North America for everyday people. The technology has been used for decades in the worlds of professional and amateur sport - a contributing factor as to why athletes seem to recover from injuries so quickly.
Have you ever wondered by an athlete can return to activity after 3 or 4 weeks following a hamstring injury - while your average person takes much longer to return back to normal? The secret isn't really that much of a secret - it involves consistent treatments (meaning multiple times a day) using a diathermy treatment like the T•Shellz Wrap® to stimulate blood flow in and around soft tissue. Often, athletes have the luxury of using in-house therapy facilities many times per day.
How many us can afford the time and money to visit a therapy clinic multiple times a day? Very few indeed. This is how you can gain the same advantage that athletes enjoy in healing their own injuries - by using a device like the Leg T•Shellz Wrap® two or three times a day on a consistent basis.
Consistent Treatments = Consistent And Long Term Improvement
What Else Makes the Leg T•Shellz Wrap® So Special?
We believe the T•Shellz Wrap® to be one of the most effective treatments to stimulate blood flow to dense, injured tissues such as muscles, tendons, ligaments, and other similar tissues.
We can promise that you will receive a product that is designed to be safe and does what it is supposed to do...quickly relieve pain and aid in the recovery from tendon, muscle and other soft tissue injuries.
The unit plugs into a standard wall outlet to get its power. The nice thing about the power supply is that the same unit can be used in North America and overseas as well. It has the capability to operate between 110v and 230v.
It has a special signal controller that can be set for 3 different power levels of application (3=High, 2=Medium, 1=Low). The cord is long so you can sit or lie comfortably and watch TV, read or surf the net while you're using it.
Treatments are max 30 minutes in duration and the device can be worn over clothing. This allows you to use the device at work, at home, or really anywhere you have access to an electrical outlet.
A Recap of the Benefits of the T•Shellz Wrap®..
- Can be used on either the upper or lower leg, and the upper and lower arm as well - very versatile
- Targeted treatment of soft tissue injuries of the leg and arm
- It can be used before exercise to warm up your leg to reduce the risk of injury
- FDA Registered medical device for use in home or clinics - very high quality
- Greatly enhances healing of tendons, ligaments, and muscles
- Increases temporary flexibility and length of tissues (reducing the re-injury factor)
- Carbon fiber Energy Pad is strong, lightweight, and flexible - contours very easily
- It provides an accelerated healing rate that will save time and money when associated with extended doctor or physical therapist visits
- it is an outstanding tool for post-surgery rehabilitation, getting you back to work faster
When Should I Use My TShellz Wrap During the Day?
The most common question we receive from individuals prior to purchasing is - how many times a day should I be using my T•Shellz Wraps and when should I be using them? While treatment plans will differ for each individual and their specific condition, there are general guidelines that should be adhered to.
- Use a Cold Compress or Ice Pack when you are experiencing inflammation (usually after exertion or movement of the injury area).
The Leg T•Shellz Wrap® would then be used:
- Right after rising from bed in the morning (as this is when it is most stiff)
- Prior to going to bed at night (to relax the hamstring, allowing for better sleep with extended legs)
- Before you know you will be using your injured muscles (going to work, driving, walking/running, etc).
Learn More About Leg Injuries & Treatments
I want to learn more about Surgery & Post-Surgery Recovery
I want to learn more about Deep Tissue Regeneration Therapy
I want to learn more about Ice & Heat: Which Is Better For Treatment?
I want to learn more about Stretching for the Hamstring
I want to learn more about Soft Tissue Injury Treatments
During your recovery, you will probably have to modify and/or eliminate any activities that cause pain or discomfort at the location of your soft tissue injury until the pain and inflammation settle. Always consult your doctor and/or Physical Therapist before using any of our outstanding products, to make sure they are right for you and your condition. The more diligent you are with your treatment and rehabilitation, the faster you will see successful results!
Product specialists are available 9:00 am to 5:00 pm Eastern Standard Time Monday to Friday.
If any question or concern arises, call us or simply send us an email at any time (we check our emails constantly all throughout the day and night.. even on holidays!). We will respond as soon as possible.
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