Over the course of the last week a handful of major leaguers were placed on the disabled list due to hamstring injuries/tightness. Although it may seem as though the hamstring has nothing to do with foot injuries treated by a podiatrist, there is more to it than may meet the eye. For the majority of these players, improper stretching or possible gait abnormalities could have led to their painful hamstrings.
As is the case with any athletics, proper stretching is a necessity prior to playing to prevent soft tissue injuries such as pulls, tears or even worse, ruptures. Unfortunately, if the hamstring is tight it can affect the calf, Achilles tendon and even the plantar fascia. Flat feet is another condition to take into account, which could cause excess stress and pull on the hamstrings leading to recurrent hamstring pulls. Lastly, limb length discrepancy (one leg is shorter than the other) could cause havoc on the muscles and tendons of the lower extremity increasing the likelihood of injury.
At Healthy Feet Podiatry we try and look at the entire picture regardless of where your pain is because your feet are truly the foundation of your body. If your feet are out of alignment, the rest of the body can suffer. For those players missing time with tight hamstrings I would recommend they continue stretching and icing the affected area; however, I would also recommend someone take a hard look at the support within their baseball cleats. They may just find that with the proper support the hamstring problems are going, going, gone!