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Discussion: pulled leg muscles

Posted Discussion
March 9, 2007
pete88
Men's 50
46 posts
pulled leg muscles
I'm 50 years old and for the past 3 years I've had problems with pulling my hamstrings mainly. Over the past 17 years, no matter how much I stretch or wrap myself, the upper part of my legs are extremely sore after playing in tournaments that last 2 days or more. I'm very active,(lift weights, jog play basketball etc), but it seems when I run the bases,(I'm fairly quick) thats when the most aggravation occurs. Is there anything out there that can help me out? I've seen a portable ultrsound machine for $250 that's supposed to help. Anyone have any pregame rituals that have been effective? The last tournament in Phoenix that I was at I had to take myself out after the fifth game. I aggravated a hamstring, groin and quad muscle. Any advice will be appreciated. HELP!!!!, Pete
March 9, 2007
Lecak
Men's 55
1006 posts
Underarmour full length compression pants about $49 each.
March 9, 2007
pete88
Men's 50
46 posts
Thanks for the tip brutha, I'm going to try it.
March 9, 2007
hoovedog
Men's 50
71 posts
2-3 oz of Pickle Juice before and during the game. Works for our team.
March 9, 2007
DMac
Men's 60
185 posts
Loosen up before the game but save your serious stretching for after each game when your muscles are warm and pliable. Stretching cold muscles causes more harm than good. I have also found it useful to stay on my feet between games.
One other thing. Any decent track coach will tell you that the secret to sprinting is running as fast as you can while staying as relaxed as you can. You may be trying too hard which will result in unneccessary injuries. I also try to avoid stepping directly on the base, usually brushing it with the outside of my foot. Umpires will never call it unless you get greedy.
March 9, 2007
DMac
Men's 60
185 posts
Hoovedog: Chemically, the brine acts as a base to neutralize the buildup of lactic acid. You can get the same effect by drinking milk of magnesia or eating a couple of Rolaids. Don't try this at Santa Anita Park; the vets have caught on to it.
March 9, 2007
pete88
Men's 50
46 posts
Hoovedog, Funny you should mention the pickle juice. My son plays high school ball and he and his friends always had me fetching them pickles. I thought it was a superstition. What's in the juice thats beneficial?
Pete
March 9, 2007
pete88
Men's 50
46 posts
DMac, Thanks for the knowledge. Makes alot of sense. I should have looked for answers many years ago. I'll apply your info to the Mustang Tournament in a few weeks and hopefully I won't gimp myself up again.
March 9, 2007
pete88
Men's 50
46 posts
DMac, What's your take on the ultra sound or electric treatment to help speed the recovery of damaged muscles?
March 9, 2007
diehard
Men's 55
245 posts
Hey Pete88
Just some things to think about with those muscle pulls . Groin pulls are often the result of weak hip muscle strentgh . You say that you work out , so proper conditioning should include adductor strengthening ,pelvic strengthening and core strengthening . If you already do these exercises and still suffer from chronic groin pulls , there is a possibility that you may have a sports hernia . the symptoms mimic chronic groin pulls . A sports hernia is a weakening of the muscles that form the abdominal wall . Sometimes surgery is required to correct this problem . It seems that your problem has been going on much too long to just be weak muscles . It may be time to seek the advice of a DR. . Good Luck .
March 9, 2007
diehard
Men's 55
245 posts
Hey Pete88
Just some things to think about with those muscle pulls . Groin pulls are often the result of weak hip muscle strentgh . You say that you work out , so proper conditioning should include adductor strengthening ,pelvic strengthening and core strengthening . If you already do these exercises and still suffer from chronic groin pulls , there is a possibility that you may have a sports hernia . the symptoms mimic chronic groin pulls . A sports hernia is a weakening of the muscles that form the abdominal wall . Sometimes surgery is required to correct this problem . It seems that your problem has been going on much too long to just be weak muscles . It may be time to seek the advice of a DR. . Good Luck .
March 9, 2007
DMac
Men's 60
185 posts
Pete: The ultrasound and stem machines definitely work but don't forget that they are addressing the symptom, not the cause of your problem.
March 10, 2007
Fred Scerra
Men's 80
542 posts
As Lecak said good tight pair of compression pants. Haven't had any problems since I started wearing them 9 yrs ago.
March 10, 2007
diehard
Men's 55
245 posts
I agree , compression pants work great . Never tried pickle juice , but I will now . The portable ultrasound would be great to have , and cheaper than most bats . 17 years is a long time to deal with this , and it says something about your character . Alot of people would have quit the game by now , and have because of these types of nagging injuries . Hang tough Pete , and hopefully soon one of these suggestions will put an end to all of these nagging injuries you are having.
March 10, 2007
pete88
Men's 50
46 posts
Hey Guys, Thanks for all the advice. It's great to have this type of resource to be able to obtain valuable information. I was curious as to the under armour. Does it make a difference if I get the heat gear or the cold gear type leggins? Also, anyone out there from the Rancho Cordova area,(by Sacramento)? I live in Utah now and haven't been in that area for 26 years. It would be cool to hook up with someone at one of the tournaments. Thanks again fellas. Pete
March 11, 2007
surf89
Men's 55
1 posts
Pete, you were playing in PHX 2 weeks ago, noticed you were looking for a team a while back, which team did you get hooked up with??
For my two-cents, the UA heat gear have worked for me.

All the best
March 11, 2007
pete88
Men's 50
46 posts
Surf 89, I hooked up with Scrap Iron 50's out of Denver. Thanks for the reply.
March 11, 2007
hombre
Men's 60
220 posts
I've had hamstring problems since high school. The hamstrings on both legs are covered with lumps of scar tissue. I was injured for about half of my first three seasons in senior play. I could only reach about 8" from the floor when I tried to touch my toes. Get the picture? Two years ago in the off season I found a stool with castor wheel which was about 18" high. Every day at work I would bend over, put my hands on the stool and walk about 100 feet down the hall. I could really feel my hammies stretching. I looked like a goof, but I have not had a hamstring problem since. I can also touch my knuckles to the floor now.
I've told several people about my remedy and they sort of humored me and didn't try it. They all still have the problem.
Do yourself a favor. Find a place so no one will see you and laugh. Then try it.
March 11, 2007
pete88
Men's 50
46 posts
Hombre, I've found a chair with some wheels and tried it for about 15'. That's all the room I have in my trailer out here at my job site. Feels like it's going to work for me. Can't understand why anyone wouldn't at least try your cure. Maybe they are just gluttons for punishment. As for worrying about people laughing at me, I could give a crap. The ones that laugh are usually the ones that are lacking in one way or another. I'll up date you in a month or so after the Mustang Tournament and hopefully it will be a favorable report. Thanks
March 13, 2007
leftyodoul
Men's 60
97 posts
pete88 - I have also had hamstring problems since my early twenties. This was brought on by an injury to my lower back as a result of a car accident. I do a lot of stretching exercises year round. During games, I don't sit for long periods of time and try to stretch between innings. What I have found to be most beneficial are neoprene thigh wraps. I wear them on each leg to support and keep the muscles warm. I wear them under my compression shorts. These wraps have allowed me to play when I otherwise wouldn't have been able to. I am an outfielder, so I need to be able to sprint and make sharp cuts. I swear by the neoprene thigh wraps. Good luck!
March 13, 2007
surf88
Men's 60
868 posts
Pete,

I play for Scrap Iron 55's. I drive to Denver from the Western Slope. If the 50's practice on the same days as the 55's, we could car pool over if you like.

Let me know more about the portable ultrasound machine you found. I'd like to check it out some more.

I'll be going to Denver Friday or early Saturday this week-end.

Ed
(970) 728-3144
March 13, 2007
Gary Heifner
248 posts
Pete, I was having pulled leg muscle problems-big time. Went to my chriopractor and found out my right hip was over an inch out of alignment. Git it back in about 4 treatments. I bought those knee braces that are very open and tighten just above and below the knee. I haven't had a single pull in "3" full seasons.
March 13, 2007
pete88
Men's 50
46 posts
Lefty,Surf and Gary,
Thanks for the tips. Lefty, I'm going to try and substitute my stretch wraps with the neoprenes next tournament. Surf, I live in eastern Utah so I don't make many practices. I'll update you on the ultrasound once I start using it. Gary, I've tried a few different back crackers, didn't work. I also presently utilize one knee brace, helps with my bad knee, but not the starined muscles. Thanks for the tip though.
March 18, 2007
Jetboy
62 posts
Would soaking in a hot tub prior to a game help prevent muscle pulls?
March 20, 2007
diehard
Men's 55
245 posts
I just finished watching Donny Deutch on MSNBC . And he had the inventor of a sports drink called Pickle Juice . It is bottled and sold nationwide , and is outselling some of the more well known sports drinks such as powerade and Gatorade . It is much better for your muscles than any sports drink currently on the market , and many of the pro teams are ordering it for their players . I never heard of using pickle juice before I read about it on this message board , and now it looks as if it is the best thing out there to prevent fatigue and pulled muscles . I know that when I find out where it is sold I am going to stock up for the season .
March 20, 2007
pete88
Men's 50
46 posts
Diehard,
Picklejuicesport.com says it's available at 7-11 stores.
Pete
March 20, 2007
Dbax
Men's 60
1265 posts
Guys, while pickle juice may help prevent "muscle cramps", it cannot prevent "pulled muscles." There is a big difference.
March 21, 2007
diehard
Men's 55
245 posts
Thanks for the info Pete . And I believe that we are all in agreement that nothing can prevent muscle pulls . A good execise program combined with proper nutrition , and the use of compression pants and / or neoprene wraps , are all things that we can do to try and prevent muscle pulls . But there are no guarantees ! But this is a great subject , and one that I find to be very informative .
March 21, 2007
DMac
Men's 60
185 posts
I think we have lost sight of the difference between a strain and a sprain. A strained muscle is one that is tired and overworked and can be caused by a buildup of lactic acid or by dehydration.
In a sprain, or pulled muscle, there is an actual tear and is usually caused by one of three things.
1. Lack of flexibility: This is caused by an insufficient warmup because of time, improper technique, or possibly another injury which prevents warming up properly. The lack of flexibility could also be related to arthritis or accidental trauma caused by slipping when running or throwing (hyperextension).
2. Lack of conditioning: Different levels of activity require different levels of fitness. Weekend basketball players know there is a huge difference between 3 on 3 half court and 5 on 5 full court. Likewise, there is a world of difference between league softball and playing 6-10 tournament games in a 2-3 day span.
3. Lack of ability: At the risk of insulting anyone's game, there comes a time in every athlete's life when he cannot do the things he used to. The new bats have helped keep offensive skills, but they do nothing for legs. I hope when my time comes, my vision is still good enough to read the writing on the wall. I'll still play softball, but at a level that my body can handle.
I apologize for running on, but I think it is an important subject. I don't want to be critical of anyone's product, but in my opinion, drinking pickle juice until you pee in your compression shorts will do nothing to stop muscle tears.
March 21, 2007
diehard
Men's 55
245 posts
It really is amazing how much one can learn on a message board . Rolaids can control lactic acid buildup , and muscle pulls and muscle tears are one and the same . I wonder if all of the people who have had to have muscle tears surgically repaired felt that they were one and the same .
March 22, 2007
pete88
Men's 50
46 posts
DMac,
I find your comments both interesting and informative. So I'd like to pick your brain a little for some beneficial insight for my future. Your statement about lack of ability struck a nerve. Although I don't think I lack ability, I may be lacking in the common sense department. For the last 17 years that I have competed in softball, I have felt I have held my own, even against the young bucks. I have always took a special pride in my speed. I have always been plagued with the soreness, but the pulls started 4 years ago. I pulled both hamstrings at the end of a season. I let them rest over the winter, vowing that I would take it easy the next season. At my first at bat I was going to run at about 75%. At the crack of the bat I went full speed. Running at partial speed was not an option. I have always played at a "balls to tha walls" pace, which still includes head first slides and dives for balls. I realize that this is part of my undoing. Are you saying I should act my age and slow down? Or do I just need to utilize some of the techniques posted? I know I possess a liitle of that machismo attitude and I like showing off for my sons, especially my son that plays high school ball. What do you or anyone else out there think? Do I need physical or mental help?
March 23, 2007
Gene22
Men's 55
78 posts
pete 88: I hear your pain brother. After blowing out an ACL 2 weeks before my 50th birthday, I thought that my world was at an end. Your mind tells you one thing, but the body says another. I do not think that anyone here is qualified to help you with that decission, how ever I would suggest this....When you go to your doctor for your annual visit, ask him for suggestions on your ham string problem and then one other thing, ask him to tell you when he thinks it is time to hang it up. Then it's all up to you.

Good Luck.

Gene D. Riddlebaugh
Ohio Silverado #22
Dayton, Ohio
March 23, 2007
the wood
1076 posts
Pete88:
I have had this very same thought process and it has taken place over the past 8-9 years. My 'game' is different than it used to be due to reduced mobility and several knee surgeries. It turns out that my ACL went south in 1967 and I never knew this until a 1999 surgery... it's still south... it's history.
But I had this philosophical discussion with my orthopedist. The Reader's Digest version of his comments are this... my remaining softball carrer is like a pipeline. I could continue to play as I did (as you describe it) for a short period of time... or... I could lighten up some and play longer. I chose the second option but still get a wild hair here and there.
My surgeries have been Arthroscopic but the Dr says that I'm a knee replacement candidate. I quoted a disciple of Aristotle (Elby Bushong) and told him that he could schedule it two days after my autopsy. :-)
The truth is that my knees have endured much better since I reduced my dirt time. No one can make this decision for you but it is the correct one for me. The camaradarie that I share with my teammates and opponents isn't based upon my style of play and I'm not ready to give this up.
Bob Woodroof
March 23, 2007
DMac
Men's 60
185 posts
Test
March 23, 2007
DMac
Men's 60
185 posts
Pete: I'm not telling you to act your age but rather to remember your age. We've all reached the point where we need to make adjustments and concessions to maintain our desired level of competition.
I used to be able to show up five minutes before the game and run on the field, now I have to go through a pregame ritual takes takes at least an hour. I am also forty pounds heavier than I was thirty years ago. I would have to be delusional to not think this added weight would have a negatory effect on my legs. So I get up every morning at 4:30 and run 2-3 miles. I hate every step but this is the price I have to pay to play tournament ball. I also do plyometrics and makes serious adjustments to my diet.
My team expects me to run 7-10 times each game. Sometimes I run for healthy players just to save their legs. Obviously I cannot maintain this pace for the entire tournament so my team gives me a break by platooning me at times in the field (God I hope einstein isn't reading this).
Pete, there will come a time when our bodies won't answer the bell but I think by making adjustments and realistic concessions we can postpone that time indefinitely. Good Luck. I hope I get to meet you in person some time.
Wood, I wish the high school runners I coach were half as tough as you.
March 23, 2007
the wood
1076 posts
DMAC:
I have been reading your posts and had conlcuded that you were either a track coach or possibly a physical therapist. You have given us a great deal of useful information.
I have never seen your name attached to any post but I believe that I can guess your identity. Do you have young children? And would the track team be near Flintridge? And are you also one of the many guys that have played with Mack Lough and have marveled at his success despite having zero talent? I mean nada, zilch, none, nyet, etc. :-)
The 'forty extra pounds' part threw me because, at first, I thought that you were speaking of me. I would have been quick to say that it's more like 38 pounds, not forty. :-)
But I can't imagine you 40 pounds lighter... if you're the person I'm visualizing. You seem slim to me.
If I'm correct in my guess, thanks for the compliment. If I'm wrong, thanks to whomever wrote it.
Bob Woodroof
March 23, 2007
surf88
Men's 60
868 posts
Pete,'Like you, I have a lot of speed and the teams I play on use my wheels a lot. I run sometimes 12 times in a game. I used to think I had to go all out all the time from the start to finish and I too started hurting myself in the leg extremities.

I learned to play smart and pace myself. I also realized I had to work on leg exercises and on lower abdomen strengthening. Strengthening my stomach and abdomen region helped me from injuring my legs to some degree. More than that, my philosophy of working into it a bit more slowly helped even more.

You mentioned you are in East Utah. I am in Southwest Colorado so my distance from Denver is just as far away as you are. Practice in Denver last week-end was good. Glad I went. May try to make it tomorrow weather permitting.

Good Luck,
Ed
Scrap Iron 55's
970-728-3144
March 23, 2007
mad dog
Men's 60
3930 posts
dmac the reason your team tires you out with running is so you can't go back in the field :):)
wood if you know dmac your right about where is the 40 extra pounds.
i think his running stems from growing up in NYC,
surf missed ya this yr in jacksonville,it was even better this yr.
bob butler (team texas this year:))
March 23, 2007
pete88
Men's 50
46 posts
test
March 23, 2007
pete88
Men's 50
46 posts
Well fellas, I sure have enjoyed all the great replies. It's not as tough as I thought it would be to decide on which path I need to travel. Do I want to continue the kamikaze style(I'm half Japanese) and play for a few more years, or do I pace myself and continue to play this game that I 'm so absorbed in? There's a fella in my home town by the name of Porter Phillips. I believe he just turned 75 and plays for the Arizona 75's. He's freak of nature an awesome ball player. I realize if want to play for many more years like Porter, I'll have to tone it down a little. Maybe let that "wild hair" surface occasionally like "the wood". Surf 88, my hats off to you if you travel that far to practice. I live about 6 hours from Denver. DMac, you said that you had a 1 hour ritual before games. Could you share some of these rituals? Hope to meet some of you guys in future tournaments. I'm playing for Scrap Irons 50's.
March 24, 2007
DMac
Men's 60
185 posts
Bob: Althougth your comments were the absolute truth, they still hurt. Every time I get a serious softball conversation going, it gets derailed by someone who has actually seen me play :) You are one person who can fully appreciate why my Top Gun teammates called me 50-50. Actually, since my laser surgery last summer, I am much closer to 60-40. I know I don't look it but I weigh a little over two hundred pounds. Maybe it's my Buns of Steel.
Wood: Your comment on comraderie in an earlier post was one of the most profound entries I have read on this web-site. It should be required reading for those who feel they have to play a certain position or bat in a particular place in the lineup. Of course, they probably wouldn't understand it.
March 24, 2007
DMac
Men's 60
185 posts
Pete: I don't want to bore the elephants with sprinting warmup drills and techniques so e-mail me at dmcnulty@sfhs.net
March 24, 2007
the wood
1076 posts
DMAC:
You're giving a grossly understated vision to those folks that do not know you or your pseudonym. The fact is that you're a very good ball player even in the absence of running for other folks. If you're runing 7-10 times a game, you're either playing 10 innings each time out or you're getting on base an awful lot (guess which one it is).... in addition to running for the lazy, tired or out of shape blokes like me.
On our team, we value courtesy runners very highly and Randy Gomez is one of the best. The man never tires and I've seen him run with a hernia.
This is an extremely underrated element of the game.The only solid team that I have seen that doesn't use many runners is CT Sportsplex (I'm talking 55 division).
Don't cheapshot yourself again or we'll provide your real name. :-)
Bob Woodroof
May 6, 2007
mxinmama
1 posts
hey i just wanted to say that Im glad this site was available. I play for a co-ed team, im 37 (f), and today at our scrimmage game I apparently pulled my quad muscle. It was my fault for not stretching out prior and I was put into L field and ran my ass off as we all know thats where most balls go and boy them guys sure can hit. anyway i felt something starting to burn in my leg and tried to stretch in between batters. when we went in i was 2nd batter up and u have to run quick when men are throwing to get you out and half way to 1st base i felt as if someone snapped a rubber band in my leg and the burning was horrible. i made it to the base, safe :) , but could not even put my leg down to walk. nevr felt anything like it. i got so many different treatments to do i didnt know which was right or where to begin. thanks to this site that came up i have a better idea of what to do for the future to prevent this from happening again. everyone had some great advice!!!
May 7, 2007
floo56
Men's 50
37 posts
I would also try a pair of Phiten compression shorts! Don't want to rub it in, but I also swim in the ocean all year round to keep me lose.....Stay mentally young and push when you must! I am going on 51 and still playing with the young guns! Aloha, Fabe
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