My massage therapist dug her thumbs into two quarter-sized attachment points on either side of the very top of my shin—the exact spot my tailor says a hem hits most flatteringly for a woman because it is the slimmest part of her leg. Apparently slim = painful. As I winced, writhed and hyperventilated on the massage table, she suggested my pes anserine and biceps femoris attachments were a bit adhered and, thus, “a little trigger pointy.” No kidding.
The pes anserine is the convergence of the semitendinosus of the hamstring and two adductor tendons—the gracillis and sartorius (aka the tailor’s muscle—ha! hemlines, tailor, get it?). It anchors on the front big-toe side of the shin. The biceps femoris (another hamstring) attaches opposite the pes anserine on the pinkie-toe side of the knee.
In recovering from a full knee reconstruction, I had diligently followed my surgeon’s instructions to strengthen and tighten my thighs, but no one had told me to work my adductors or release these attachments to balance out the work. As a result, I overused my quads and hamstrings, ignored my inner thighs and stretched nothing. The good news was I had a pretty stable knee, the bad news was it hurt because it was compressed on three sides and weak on the fourth. The better news was now that I had, ahem, embodied my pes anserine and biceps femoris attachments, I could use the YTU Therapy Balls, instead of my massage therapist’s thumbs, to relieve my hamstring tightness and stimulate my adductors in order to begin strengthening them. See the video I’ve attached to do it yourself.
Learn more about the muscles of the knee and ways to support knee health in these blogs: