“Rip cuts are commonly used when an athlete is very tight and has no choice but to extend one of the lower extremities,” says Dr. Mark Miller, head sports medicine physician at University of North Carolina. “The athlete should feel pain in the midsection but does not feel pain with the sole of the foot. It feels like an ache on the underside of the upper leg. Rip cuts are sometimes caused by excessive strain to the muscles and ligaments. When an athlete breaks the bone with a rip cut they often feel a bit of stiffness in the lower leg with the skin pulling. It also helps give you a different way of looking at your hamstring or hamstrings when you are working on strength training.”
What causes rip cuts? “It depends on the biomechanics and how an athlete is moving,” says Dr. Miller. For example, in a typical basketball or soccer injury when an athlete gets his foot wrapped around a stick it causes the heel to roll inward to create friction where an athlete would otherwise not have pain. A rip cut is the opposite of this. In a normal injury, the tear occurs as the foot rolls inward. When the athlete has rip cuts the skin does not roll inward, which creates a tight stretch in the lower leg, like that you feel when pushing your arm down in a baseball game. For these reasons athletes usually need to do “back extensions” before attempting a rip cut.
What causes tearing a hip flexor? Dr. Miller describes “ripping a hip extensor” as the “tearing” of a muscle that extends a leg and keeps it from locking in a knee during hip thrusts. “If the muscle is torn, it pulls the thigh muscles as well, pulling the hip flexors into abduction position and forcing them to rotate and move out of place,” says Miller. “This causes the femur to become elongated and the hip flexors become strong. Most often we see this happening in people who perform sports in which they have an athlete that has been a great athlete. He will have a hard time maintaining a proper stance. This muscle gets stressed because he can’t get his feet straight. He’ll have a huge strain on the muscles of the knee. In these cases there isn’t much blood supply to the joint—an Achilles tendon tear is more of a problem for that. They get pulled apart when trying to maintain good posture. You’ll see more hyperextension or bending over the knee when a guy gets pulled into injury. He should always
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