How to Relieve Hamstring Tendon Pain

The muscle tissue which extends along the back of the thigh is known as the hamstring. There is a tendon through this muscle that connects the muscle to the outer aspects of the knee to help your legs. Hamstring tendon pain is typically caused by tendonitis. This pain can be felt a few inches below the bony part of the butt. Excessive strain causes tendonitis, typically from overuse during physical activities like running.

Why Do I Have Hamstring Tendon Pain?

A pulled hamstring occurs any time the muscle fibers are stretched beyond their normal elastic capacity. This can happen when you walk down a flight of stairs, running, or even kicking or jumping. While the issue typically resolves itself, it can be irritatingly painful for several days. The pain from a pull happens whenever an individual fails to adequately stretch before workout, wears low quality footwear, or attempts to continue working out while muscles are damaged. Before and after a workout, you can massage the hamstring by rolling your legs along a foam roller. This will help loosen the muscles and prepare them for the activity at hand.

How to Relieve Hamstring Tendon Pain

The discomfort of hamstring pain can be agitating to anyone who is constantly physically active. It is necessary to do a few things to relieve the pain and let the tissue heal properly to prevent a more serious injury.

1. Rest

Give the injured hamstring tendon time to rest by using it minimally. This is the best reason to kick back on the sofa, with your leg elevated, and relax. As frustrating as it can be to give up on physical activity for a few days, it is essential to proper healing of the tendon. Repeat aggravation can cause serious tears which may require physician care.

2. Ice

For the first three days after an injury, be sure to ice the area every few hours. It is recommended to ice the tendon for 20 to 30 minute each day, every three or four hours. In some cases, the pain may subside rather quickly and as little as one day. If pain continues past three days, be sure to consult a physician.

3. Compress

Runners often use elastic bands below or above the knee to alleviate swelling during their run. This same approach can be used during the healing phase of hamstring tendon pull.

4. Elevate

Use firm pillows to elevate your leg while sitting or lying down. This helps promote blood circulation, alleviate swelling, and keeps pressure off the area.

5. Take Anti-Inflammatory Painkillers

Naproxen and ibuprofen are two anti-inflammatory pain killers which are recommended for reducing swelling of this type of injury. They can provide temporary relief of discomfort. Be sure to avoid taking too many of these drugs as they can lead to ulcers and internal bleeding with abusive use.

6. Practice Exercises

Light stretching can help make the muscle more elastic. Not only will this help with healing but will prevent future injury. After you have completed the other steps to treating your injury, incorporate basic movements to increase range of motion in the area.

7. Use Muscle Ultrasound

For more serious injuries, patients may undergo electrical stimulation therapy. This process increases circulation of the blood in the tissue to promote quick healing. The total healing process can take up to three weeks.

Exercises for Hamstring Tendon Pain

The following are basic exercises you can do at home to prevent this type of injury.

1. Standing Forward Bend with Raised Leg

Stand up straight in front of a chair with your legs hip distance apart. Reach one leg forward and place the heel onto the leg of the chair. Keep your legs straight and slowly bend forward at the hip. You will feel the stretch extend through the back of your leg and butt.

2. Standing Forward Bend with Crossed Legs

Another forward bend variation is to cross your legs while standing up straight. Squeeze your legs together tightly and slowly bend forward at the knees. From this movement, you should feel the stretch through the outer part of your hamstrings and hips.

3. Stretch for the Back of the Knee

Stretching the muscles on the back of the knee is just as important as stretching the hamstring itself. The easiest way to do this is to stand in front of a step, straight, with legs hip distance apart. Place one foot against the edge of the step with the heel on the ground and the ball of your foot raised up. Slowly bend at the hips and reach your fingertips to your toes. Hold for 15 to 20 seconds and repeat.

4. Supine Single-leg Raise

For another variation on stretching, lay flat on your back, on the floor, with your legs together. Take a deep breath in and upon a slow exhale, raise your leg with the hamstring tendon pain up off the floor. Go slowly and pulse the position if your mobility is low. Repeat 8-10 times, up to three times per day.

5. Seated Hamstring Stretch

By changing your position to being seated, you are able to access a new angel for stretching the tissue. Sit on the floor with one leg stretched forward and the other folded at the knee to its side, to form the shape of a "4". Turn your straightened leg outward and reach forward towards your toes. The stretch should come through your entire leg, across the back, and to the outside of the hamstring.

6. Static Hamstring Contraction

To perform this movement, sit on the edge of a hard, flat chair (not a cushioned one) and extend the injured leg in front of you. Bend the knee into a 45 degree angle. Press heel carefully into the floor to tighten the hamstrings. Hold for five seconds, then relax and repeat.

Other People's Experiences on Relieving Hamstring Tendon 

Deep Tissue Massage 

“I can't say enough good things about a deep tissue massage with heat. My therapist completed this on my hamstring and it alleviated the pain. Stretching was a no-go for me, it actually hurt. Regular massages were the ticket to getting back into my running routine.”

Bowen Therapy and OTC Drugs

“Personally, I like Bowen therapy. I also applied magnesium oil to the area and kept it warm with a heated bottle. Over the counter pain meds helps alleviate the irritating pain for the short term. It's worthwhile to have it checked out to be sure that the pain isn't caused by a pinched nerve or misalignment of the hip.”

Rub with Light Pressure

“The basic act of rubbing my fingers with light pressure along the length of the tendon for five minutes, up to seven times per day was exactly what I needed to alleviate my hamstring tendon pain. I did this for two weeks and have been fine since.”

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