The hamstring tendon can be an annoying place to hurt because it creeps up on you slowly as tendonitis. There are also hamstring tendons up high in the buttocks area, but most people with hamstring tendon pain have it down low by the knee. The pain tends to bother athletes more due to different things like mechanics as the normal working person is rarely in a place that would strain their hamstring tendon. Tendonitis is the type of injury that hurts enough that you notice it but not enough to make you sit out at first. Over time though, the pain worsens and becomes more stubborn.
Hamstring Tendon Anatomy
The hamstring is made of three muscles. It is the Semitendinosus and the Semimembranosus that make the hamstring feel like a “string.” Down towards the knee, the two muscles split, and one turns into a tendon on the medial side of the knee, and the other is a tendon on the lateral side.
The easiest way to feel these tendons is to sit in a chair and use the floor and your feet to flex your hamstring. You will feel these tendons pop on both sides. The hamstring tendons are under the most amount of stress when the knee is flexed. When the hamstring is being used as a hip flexor, it puts more pressure on the top of the hamstring.
Causes of Hamstring Tendon Pain
Tendonitis is always an overuse injury and the hamstrings are no different. Which means you are putting your body in a position that is continuously causing the tendons to wear down. Strain can come from doing too much hamstring curls in the gym, a lot of accelerations with poor mechanics where you are overreaching. If you accelerate and overreach, you contact the ground with a more obtuse angle and instead of pushing forward you pull yourself ahead with your hamstrings.
Symptoms of Hamstring Tendon Pain
- Pain when bending the knee
- Swelling behind knee
- Sore to touch behind the knee
- Hurts to grip heel into the floor when sitting down
Treatment for Hamstring Tendon Pain
When it comes to dealing with your hamstring tendon pain, your best bet is going to be getting a game plan from a healthcare provider. If you work with a healthcare provider that knows biomechanics, you may be able to pinpoint which movements could be causing the pain.
If you are looking to self-treat, the only thing you can do is rest or manage the pain as you continue to compete. To maintain the pain, you can ice the hamstring tendons after practices and games. Work on strengthening the hamstring eccentrically while in the weight room to get through.
If doing that is not working, the best thing you can do is just rest for a bit. Do as much activity as you can without any pain at all. If you want this to heal you’re going to need to take the time to rest and change things mechanically.
Personal Story from Kho Health Founder and Olympian Ian Warner
As an Olympic Sprinter, I struggled with this injury a lot during my last year at Iowa State. It was such a frustrating injury because it never went away. It did not go away because it was a mechanical issue meaning there was nothing I could do in the weight room or with the medical staff to make the pain stop.
When injuries are mechanical, it can be the hardest position to be in because the only way to change it is to change a habit. As we all know, it is hard to change a habit. The way we shoot, swing, throw and run, become programmed into our bodies. The only way to make the changes needed is with a watchful eye of a coach that understands how you should be moving.
When I was accelerating, I had to stop trying to take such significant steps and cover so much ground. Instead, I needed to focus on just hitting the ground naturally and pushing the ground behind me. When you let your foot get out in front of your center of the body, you tend to pull with a flexed knee as that strains the hamstring tendons.
When it came to treatment, I got through it with a lot of Graston and massage. The Graston was great for breaking up any of the wound up fascia surrounding the tendons. Massage helped to make sure that my hamstrings were always healthy. The combination of working on my mechanics and getting treatment made my tendinitis go away.
Finding The Best Local Sports Medicine Providers for Hamstring Tendon Issues
Kho Health is the best place to start your search for a health care provider to help you stay healthy. The key to success as an athlete is staying healthy and making sure the injuries are dealt with appropriately. Any athlete that runs is at risk of hamstring tendon pain and the key to success as an athlete is staying healthy.
Kho Health lets you search for providers by type and skill. For example, you can look for a Physical Therapist with any skill set you need. It does not matter what kind of provider you need, Kho Health can help you find them and help you to sort through their skills.
If you are unsure where to start your journey, Kho Health will ask you questions and help you figure out the best starting place. All you have to do is answer a few questions. From there Kho Health will connect you with the type of provider best suited for your needs. It does not matter if you are injured or making sure you don’t run into hamstring tendon pain.
The platform makes it easy to compare health providers as they are all given a Kho Number. Once you are shown the best local options, how do you know which is the best? Reading bios and reviews is just not enough because you need more than that.
Skill Sets to Look for In Sports Medicine Providers
Skill sets are the things healthcare providers learn after they graduate. A healthcare provider can take courses and get certifications for different skill sets. These skill sets are valuable and help them approach injuries from different perspectives so that you can get the best help at the right time for any hamstring tendon issues.