The hamstring muscle group consists of three distinct sections. The two inner, or medial muscles are known as the semitendinosus and semimembranosus and the outer, or lateral, muscle is the bicep femoris. Tendons, which are a type of connective tissue, join these muscles to the pelvis, knee, and lower leg, and greatly support the knee flexion and hip extension. When hamstring tendons are overused or injured, microtears can occur, causing inflammation and pain known as hamstring tendonitis.
According to Healthline.com, the most common symptoms of hamstring tendonitis include:
sharp, burning pain
muscle and joint weakness
aching or a dull throbbing
muscle and joint stiffness
swelling or inflammation
Symptoms get worse with further exercise or use and are often worse after long periods of inactivity, like sleeping or sitting. Symptoms often worsen in the first few hours immediately following an injury, then gradually lessen. Tight or inflamed hamstring tendons often cause radiating pain in the:
Diagnosis & Treatment
If pain is localized on the back of the thigh, the doctor may call for an MRI or X-Ray scan to confirm the diagnosis, and knowing the extent of the injury will help guide the treatment plan. As with tendonitis found in other joints and areas of the body, the NIH-National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases recommends that the inflammatory disease be treated by:
Resting and elevating the injured area.
Limiting your activity to reduce further injury.
Taking medicines that will reduce swelling, such as aspirin, naproxen, or ibuprofen.
Gentle stretching and strengthening exercises.
Applying compression to the injured area.
Soft tissue massage.
Putting a brace, splint, or band on the injured joint.
Your doctor may also recommend ice for sudden, severe injuries, but most cases of tendinitis are long term, and ice does not help.
If your tendinitis does not improve, your doctor may inject a medicine into the area surrounding the swollen tendon. If your tendon is completely torn, you may need surgery. If your tendon is partially or completely torn, you may also need several months of physical therapy and exercises to restore your strength and prevent further injury.
Always consult with your doctor before starting any new health regimen or treatment.