Hamstring Tendonitis Information

Hamstring tendonitis is the name given to describe the inflammation, swelling and irritation of the hamstring tendon. The hamstring muscle runs down the back of the upper thigh and is connected to the knee joint by a large tendon. Overuse, injury and stress can causes this tendon to become inflamed and hamstring tendonitis will develop. The information on this page should help you diagnose, treat and cure your hamstring tendonitis symptoms.

Hamstring Tendon Diagram

Below is a diagram of the hamstring tendon. You can see how the hamstring muscle connects to the knee via the hamstring tendon on the outside of the knee. If you feel the outside of your knee you'll feel this tendon.

Hamstring

Cause of Hamstring Tendonitis

A tendon is a tough yet flexible band of fibrous tissue. The tendon connects muscle to the bone. When the tendon is placed under pressure it can not handle small tears may form. These tears lead to inflammation and hamstring tendonitis. Some activities that may cause this are running on uneven surfaces, lifting too much weight, sports that require sharp movements (like tennis or basketball), old age and through injury. As we get older our tendons get brittle and are much more susceptable to tendonitis.

Usual Symptoms

If you are developing hamstring tendonitis you're likely to have the following symptoms:

  1. Pain and tenderness along a tendon, usually in proximity to where the tendon actually meets the knee. It's rare for the pain to be felt up the hamstring, in fact, hamstring tendonitis is often diagnosed as a knee problem.
  2. Stiffness during and after exercises and also at night. You may find it hard to bend at the knees and pain when extending your leg out in front of you.
  3. Swelling, redness and a "hot" feeling around the area.

As the hamstring tendonitis develops these symptoms will get worse. What starts as a small pain after exercise can quickly turn into a big problem if not treated correctly.

Hamstring Tendonitis Treatment

The goal of hamstring tendonitis treatment is to allow the joint to heal naturally. In most cases you can fully treat the condition without the need to see your doctor. Rest is the key. You need to allow 4-6 weeks rest before you put the knee under any pressure at all. This means no running or any other physical activities that may cause uneeded stress.

You can help with the pain and aid the healing process by putting ice on the area and if possible getting an ice massage. Remember, you should not apply ice directly to the area, always wrap the ice in a towel. Ice can be applied for 20 minutes at a time throughout the day. If needed, you can take anti-inflammatory medication for the pain.

In some rare cases where resting the hamstring and ice do not relieve the symptoms you may have to see your doctor. Your doctor will advise you on any further treatment you may need. This may include cortisone injections and/or surgery.

Prevention

To minimize your chance of developing hamstring tendonitis you should always warm up and stretch correctly before starting any stressful exercise or activity. If you have been away from exercise, always ease back into. And finally, if needed wear a knee brace for extra support.

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