Hamstring Tendon Injury
If you have suffered from an hamstring injury your not alone. These large muscles in the back of the leg can be overworked/overused causing damaged to the tissue. Or they have become weak from sitting all day and one single event has caused damage to the soft tissue.
The hamstrings refer to 3 long posterior leg muscles, the biceps femoris, semitendinosus, and semimembranosus. These muscles start at the bottom of your pelvis extending down the back of your thigh and along either side of your knee, to your lower leg bones.
The lateral hamstring is the biceps femoris (made up of 2 parts - a short head and long head) and the medial hamstrings are the semitendinosus (joins the sartorius muscle and gracilis muscle at the pes anserinus on the tibia) and the semimembranosus (the largest hamstring muscle). The tendons for these muscles begin at your ischial tuberosity, or ischium (the bony bump under each buttock), and attach on the outer edges of your shinbones (tibia and fibula) just below the back of your knee.
The posterior upper leg muscles provide your knees with mobility (extension, flexion and rotation) and strength. They work closely with your quadriceps muscles at the front of your thigh, your gluteal muscles, and your calf muscles to ensure proper movement of your leg and hip.
Your hamstring muscles control movement of your torso, hips and knees, help turn your legs in and out. They also provided power for activities that include a lot of propulsion, thrust and control, such as jumping, climbing, and running.
They allow your knee to bend and pull your leg backward while propelling your body forward when you move (your thigh straightens and extends the leg back at the hip). The muscles act as a brake to stop an action and you can feel this when walking or running downhill, landing from jumps or performing squats, and when trying to stop quickly after sprinting.
The biceps femoris hamstring muscle is the most frequently injured, as it suffers the largest stretch during sprinting, followed by the semitendinosus muscle. If you have a multi-muscle injury, it normally occurs at the point where your hamstring muscles and tendons meet (musculotendinous junction) at the top of the hamstring muscles.
Hamstring Tendonitis and Tendinosis what is the difference?
Hamstring tendonitis is inflammation (pain, swelling, warmth, redness and dysfunction) caused by tiny tears in one or more of the hamstring tendons located at the top of the leg around the ischial tuberosity and/or just below the knee, at the tibia or fibula. Hamstring tendinitis often leads to hamstring tendinosis over the long term.
The initial tendon damage can range from overstretching to partial tearing to complete rupturing of the small fibers that make up your hamstring muscles and tendons. If you do not allow your tissues to heal properly, your previous hamstring injuries will build upon each other. The inability of your tendon to repair itself encourages the microtears to accumulate faster than they can heal, increasing the degeneration in your tissue and reinforcing your pain and disability.
Hamstring tendinosis is a chronic tendon injury that involves degeneration of the hamstring tendons. This type of tendinosis is a result of excessive tension, effort and/or repetitive use of your hamstring muscles and tendons.
If you have hamstring tendinosis damage happens at a cellular level - your tendon (which is made up of collagen fibers) becomes weaker and thinner over time and the hamstring tendon fibers begin to fray and separate. The tendon loses its glistening appearance and elasticity, and often changes to a soft texture that is yellow or brown in color (mucus-like appearance). Scar tissue or calcific deposits (calcium phosphate) develop around the injured area which can decrease the blood supply to the tissue.
This condition can be in one or both of your legs and normally affects active people between 30 - 50 years old, especially distance runners, sprinters, tennis players, skaters, and soccer players (or those who participate in team sports with lots of running). Other conditions that are often seen with hamstring tendonitis are bursitis, rheumatoid arthritis or diabetes, avulsion fractures, stress fractures, and/or referred back pain.
What are the symptoms of Hamstring Tendinitis?
Hamstring pain when your dealing with hamstring tendinitis causes an aching and stiffness which become more noticable first thing in the morning. You may feel weak in the knee and swelling in the thigh and calf muscles. You may fell a graduall pain in the back of the knee when continues to get worse with activity. Hamstring tightness can lead to knee pain, hip pain, thigh pain, and even back pain.
What causes Hamstring Tendinitis?
The most common cause of hamstring tendonitis is through overuse of the hamstring muscles. Sports that involve a lot of running and jumping or rapid changing of speed while running. Normally an injury as a result of overuse, hamstring tendonitis can also occur suddenly if the tendon becomes over stretched, such as when warm-up exercises or have been missed with a cold down after working out. As well over doing it with a workout or training to much-too-soon, causing the over-strain the hamstring when running, kicking, jumping or skipping movements.
The hamstrings are not regularly used in common everyday motions like walking and standing. For people who are not very active, you may not notice if they have weak hamstring muscles, which leads to hamstring injuries.
How do I diagnosis Hamstring Tendinitis?
A visit to your doctor is the best way for diagnoses of any type of hamstring / leg pain. To help your doctor achieve a proper diagnosis, he/she will begin with a medical history about you, your current condition and symptoms. He/she will inquire about the intensity of your present pain, the duration of your symptoms and the limitations you are experiencing. Details about what instigated the problem, when it started, and whether or not you have ever had treatments for this or a similar condition in the past, are very helpful in assessing your injury.
Diagnostic testing may be ordered help discover your source of leg pain. Often used to rule out other conditions. MRIs (magnetic resonance imaging) will provide more detailed information and will help to evaluate the soft tissues in and around your area of pain (muscles, tendons, ligaments, and other connective tissues). It can identify ligament or tendon damage, and can help to determine the extent of your injury, the displacement and degree of your tear or inflammation, as well as other associated hamstring conditions.
We have tools that will help you to prevent and treat the symptoms of hamstring tendinitis. When it comes to your injured hamstring, it's best to start effective long term healing right away. Our Advisers are highly trained individuals and will help find the long term healing goal that's right for YOU. Why wait?
Call today and get on the road to recovery faster than ever before!
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How Do I Cure Hamstring Tendonitis -
What You Can Do!
The good news is that most cases of hamstring tendonitis will heal with simple home conservative treatments and surgery is often not needed!
It's generally understood by doctors and surgeons, that surgery will introduce more scar tissue into the soft tissue of the hamstring. This added scar tissue will be problematic, requiring physical therapy and conservative treatment options post-surgery. This is why surgery is only performed as a last resort for chronic tendonitis injuries that won't heal with conservative treatment methods.
Some conservative treatment methods recommended include:
- Rest - This is important for initial healing because without proper rest you're at risk for increased pain and inflammation. This can make your hamstring tendonitis even worse and turn an acute injury into a chronic one.
- Avoid Activities that Caused Your Injury - While resting your hamstring it's also important to avoid all actvities that may have caused your tendonitis. Continuing on with regular activities will not only make your injury worse, but limping just to get by can also wind up giving you over compensation pain in other areas of your body.
- Apply Cold Compression - Immediate cold (using a Freezie Wrap®) will help you to manage pain while getting rid of the pain and inflammation. Immediate pain relief and reduced inflammation can also relieve some of the pressure that's being placed on your hamstring and stop your injury from getting worse.
- Use Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™ - After any inflammation and/or swelling has been reduced, you can use your own blood flow to maximize healing of damaged tissue and maintain healthy blood flow to your hamstring tendon. This also boost overall long-term healing of this injury.
Other Conservative Treatment Methods can be Risky
Cortisone (Corticosteroid) Injections
Some of the options your doctor may recommend include drugs or medications like NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication) to manage pain and inflammation. Alternative medications like cortisone injections are advised with caution for any type of tendon condition. This is because there is increased risk of rupture of the tendons around the injury following a cortisone injection.
Effective Conservative Treatment Options
If your doctor's decided that your leg pain can be treated with conservative treatment, you can join our many customers who have had great success in treating themselves with the powerful, conservative treatment products we offer through AidYourHamstring - the Freezie Wrap® and Inferno Wrap®.
If you need to have surgery, talk to your doctor about using these same products for post-surgery recovery. You'll find them effective for reducing post-surgery inflammation, enhancing range of motion and minimizing the growth of scar tissue in your hamstring.
No one is immune to tendonitis, you can easily reduce your risk of further injury with consistent conservative treatments
Step 1 - Reduce Pain & Swelling with Cold Compression
The 1st step for conservative treatment of your hamstring tendonitis is to reduce the swelling to "open up" the area for more blood flow. Anyone in the health-care business knows that your blood supplies the oxygen and much needed nutrients required to heal any soft tissue injuries. This is why for years doctors, trainers and other medical professional have recommended RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) to treat the pain and swelling of fresh injuries, chronic pain, and after any re-injury.
Although RICE can help to treat these symptoms, ice and freezer gel packs reach temperatures so low they can cause cryoburn, an ice burn on your skin. The problem is, up until now there hasn't been any other option to treat painful conditions and injuries, so ice and blue gel packs (full of anti-freeze and chemicals) have been the only choice up until now.
Fortunately you no longer have to settle for these ice cold methods that are uncomfortably cold against your skin, provide short term relief, cause ice burns, numb your skin and underlying tissue beyond feeling so you don't even notice the ice burn until it's too late and pool around your injury putting the cold everywhere except for where you need it most.
A Freezie Wrap® allows you to treat your hamstring in an effective and convenient way. Our Freezie Wraps® will wrap around your leg keeping the cold right over your hamstring injury for the entire length of your treatment. Our food-grade, non-toxic gel packs can be chilled in the fridge or freezer to tailor the amount of cold that you need for your injury. It doesn't matter how you cool it down, because our gel packs are chock full of gel that's designed to cool down into millions of tiny snowflakes. The cushioned gel will wrap around your leg and it won't budge for the entire treatment period. You'll no longer have to deal with annoying pooling around your injury or have to hold a hard block of ice on your injury!
Cold Compression Therapy slows nerve and cell function - reducing the swelling that blocks blood vessels from doing their job.
This is important because once blood vessels are blocked or damaged, they can no longer carry oxygenated blood through the tissue and tissue cells begin to break-down. Without cold compression therapy cellular break-down and tissue damage continues as the cells don't get the oxygen they need to survive. By limiting the amount of damage done to your tendon, you also limit the amount of healing that needs to occur. This is a very important step to heal tendon injuries faster and with less pain! This is why you need to treat your hamstring pain right after it's hurt, when you notice pain / swelling / inflammation, or directly after a re-injury. Applying a Freezie Wrap® right away will stop the damage immediately and unblock your blood vessels to let your body's natural blood flow in to start healing the tissue.
Cold Compression Therapy = the Freezie Wrap®
It'll seem weird for you to read this, but there are a LOT of people out there that don't understand how fast cold compression with a Freezie Wrap® can get the swelling / inflammation around your hamstring injury under control! After you get rid of the swelling for good you can start dealing with your hamsting injury and pain head on.
Use a Cold Compression Freezie Wraps®:
- 24 to 72 hours after your initial injury or when you first notice pain and swelling in your hamstring to stop cellular damage, relieve pain, and decrease swelling.
- After exercise, workouts or activity of any kind to prevent re-injury of your hamstring.
- Before and after surgery during rehabilitation to control pre and post-surgery pain and swelling.
- Anytime you feel your hamstring is painful or you're having a flare-up of an old injury.
- Anytime you have swelling, sharp throbbing pain or inflammation in your hamstring.
- Any other situation where you need to draw the pain and inflammation out of your hamstring.
Step 2 - Improve Circulation, Soften Scar Tissue & Prevent Re-Injury with Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™
After the inflammation in your hamstring has been reduced, providing extra blood flow and strengthening the tissue around your leg is recommended.
Using Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™ (BFST®), will help with your recovery and heal your tendon more completely. BFST® increases the amount of blood that flows naturally to your soft tissue to nourish your tendons, improving elasticity and speeding the healing process. This increased Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy to your hamstring tendon(s) is greatly needed.
The only way to get BFST® is through use of an Inferno Wrap®. The Inferno Wrap® is the only treatment method that improves blood flow and circulation on a deep tissue level. Other methods of warming / heating tissue (hot water bottles, hot baths, etc) will only ever increase blood flow on a surface / skin level. These methods need a LOT of time to even reach your tendon on a deep tissue level. And even if you were to use them this long your skin would heat up to an uncomfortable level and may even burn you.
The best source of heat treatment is from a product where you don't even feel that much heat. When you don't feel the heat, it means the therapy is working in your deep soft tissue which is really where you need it. It's kind of like how your heart works in your body. You can't "feel" your heart pumping blood all around your body to your arms and legs. You can't even hear your own heartbeat without listening very closely. This is exactly how deep tissue BFST® works too! You're not supposed to "feel" a lot of heat because the heat isn't treating your skin, it's treating around your hamstring tendons increasing the blood flow right in your tendon tissue.
- When treating any soft tissue injury, an effective therapy will increase blood flow to the injury while the joint is immobile.
- This increase in blood flow will accelerate the body's own ability to heal itself.
- The Inferno Wrap® is the most highly effective blood flow stimulation device that you will find on the market that is approved by the FDA for use in the home or hospital.
Our Inferno Wrap® is made from medical-grade material - this should be as important to you as it is to us! Other products that are sold in stores are considered "consumer goods" meaning the material only needs to be as good as a sweater that you wear. Clothing articles like this don't need to meet high standards of production or materials and may include materials that irritate your skin.
Since our wraps are medical-grade products registered with the FDA, they are of a higher quality and need to meet way more standards for manufacturing (ISO 10993 - biocompatibility testing). This makes our wraps the safest product for heating treatment. Our manufacturer has spent years perfecting the wrap design to make sure you get the treatment you deserve!
Use BFST® Inferno Wraps®:
- After swelling and inflammation have been reduced with cold compression.
- Before exercise or workouts to warm up your injury to prevent re-injury.
- Before and after surgery during rehabilitation to warm up your tissues before physical therapy exercising or stretching.
- Anytime you feel the tissue in your leg has stiffened up, is tight and your mobility is reduced causing you more pain.
- Anytime you have sore or aching tissue around your injury.
- Any other situation where you need to increase blood flow to your hamstring to relax your soft tissue, relieve pain, prevent re-injury and enhance flexibility of your tissue.
Continue the healing process by resting your leg. Limit the activities that may be aggravate your tendons. Without proper rest and limitation on activities, being active as if your leg is healthy can lead to re-injury. We spend hours on our leg through simple daily routine, recreational activities, exercise, or participating in athletics. To get back to doing the things you love you need to give your body proper care and attention. Why risk having to limit or give up your favorite weekend activity, your exercise routine, or even your job due to an injury?
Prevention and Promotion of Lifelong Health
If you want to avoid re-injury, or manage pain and increase circulation for lifelong health benefits, an Freezie Wrap® and Inferno Wrap®, will provide exceptional results. Why spend time in pain, off from work, and missing out on your active lifestyle when you can be proactive about your injury and the health of your body? Talk to your doctor about incorporating a regular routine of using a Freezie Wrap® and Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™ into your everyday health regimen.
Call one of our AidYourHamstring Advisers at no cost or obligation to address any lingering questions you have about using heat or cold for your hamstring injury - toll free 1.866.237.9608
Learn More About SUPERIOR Hamstring Tendon Injury Treatments
Learn more about how the Freezie Wrap® is designed to be the most effective cold compression wrap on the market today.
Learn more about how the Inferno Wrap® helps with the healing process.