Hamstring tendonitis develops if the soft tissues connecting the muscles of the back thigh to the pelvis, knee and lower legs are inflamed.
The condition is typically brought about by overuse and results to acute or immediate pain that reduces with rest and first aid basics. Most can resume regular activity after a week or so. Complete recovery can be achieved with rehabilitative exercises and takes several weeks.
What are the signs?
The usual signs of hamstring tendonitis include:
- Burning, sharp pain
- Muscle and joint weakness
- Dull or aching throbbing
- Inflammation or swelling
- Joint and muscle stiffness
These signs can be aggravated with continued activity or exercise and often worse after prolonged periods of inactivity such as sitting or sleeping.
Management of hamstring tendonitis
Generally, the RICE method is used for 72 hours to manage the symptoms.
- Cold therapy causes the blood vessels to constrict, thus reducing the flow of blood and inflammation. An ice pack must be applied at 10-minutes at a time. After a 20-minute break, it can be reapplied. The application must be done 2-3 times throughout the day.
- Compression and elevation work by reducing the inflammation by lowering the flow of blood to the area.
Over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can ease the symptoms days after the injury. In case the intense pain lasts for more than a few days or does not respond to basic care, a doctor must be seen.
If the injured tissues are used early, they could not recover. The weakened tendons are likely to be damaged again.
In most cases, it takes several days to achieve significant relief and another 6 weeks or longer to feel better entirely.
The individual must avoid anything that activates the tendon during the initial 48 hours. Slow, steady motions can be reintroduced in the initial week after the injury that focuses on maintaining strength.