Hamstring injuries can be difficult to diagnose because the pain you feel comes on slowly. You might feel this pain in your thighs and upper buttocks region. It is usually worsened by sitting for long periods, and repetitive actions such as running, rowing, and biking. Hamstring injuries become chronic when a damaged tendon does not properly heal. This is from either returning to an activity too soon, or mismanaging the condition. Chronic tendonitis can lead to long-term pain and disability, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
Let’s take a look at some conservative treatment options that we recommend:
- Rest (time away from sports) although this can be upsetting, you could absolutely cross train a different area of the body while you rest the hamstring. This can combat the psychological stress associated with chronic injuries.
- Ice and heat (ice packs, baths, and ice massage reduces pain and inflammation) Apply your ice for ten to twenty minutes, every two to four hours each day. Once you get comfortable with that, alternate between ice and heat to create a “pump.” The heat vasodilates blood vesicles and draws in fluids, which in turn loosens fibrotic scar tissue and relaxes muscles. Ice vasoconstricts and pushes out fluid (inflammation).
- Regular stretching. Try these stretches: lying on the back, pulling the bent knee toward the chest, and gradually straightening the knee, the “hurdler” stretch, sitting with one leg straight on a bench or ground and slowly locking the knee straight while reaching for the toes; or from standing, placing the heel on a chair seat followed by arching the low back by tilting the buttocks upwards.
- A mix of concentric (bring the heel toward the buttocks) and eccentric (straighten the knee during a hamstring curl) These exercises will help patients with chronic high hamstring tendinopathy.
Are you experiencing hamstring pain? Both chiropractic care and physical therapy can help. Chiropractic treatment helps the muscoskeletal area while physical therapy treatments get in to the muscles and soft tissues, helping them heal and rehabilitate. Don’t let it turn into a chronic problem. Come in and see us today.