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Outsmarting Proximal Hamstring Tendinopathy

by | Mar 7, 2022 | Physical Therapy, Sports Medicine

You’re out for a run and you’ve gradually noticed this aching pain in the back of your hip over the past few weeks. Maybe I’ll just see how it feels after another mile you think, and it ends up warming-up. On your last mile, you decide to test a gradual hill and the pain returns. You’re left feeling slightly discouraged.

If this sounds familiar, you may have Proximal Hamstring Tendinopathy – one of the most challenging injuries for an active individual to overcome. It can delay or side-line highly motivated runners and triathletes for months at a time. When you consider the factors and causes that contribute to this type of pain, you realize that having the right approach is crucial.  At Odom, we can help with a combination of training, strength, technique, and pain management so you can leave your pain in the rear-view mirror.

Hamstring Tendon Pain: Why this injury is such an obstacle

a diagram showing how tug of war is like a hamstring pushing and pulling.

To understand this injury and what makes it so challenging, let’s look at the properties of your tendon. We know that a tendon responds to tensile forces very favorably (imagine pulling a rope tight in a straight line).

a large pulleyHowever, your tendon does not respond well to compressive forces. Now imagine the same rope being wrapped around a pulley. As the rope is pulled, it compresses against the pulley, creating greater tension and stress.

Diagram of a hamstring tendon and how it connects

The pulley is similar to how your proximal hamstring tendon is attached to the ischial tuberosity of your pelvis (commonly described as the “sit bone”). As you go into a forward bend, your tendon compresses around the bone. Any load that is directed towards the hamstring becomes a compressive one, and therefore can cause the tendon to be more sensitive.


Proximal Hamstring Tendinopathy Treatment

To begin your recovery process, you’ll want to reduce the compression on your tendon. To achieve this, refine your exercise program, training, and daily habits.

We recommend finding a provider and program that is well versed with treating this problem to avoid spinning your wheels in your recovery. The personal trainers, physical therapists and sports medicine professionals at Odom work together to give you a comprehensive recovery program that matches your needs and goals. We understand how chronic hamstring tendinopathy can affect you body and customize treatment accordingly.

Biking and Running with Hamstring Tendinopathy

Once you have your exercise program, training volume, and daily habits working for you, we recommend optimizing your alignment on your bike and while running.

Having a good bike that fits you properly can reduce the compressive loads to your proximal hamstring. We also recommend you receive a run gait analysis to ensure that you can continue to run with this injury. With a well-tuned gait, you avoid losing out on fitness and you keep the tendon accustomed to some semblance of strain as you rehab it.

How Long Does Recovery Take?

Proximal hamstring tendinopathy recovery time varies with every individual. The longer you’ve had your pain, the longer it may take to regain peak performance.

A patient going through our proximal hamstring tendinopathy Physical Therapy program should notice increased performance and reduced pain in 2-3 months. If you’re open to refining and improving your training practices you should be able to perform with little to no pain after that time.

Stop Your Hamstring Tendon Pain

Don’t let hamstring injuries slow you down. At Odom we have a variety of hamstring tendinopathy exercises and treatments to restore your movement without lasting chronic pain. For more questions or to get started working on your recovery, drop us a line, or fill out an appointment request today.