Hamstring insertion pain, also known as hamstring tendinopathy, is commonly seen in runners and older athletes. It can prove be a real pain in the backside! The hamstring muscles at the back of the thigh join the ischial tuberosity or sit bone by a common tendon. The constant strain of the hamstring muscle through this attachment to the bone can lead to significant wear and tear which results in pain. This pain is often worse several days after running and with sitting and tends to come on gradually. It affects women more so than men as they generally have weaker hamstring muscles and is usually difficult to get rid of.
That tendon has a poor blood supply and as with most tendon injuries, is slow to heal. Long-term changes in the tendon can cause it to tear, particularly when under high load such as when sprinting. Because of this, putting in place preventative measures will minimise your risk of experiencing it.
How can hamstring tendinopathy be prevented?
- Strengthen hamstring muscles to help take the load off the tendon
- Avoid overstriding when you run as it puts an increased load on the hamstring insertion
Strengthen calf and gluteal muscles to help maintain hip extension in running technique, which helps prevent overstriding
- A physiotherapist can prescribe exercises most appropriate to your body’s needs
- Monitor load – older athletes require greater time for recovery
You can work with your Back In Motion physio directly on the above prevention actions to ensure you minimise any discomfort that could result from this injury.
Debbie Crawford - Physiotherapist and Practice Director, Back In Motion Hobart on Murray