What to Do About Chronic Hamstring Pain

Are hamstring injuries keeping you out of the game? When exercising or playing your sport, do you experience sudden pain that brings you to a stop? You can feel pain in the back of your thigh even when you’re walking. You may even see bruising in that area. 

Don’t let chronic hamstring pain sideline you for weeks or months. At Urgently Ortho, our board-certified orthopedic surgeon, pain management specialist, and musculoskeletal regenerative medicine physician can help you recover and manage chronic hamstring problems

Who is prone to chronic hamstring pain? 

Runners as well as athletes and weekend warriors who play sports that feature sudden stops and starts like tennis, soccer, or basketball are prone to hamstring injuries. Your hamstring muscles run from your hip to below your knee at the back of your thigh. You can strain one or more of these three muscles when you overload them and stretch them too far. You also may experience hamstring tendon injury; the tendon attaches your thigh muscles to the bone. 

At Urgently Ortho in Scottsdale, Arizona, our physician determines if your hamstring is simply stretched or if it is badly torn; if the latter, you’ll need surgery. Most hamstring injuries do heal with time and without surgery. To prevent further injury, learn what to do when you start feeling symptoms. 

Treatment for chronic hamstring pain 

Following are effective treatments for hamstring pain

Reduce inflammation

Follow the RICE method after a musculoskeletal injury: rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Use ice packs if swelling is present. Resting the injury is essential as soon as you feel symptoms so you don’t cause further tissue damage. Use an elastic wrap to reduce swelling. Use heat for damaged muscles; your Urgently Ortho physician guides you on the use of ice and heat. 

Use pain relievers, including topical creams, to help reduce inflammation and control pain. Don’t use pain medication for long periods of time; side effects can cause serious health complications. 

Practice stretching and strengthening exercises 

One of the reasons you may have developed chronic hamstring pain is tight hamstring tendons and muscles. Your Urgently Ortho doctor gives you stretching exercises that improve your range of motion and increase flexibility. As your symptoms subside, your doctor gives you directions for adding hamstring-strengthening exercises.  

Cross-train 

While you’re healing, cross-train with a low-impact exercise such as swimming. Be patient while you’re healing. 

Injections

If your hamstring doesn’t improve, your doctor can give you a steroid injection. Alternately, we can provide a platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection. PRP injections use your own blood platelets in a highly concentrated amount. The platelets contain rich nutrients that rush to the site of your inflammation, helping you heal faster. This regenerative medicine approach is gaining traction in treating musculoskeletal injuries, and shows promise in hamstring tendinopathy.  

Needle tenotomy

If a tendon is the problem, needle tenotomy, a minimally invasive treatment, often helps intransigent hamstring tendinopathy. Your physician creates a small wound with a needle in the tendon, bringing new platelets and nutrient rich blood to the damaged tissue.  

Patience is required for dealing with hamstring injuries. They do take awhile to heal. Follow your Urgently Ortho doctor’s instructions and you’ll be back in the game in the shortest amount of time possible. 

Call or send a message to Urgently Ortho today for chronic hamstring pain and all of your musculoskeletal issues.  

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