Thursday, April 11, 2013

High Hamstring Tendinitis in Runners

A few weeks ago, I wrote about a high hamstring injury that I'm dealing with and while it's still a bit of an issue, it is slowly getting better. Everything I've read about it says it's a tough injury to get rid of so I'm trying to stay positive.

This past week and a half I was able to do two very slow 3 mile runs and a 4 mile run yesterday. Progress! I am making sure to take 2-3 days off in between opting for cycling and/or swimming so as not to do too much and re-injure myself.

I've had plenty of other injuries but never a hamstring injury so this is new territory for me. I thought I would describe what I've been doing to heal and list some of the articles that have been great resources in guiding me in how to rehab on my own. Hopefully if any of you are dealing with a similar injury, this can help you too. (However, I am not a doctor so you definitely want to consult with your physician first as to what you should and shouldn't do!)

When this injury first cropped up, it was literally a pain in my butt and I had to massage those muscles out to finally figure out that the real issue was my hamstring. After backing off of workouts altogether with no relief, I visited a local doctor who is doing some new treatments for these types of injuries. He took an ultrasound of my hamstring and found exactly where the injury was and then used the ultrasound screen to guide a needle into the injured area. He uses the needle to break up the scar tissue  and then flushes the area with a combination of lidocaine and a water solution. (Much safer than a steroid injection!)  The action of breaking up the scar tissue is supposed to help the tissues to realign correctly and heal. He also told me that he thought my job (working in front of a computer at home for hours at a time) probably contributed to this injury.

I did get some relief from the treatment but realized that there was some sort of weakness that contributed to this injury that I would need to fix in order to heal and not have it happen again. Furthermore, my surrounding muscles were still tight so I opted to get a couple of sports massages which helped relieve some tightness in my glutes, IT band and lower hamstring area- in addition to having the massage therapist work directly on my high hamstring.

I highly recommend reading these two articles if you think you are dealing with a similar injury:

A Pain in the Rear: High Hamstring Tendinitis

High Hamstring Tendinopathy Injuries

Here is what I've been doing in addition to the treatments written about above:

1) Core: I didn't realize that having a weak core can contribute to hamstring issues but, yep, it can. After having two babies my abs were less like steel and more like...well, you know. While I was doing some core work here and there I really wasn't keeping to a regular routine and more often than not they were being neglected. I now make sure to do some core work every other day and this has made the biggest difference in my healing. I am determined to continue doing regular core work- and I know it will help prevent future injuries.

2) Rehab Exercises: I have been doing a combination of the exercises from the above two recommended articles which so far includes the bridging, squats, side-lying hip and the two plank exercises. This week I will be adding the leg press and Swiss ball exercises as I feel like I've progressed enough to add those in.

3) Rolling: I can't afford to go to the massage therapist every week and I bet most of you can't either so I've been using the The Grid Foam Roller almost everyday after workouts to help stay loose.

4) Stretching: I've been stretching my hamstring very gently a few times a day in addition to these stretches post workout.

I hope this post can help you a little if you are suffering from a similar injury and if you found something that helped you recover please post below!

1 comment:

  1. I have been dealing with this "pain in the butt" injury for over a year now :( They didn't know what it was, so I did physical therapy w/o any difference, then they thought piriformis syndrome and did a cortisone shot there, with no relief. I just had another shot done on my hamstring and I am feeling a lot of relief. I just want to run again! I injured it while sprinting (and pushing my son in a stroller) and I get such a stress relief from the runners high. I don't get that feeling from swimming or biking or the elliptical. I will have to look more into the lidocaine and water shot. What kind of core stuff do you do? I have that diastasis recti...from giving birth to an enormous sized baby and my abs are a little separated. I have never heard of anyone else having this issue so I am relieved to see that I'm not the only one! Why are doctors so perplexed by this? Massage works great for me, but it's weird to say, "can you massage my bum?" haha! I hope you heal well!