Hamstring injury?

Hi there

I have had discomfort in my hamstring area for just over one week. It is not majorly painful but slows me down when running. The hamstring is tight and moderately painful when I stretch it. It gets uncomfortable when I sit for too long or if my leg is straight for too long - in fact when I sit for too long my butt cheek gets uncomfortable!

It is difficult to determine the exact area affected, but it seems to be just below my bottom and down my outer thigh.  I have been able to cross train, use the stepper and cycle in the gym without much issue but I have taken a rest from running. Its been about 10 days now and it is no better. I would appreciate any ideas or suggetions. Should I rest it totally or stretch it or go and see a sports therapist?



  • Hi Lavina,

    Most likely cause of your pain is hamstring tendonitis - at the point at which the three muscles of the hamstring join the bone (via a tendon) at the lowest part of your butt - the ischial tuberosity - a tear or pull in this area can cause the pain you mention and is made worse through sitting for long periods - it can also cause butt pain as your glutes try to take over some of the work while your hamstrings are effectively weakened, and it can irritate the sciatic nerve, although the latter is less likely.

    This tendon, depending on how badly you have strained it could require up to 6 weeks rest from running - so 10 days is not a lot of time if the tear is bad.

    However, you may be able to heal it more quickly by adding some of the following to your rest regime 

    • ice the area regularly
    • do regular hamstring stretches (when muscles warm) but don't overdo them (look up the windmill stretch) and also do light hamstring strengthening work - curls for example - but with very light weights
    • applying cross-friction massage might be helpful (but see caveat below) near the top of the hamstrings where they meet the bone of the butt - you will have to feel around up there for tender areas and use you fingers to gently work the area across it's length (not down it) - 
    • continue with any cross-training that doesn't cause tightness or pain in your hams
    • possibly use ibuprofen - but sparingly - regular icing is better

    If this regime doesn't show signs of improvement within two weeks, then I suggest you go see a physio for a more thorough assessment - you could have bursitis - that's inflammation of the bursa that sits between the tendon and the bone that normally reduces friction - symptoms can be very similar to tendinitis - same basic treatment would apply except for friction massage which could make it worse.

    Regards, Groz



  • ...forgot to mention that one of the main reasons sitting for long periods can exacerbate the pain in this condition is the fact that the bones you are sitting on (if you sit upright) are in fact your ischial tuberosity - which is exactly where the hamstring tendon attaches to the bone - you will generally get an aching feeling like the bone is bruised and it may feel 'hot' - you can get a bit of relief by leaning back in your chair which also takes pressure off the main hamstring muscles - though be careful to maintain a straight back - incline chairs are good for this. .


  • Hi Groz - thanks for the advice, I really appreciate it. I shall follow your advice and see how it goes. Nor running for 6 weeks will be tough! Lavina
  • Hi Lavina...I have the exact same symptons. I'm going to the doctor tomorrow so will let you know what he says aswell. Great advice GB!
  • Thanks look forward to hearing what your doc says and thank you too.

  • I have had hamstring or piriformis or glutes or bursitis or ischial tuberosity problems for nearly 6 months now and am only just starting to get to the bottom (pardon the pun!) of it.  I have had physio, acupuncture, sports massage an MRI, which revealed nothing, Graston treatment and have had so many different diagnoses.  This week I went to see someone who specialises in acupuncture and not just a physio who does acupuncture along with everything else, and have had a different explanation which makes sense to me and I think I might finally be getting somewhere, or at least I hope so!  The problem started when I was marathon training when it was extremely cold and he thinks I had a strained hamstring muscle injury.  I followed all the advice I was given at the time which included icing it repeatedly, it could be said excessively, which apparently has caused "stagnation", which means the blood supply is not getting through to  the injury.  I say all this as just a warning that after the initial acute phase icing it may not be the answer.  I have now had cupping, electrical stimulation and heat treatment.  I also wear compression shorts to keep the area warm.  I think with a few more of these treatments I should be on my way image
  • I have the same problem too and my physio has also said avoid ice! My whole left leg is tense from my bum to my knee and i have sciatica, I have also had this for months since marathon training!

     She has recommended that I heat it regularly and have sports massage and ultrasound, I have also been given exercises to do daily to strengthen the quads, adductors and glutes and daily stretches for the hamstrings, glutes and ITB!

    I actually haven't stopped running although I know it would be the sensible thing to do, but I have cut my distance and done more cross training for the last few weeks!

  • Glad to hear that you have been told to avoid ice as no physio told me that, but I worked it out for myself.  Have you tried acupuncture?  Some of them use heat treatment with the acupuncture, which seems to have really helped me.  I have been advised to keep running and doing all the other exercise that I do as it helps to keep up the blood flow to the area. But sports massage and ultrasound with all the stretching and exercise should do the trick.  Good luck image
  • Gosh well it is so difficult to work out the right thing to do. I just got back from a walking trip in Wales and after some intense hill walking it felt better. Then driving home for 3 hours my butt hurt again and the hamstring is tight. I am going to stop the icing now, although that did really lessen the pain in my butt when sitting. I have just been cycling for 2 weeks and have not run for 3  but will try a run and see how it goes. Maybe the trick is to move and strengthen it. I will look into some sports massage too - thanks.
  • I am glad I have come across this thread as I have also had this problem for the best part of 10 weeks which caused me to withdraw from London. I had tendonitis diagnosed by way of ultra scan and have been able to cross train but have not ran. However, apart from the fact I can sit down a little more comfortably now I seem to be a million miles away from running.

    I have been seeing a chiro who is working my very stiff S.I joint and I have regular massage but nothing appears to be having a great deal of effect. If anyone on the forum has found a 'miracle' cure I would love to hear it! 

  • HI there - I started this string so just an update. The pain in my butt - especially when sitting on something soft like the sofa and when driving did not subside. It just didnt seem to be getting getter despite only cycling and using stair master - even the cross trainer bothered it. I am seeing a physio now - saw a private one and on the nhs. Physio guy thinks he will get me running in a month. He found a lot of scar tissue and thinks just pulled hamstring. Have daily exercises to help shift scar tissue. I'll keep you posted....
  • Thanks for that. Sounds similar scenario to me. I will be very interested to hear how you get on over the next few weeks.

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