The hamstring tendon is the soft tissue located at the back of the thigh that attaches at the pelvic bone and the top of the leg bones. Hamstring tendinitis occurs when this tendon becomes damaged or inflamed as a result of excessive strain or force on the tendon.
The most common cause of hamstring tendinitis is overuse, particularly in athletes who participate in running and jumping sports. It may also occur suddenly when the tendon is over-stretched.
Individuals with hamstring tendinitis typically experience pain in the back of the knee, pain in the back of the thigh, aching and stiffness, and swelling and inflammation that may be felt in the thigh and calf muscles. The knee joint may also feel weak.
A hip or sports medicine specialist will diagnose your condition based on your medical history, your symptoms, and a clinical examination of your hip and pelvis. An MRI or ultrasound may be recommended to determine the extent of injury or to identify a hamstring tendon tear.
Treatment for hamstring tendinitis includes ice, rest, anti-inflammatory medications, compression and elevation. Physical therapy will help strengthen the muscles and tendon. In severe cases, corticosteroid injections may be recommended to reduce inflammation and help ease the pain. If there is a hamstring tendon tear, surgical repair may be necessary.