Hamstring tendinopathy is an acute pain in the back of the leg which starts at the knee and works its way into the thigh. It causes stiffness, inflammation and soreness. In more severe cases, swelling can occur in the area between the knee and the thigh and you may also experience acute pain and find it difficult to walk, exercise or play sports.
Hamstring tendinopathy is one of the commonest sports injuries and it frequently affects dancers, middle-and-long distance runners and those who play rugby and football. In some instances, athletes and sports players may experience sudden pain in the back of the leg during a race or a game.
Our renowned medical team provides a range of treatments, from the traditional to the innovative:
This is an effective and well-researched procedure that’s a potential alternative to surgery. It takes advantage of the blood’s natural healing properties to reduce pain and improve joint function. It uses a specially concentrated dosage of platelets prepared from your own blood to repair damaged cartilage, tendons, ligaments, muscle and bone. Treatment is administered via an injection and depending on the injury two to six injections may be required, performed at weekly intervals. Patients usually see their symptoms improve within four to six weeks of having the injections. PRP is a safe treatment option which, because your own blood is used, carries no risk of allergic reaction. Read more clinical evidence supporting PRP here.
This day case treatment is exclusively offered to our patients. It combines the benefits of Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy with Lipogems®, a pioneering procedure that uses your body’s own adipose (fat) cells to treat pain and inflammation. AMPP injections are minimally invasive and are carried out under ultrasound guidance. Altogether the procedure takes about an hour to perform with a minimal recovery time of around three hours. As well as being a potential alternative to surgery, AMPP can also aid post-surgery recovery.
Hamstring tendinopathy is an overuse injury and often affects athletes or people who play sports that involve sudden stopping, changes in speed, repetitive jumping or kicking. Other causes include:
• Weak muscle structure
• A lack of flexibility and strength in the muscles
• Not stretching prior and following exercises
• Being overweight
• Wearing ill-fitting shoes
• Issues in the lower back or pelvis
• Straining the muscle
• Insufficient recovery time from previous cases of hamstring tendinopathy
• A lack of rest between training sessions
A range of symptoms are associated with hamstring tendinopathy and they depend on the level of injury, but in most cases, people experience:
• Acute pain in the thigh area
• Discomfort when kneeling or stretching
• Inflammation in the thigh area
• Soreness in the knee and thigh
• Difficulty in sitting, walking, exercising or playing sports
• Swelling to the back of the thighs
If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s important to get it checked out immediately to avoid further complications.
If you are experiencing pain at the back of the leg between the knee and the thigh which occurred during or after exercise, a doctor will examine the area applying pressure to see where it hurts. In some cases, the doctor may refer you to have an:
• X-ray – to see if there any other problems which could be causing the pain
• MRI – using a magnetic field and radio waves a detailed image of the area is created which can reveal subtle changes in the tendon
Treatment for hamstring tendinopathy aims to relieve symptoms and improve the function of the leg.
Initial treatment may include medications such as analgesics which help reduce the pain, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs – NSAIDS – which reduce the pain and inflammation and steroid injections which reduce inflammation and provide short-term relief.
In most cases resting the leg for a few days is enough to restore the muscles. Severe cases of hamstring tendinopathy will need longer to heal. You can also help reduce the pain, inflammation and swelling by applying ice to the affected area three or four times a day. If you do this, it’s important to place a cloth between the ice and your skin to prevent you getting an ice-burn.
Compressing the affected area can also help reduce inflammation and pain. Keeping the leg elevated will also aid recovery.
Light tissue massage can also help in the treatment of hamstring tendinopathy as it relieves tension that has built up in the muscle, removes toxic fluids that can build up in the muscle and it improves muscle flexibility.
Our expert team specialises in treating patellar tendinopathy using advanced non-surgical techniques including stem cell therapy, AMPP® Activated Mesenchymal Pericyte Plasma (using Lipogems® technology) and Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy.
Surgery is rarely recommended as a treatment for hamstring tendinopathy, but it may be an option if your symptoms don’t improve with other non-surgical treatments. Surgery may also be needed if the muscle has sustained a lot of damage or if the ligaments need stitching back together.
In extreme cases the ligaments can pull away pieces of bone and surgery is required to correct it. This involves cutting away any unwanted tissue and attaching the ligaments to the bone.
While the surgery is a routine procedure, it will involve a period of rehabilitation afterward.
Our innovative range of treatments goes beyond what’s available on the NHS. As well as providing a full opinion on your condition that includes all the traditional non-surgical and surgical options, our experienced consultants will also assess your suitability for our alternative biological therapies, Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and Activated Mesenchymal Pericyte Plasma (AMPP).
Your consultation will be with one of our knee specialists, Professor Wilson, Mr. Sam Heaton, Mr. Jamie Arbuthnot, Mr. Arj Imbuldeniya, Mr. Rohit Jain, Mr. Ed Britton or Mr. Amit Kumar and will last approximately 30 minutes.
During the consultation, they will:
• discuss your medical history to find out more about your symptoms
• examine the joint and identify the source of the pain and any mobility issues
• arrange for a diagnostic investigation, usually an MRI scan
• discuss all the treatment options with you, along with their potential benefits and any risks.
Our expert team comprises of highly experienced surgeons, sports medicine doctors and physiotherapists who are committed to delivering a high level of care and the correct treatment option so you can quickly get back to moving around. Whether you need conventional treatment or if you are a candidate for our regenerative treatments, you can be sure that you will get the best advice.
Autologous means ‘from the same person’ rather than from a donor. Essentially, your own cells are used to encourage healing. With this type of treatment, there’s a dramatic reduction in the risks of the rejection, infection or contamination that come with using material from someone else. The innovative therapies we offer are based on this idea. If you’ve found traditional treatments aren’t helping your pain, of if you’re looking for a possible alternative to surgery, then this approach is one to consider.
Biological treatments are pioneering procedures and we’re continuously monitoring and recording its effectiveness. Patients undertaking these treatments are asked to complete pre-operative and post-operative questionnaires.
The information obtained from these questionnaires allows us to monitor your progress and it also contributes to our evidence-based database and other global studies on biological treatments. All information gathered is anonymised.