Hamstring Tendonitis


Hamstring Tendonitis is a pain that is felt on and just below the boney part of your butt that you sit on. The hamstring tendon attaches to this bone and can become painful. I have seen this develop after a runner stumbles and catches them self from falling forward. The hamstrings tighten to prevent the trunk from falling forward and may result in a pulled tendon in this area. Speed training can also lead to this condition especially if you have a running style where you run very erect and “pull” yourself forward with the hamstrings.



  • See Principles of Recovery.
  • If you stumbled, ice application will be particularly helpful.
  • Running technique – if you heel strike during speed workouts you may want to consider altering your style to striking with the mid or forefoot. The POSE Method of Running may provide you with some helpful changes. This is a specific running technique that emphasizes landing on the forefoot with the knee flexed and shorter stride.
  • Core Strengthening – try the Plank X 4 for a quick, all around program. These are even good enough for women’s marathon record holder Paula Radcliffe who was photographed performing the side position.
  • Agility – sidestepping, grapevine, and sideways zipper (stepping forward and backward while moving sideways). Try three sets of one minute.
  • Balanced Solution DVDSingle leg stand windmill touches – while standing on one leg, bend forward at the hip keeping your other leg in a straight line with your back, keep your arms out to the side and rotate your trunk so that your right hand would touch your righ foot (or left to left). This exercise is excellent for balance, hamstring strengthening and flexibility. It is presented in greater detail in The Injured Runner – A Balanced Solution.
  • Stretching – avoid direct stretching. Instead of standing and bending forward to touch your toes, slide your hips to the right and then bend forward. Next, slide your hips to the left and bend forward for the stretch.
  • Massage can helps speed recovery and promote proper healing.
  • Physical therapists can apply a treatment called iontophoresis, which is the use of an electrical current to apply a steroid medication over the sore spot. Usually, two to three treatments will improve symptoms substantially.
  • An anti-inflammatory cream may help reduce the pain and inflammation. Talk to your physician about transdermal ani-inflammatory options.
  • If this condition becomes chronic I have found that emphasizing the windmill touches described above is very helful. However, eliminate the rotation and emphasize a controlled lowering. Perform 20 reps where you feel a distinct "working" of the area but not pain. Then add weights by holding 5# dumbells in each hand and reach forward instead of out to the side. Gradually increase the weight and soon you'll find yourself running without pain again. Be patient. This works much like treating chronic achilles tendonitis (you may want to read the Achilles treatment approach).
  • A cortisone injection may be helpful for this area. Dr. Mark Frederickson with Stanford University has been developing a technique to make this more effective. He carefully injects around the tendon using radiography to guid the needle.