Friday, July 8, 2016

A 'bit of' bilateral proximal hamstring tendinopathy

Finally an explanation for the tight hammies that have been plaguing my running for the last few years! After messing around with various exercises and running form for the last few months, it was time to get some more imaging of the hamstrings. Sadly, back in 2013, an MRI failed to show up anything. Maybe because it is a bilateral problem and back then it was pretty similar on both sides, it wasn't obvious on the MRI (supposedly the gold standard imaging modality). Now days the right  side is always worse than the left and there continues to be a neural component mostly on the right side. An ultrasound today showed bilaterally inflamed proximal hamstring tendons, worse on the right. A shame for it to take this long to find an explanation. Thing is, I have never considered it to be 'painful' just tight and uncomfortable. Further, palpation of the affected region itself never hurt! I only feels tight with activity and gets irritated with prolonged sitting. Other people experience pain with exercise and palpation.
Unhappy inflamed hammies at their origin

Both side appear to be vascularised due to chronic inflammation
It is not a common condition, but there is plenty of information available on the internet. It is much discussed in various running and triathlon forums. Treatment usually involves rest (i.e. no running and limited cycling) and various physical therapy and exercise programs. I'm still to discuss what to do with my physio. But given the prolonged history, it won't be a quick fix if at all. Still nice to know what the problem is even if that means that's it for running. Time will tell.


  1. Yes, it is nice to know what the problem is, even if I don't understand the MRI images ;-)
    At least there is a fix even if it's a slow one. Hope it's not as slow as CJ's hammy recovery. Years!

    1. Thanks ET. I sent you an explanation of the ultrasound images on messenger. As it turns our, this is the same area of the hamstrings that CJ has been having problems. The difference is I don't have any tears just lots of inflammation. Given the duration of the problem, I'm not sure there will be a complete fix. But at least we can try a few things that are specific for the problem.