Mend Physical Therapy Blog and Injury Information

3 Things Runners Should Look For To Determine If Your “Hamstring Problem” Is Really Your Hamstring

October 23, 2022

At Mend, we specialize in treating runners and endurance athletes in our Boulder and Lafayette clinics. We see numerous cases each year of runners presenting with “proximal hamstring” or “high hamstring” injuries. Symptoms are typically localized at the proximal portion of the hamstring or near the attachment point at the pelvis (ischial tuberosity). These runners often complain of pain with the following activities:

  • uphill running
  • speedwork
  • running drills such as leg swings or high knees
  • hamstring stretching
  • pain with sitting

All too often, these athletes have received extensive treatment to this area including massage, cupping, or dry needling without the results that allow return to desired training volume and intensity.

There are many structures and competing diagnoses that can result in pain in the proximal hamstring region. These include the lumbar spine, the hip joint, sciatic nerve, muscles of the posterior hip and pelvic floor muscles.

Here are the top 3 things you should look for to determine if your proximal hamstring pain might be more than just your hamstring:

  1. Lower back pain or stiffness (even if subtle or something you have experienced for a long time without it limiting your training)

  2. Tightness, “knots” or pain in your buttock/gluteal muscles

  3. Tightness, pain or tingling in your calf, ankle or foot when you attempt to stretch your hamstring.

The running experts at Mend have extensive training in differential diagnosis and treatment techniques for the lumbopelvic and lower extremity regions to allow us to make an accurate diagnosis of your hamstring pain and design an effective treatment plan that gets you back to running….as fast and as long as you like.

Please schedule an appointment with our running experts in Boulder or Lafayette to learn more about what you can do for your proximal hamstring injury.