Tendinitis is a condition that involves inflammation or irritation of a tendon which is a dense rubbery tissue that connects muscles to bones. Some individuals can end up with hamstring tendinitis especially those who engage in certain sports particularly contact sports. Once the muscle contract, they tug on the tendons which pull on the bone and facilitate movement of the joint. Take note that hamstring tendinitis is usually managed in a conservative manner. Nevertheless, surgery might be required if an individual is suspected with a severe case.
Once an individual is suspected with hamstring tendinitis, it is best to consult a doctor if in doubt on what to do. Proper assessment by the doctor will ensure that the right treatment can be started to hasten the healing of the injury.
The objective of treatment for hamstring tendonitis is to minimize inflammation and pain caused by the condition. Getting enough rest or immobilization of the damaged hamstring will allow the tendon to recover.
In most cases, the doctor will recommend the use of a splint or brace, but this is rarely needed. The individual must rest his/her hamstring higher than the level of the heart to allow the gravity to reduce the swelling as well as excess fluid from the damaged hamstring.
An ice pack or pack of frozen vegetables can be applied to the tendon to help minimize the pain and inflammation. Make sure that the ice pack is covered with a barrier such as a clean towel or cloth to prevent frostbite. The application must last for 20 minutes and removed for another 20 minutes. Take note that this cycle can be repeated as often as possible throughout the day.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can be given. These medications are highly effective in reducing inflammation and pain linked to hamstring tendinitis. The medications work by minimizing the chemical signals along the affected tendon that trigger inflammation and pain.
When these medications are used, it is vital to follow the instructions given by the doctor due to the risk for potential complications including liver, stomach as well as kidney or heart damage. If possible, the individual should discuss with the doctor regarding the possible side effects of NSAIDs.
For severe cases of hamstring tendonitis, surgery might be an option. Once the conservative measures fail, the doctor might recommend the removal of the inflammatory tissue that surrounds the affected tendon.
The surgeon will request for an MRI of the hamstring to check which tissue is swollen and requires removal. The possible risks of surgery include bleeding, infection, blood clots and tissue damage. With this in mind, the individual should carefully and thoroughly discuss the possible risks and benefits of surgery before proceeding.