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Hamstring Tendonitis?  

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Are cycling/exercise medical questions .tech or .misc? I hope so!

I've been diagnosed with hamstring tendonitis. After a longish ride the tendons on the lateral
backside of my left knee get really painful. Ouch, ouch, ouch! What treatments are there that can
reduce the irritation? Pre, during and post-ride? I can't take aspirin or other NSAIDs due to
gastric ulcers that nearly felled me a couple years ago. If you've found something that works for
you, I'd like to hear of it!

MikeE
post #2 of 8

Re: Hamstring Tendonitis?

In article <oa_Z9.68884$1b.10604@news1.central.cox.net>, "ari"
<warehouse@mylovalovetostayheeaaah.com> wrote:

> ask your doctor is arthrotec (diclofenac/misoprostol) is right for you!
>
>
> "Mike Elliott" <j.michael.elliott@REMOVETHEOBVIOUScoxDOT.net> wrote in message
> news:MPG.18a207e74556e29897cb@news.west.cox.net...
> > Are cycling/exercise medical questions .tech or .misc? I hope so!
> >
> > I've been diagnosed with hamstring tendonitis. After a longish ride the tendons on the lateral
> > backside of my left knee get really painful. Ouch, ouch, ouch! What treatments are there that
> > can reduce the irritation? Pre, during and post-ride? I can't take aspirin or other NSAIDs due
> > to gastric ulcers that nearly felled me a couple years ago. If you've found something that works
> > for you, I'd like to hear of it!
> >
> > MikeE

I was prescribed arthrotec for a some years ago, and they said, "Excpect diarrhea." It wasn't that
bad but yep, it really is hard on the stomach. All anti inflammatories can be hard on the stomach.
THe best was Celebrex or Relafen.
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

Re: Hamstring Tendonitis?

In article <e00c05a1.0301310143.652e19f5@posting.google.com>, stebbis@uk.ibm.com writes
compellingly...
> Mike Elliott <j.michael.elliott@REMOVETHEOBVIOUScoxDOT.net> wrote in message
> news:<MPG.18a207e74556e29897cb@news.west.cox.net>...
> > Are cycling/exercise medical questions .tech or .misc? I hope so!
> >
> > I've been diagnosed with hamstring tendonitis. After a longish ride the tendons on the lateral
> > backside of my left knee get really painful. Ouch, ouch, ouch! What treatments are there that
> > can reduce the irritation? Pre, during and post-ride? I can't take aspirin or other NSAIDs due
> > to gastric ulcers that nearly felled me a couple years ago. If you've found something that works
> > for you, I'd like to hear of it!
> >
> > MikeE
>
> Mike I had a similar problem last year. I went to my Doctor who referred me for physiotherapy at
> my local hospital. They used a mixture of Ultrasound and Electro-magnetic pulse treatment. The
> Physio also recommended Ice-ing after a ride and using a product called Voltarol emugel, which is
> an anti inflamatary gel. It took about 6 weeks to get better. During that time she recommended
> lowering my saddle by half a centimetre and cutting the training volumne if half.
>
Hi Stuart,

So the emugel and icing are used to minimize the possibility of a re- occurance, or at least reduce
the symptoms? Have you been following this course of treatment, and how has it been working for you?

MikeE
post #4 of 8

Re: Hamstring Tendonitis?

On Fri, 31 Jan 2003, Mike Elliott wrote:
> > called Voltarol emugel, which is an anti inflamatary gel. It took about 6 weeks to get better.
> > During that time she recommended lowering my saddle by half a centimetre and cutting the
> > training volumne if half.
> So the emugel and icing are used to minimize the possibility of a re- occurance, or at least
> reduce the symptoms? Have you been following this course of treatment, and how has it been working
> for you?

Careful there. Some people, like me, are badly allergic to some anti-infammatory substances.

Sergio Pisa
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

Re: Hamstring Tendonitis?

In article <Pine.LNX.3.96.1030131160436.780B-100000 @servadio.df.unipi.it>,
servadio@mail.df.unipi.it writes compellingly...
> On Fri, 31 Jan 2003, Mike Elliott wrote:
> > > called Voltarol emugel, which is an anti inflamatary gel. It took about 6 weeks to get better.
> > > During that time she recommended lowering my saddle by half a centimetre and cutting the
> > > training volumne if half.
> > So the emugel and icing are used to minimize the possibility of a re- occurance, or at least
> > reduce the symptoms? Have you been following this course of treatment, and how has it been
> > working for you?
>
> Careful there. Some people, like me, are badly allergic to some anti-infammatory substances.
>

Good point. I'm not allergic, but I expect that people who are would know it by now.

MikeE
post #6 of 8

Re: Hamstring Tendonitis?

Mike Elliott <j.michael.elliott@REMOVETHEOBVIOUScoxDOT.net> wrote in message
news:<MPG.18a207e74556e29897cb@news.west.cox.net>...
> Are cycling/exercise medical questions .tech or .misc? I hope so!
>
> I've been diagnosed with hamstring tendonitis. After a longish ride the tendons on the lateral
> backside of my left knee get really painful. Ouch, ouch, ouch! What treatments are there that can
> reduce the irritation? Pre, during and post-ride? I can't take aspirin or other NSAIDs due to
> gastric ulcers that nearly felled me a couple years ago. If you've found something that works for
> you, I'd like to hear of it!

Tendonitis is a treatable affliction. It is usually caused by overuse or over extension.

First of all be certain that your seating position isn't too high. This sounds like your problem to
me but maybe not. I suspect that you were a runner or jogger at one time and didn't stretch much.

Now that you have this tendonitis it isn't easy to get rid of. Hamstring tendons are often injured
from stretching exercises. You have to be exceptionally careful not to stretch when cold. What is
diagnosed as tendonitis could be torn ligaments or tendons strained from stretching.

Unfortunately, hamstrings are very slow healing and require a lot of patience. You must exercise but
not to the extent that you are getting hamstring pain. After warmups - say riding your bike for 20
minutes at a moderate pace - you can slowly and carefully stretch your hamstrings with the normal
hamstring stretchs shown in the exercise books. Again you must be careful and if you are stretching
so much that you can feel the tendons pulling you are stretching too far. A normal stretch is just
returning the tendons to their NORMAL length. Don't mistake it for actually stretching the tendon
beyond it's natural length at the time. After your ride again do the stretching.

It is sometimes good to ice the area of pain for 20 or more minutes after your exercise and
stretching. Some people recommend an anti-inflammatory such as aspirin or ibuprofin but in some
people these cause stomach problems and aren't really necessary.

Over time you'll be able to get your tendons out to normal lengths but impatience can undo all of
your previous work. I would expect this problem to take three to four months to put behind you so be
sure to take your time.

A word of warning. You might be one of the individuals that has naturally short hamstrings and if
that is the case you should consult a good sports doctor or physiotheropist who is experienced with
cyclists and fitting a cyclist to a bike.
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 

Re: Hamstring Tendonitis?

In article <484e7721.0301311310.63a4b96e@posting.google.com>, cyclintom@yahoo.com writes
compellingly...
> Mike Elliott <j.michael.elliott@REMOVETHEOBVIOUScoxDOT.net> wrote in message
> news:<MPG.18a207e74556e29897cb@news.west.cox.net>...
> > Are cycling/exercise medical questions .tech or .misc? I hope so!
> >
> > I've been diagnosed with hamstring tendonitis. After a longish ride the tendons on the lateral
> > backside of my left knee get really painful. Ouch, ouch, ouch! What treatments are there that
> > can reduce the irritation? Pre, during and post-ride? I can't take aspirin or other NSAIDs due
> > to gastric ulcers that nearly felled me a couple years ago. If you've found something that works
> > for you, I'd like to hear of it!
>
> Tendonitis is a treatable affliction. It is usually caused by overuse or over extension.
>
> First of all be certain that your seating position isn't too high. This sounds like your
> problem to me but maybe not. I suspect that you were a runner or jogger at one time and didn't
> stretch much.
>
> Now that you have this tendonitis it isn't easy to get rid of. Hamstring tendons are often injured
> from stretching exercises. You have to be exceptionally careful not to stretch when cold. What is
> diagnosed as tendonitis could be torn ligaments or tendons strained from stretching.
>
> Unfortunately, hamstrings are very slow healing and require a lot of patience. You must exercise
> but not to the extent that you are getting hamstring pain. After warmups - say riding your bike
> for 20 minutes at a moderate pace - you can slowly and carefully stretch your hamstrings with the
> normal hamstring stretchs shown in the exercise books. Again you must be careful and if you are
> stretching so much that you can feel the tendons pulling you are stretching too far. A normal
> stretch is just returning the tendons to their NORMAL length. Don't mistake it for actually
> stretching the tendon beyond it's natural length at the time. After your ride again do the
> stretching.
>
> It is sometimes good to ice the area of pain for 20 or more minutes after your exercise and
> stretching. Some people recommend an anti-inflammatory such as aspirin or ibuprofin but in some
> people these cause stomach problems and aren't really necessary.
>
> Over time you'll be able to get your tendons out to normal lengths but impatience can undo all of
> your previous work. I would expect this problem to take three to four months to put behind you so
> be sure to take your time.
>
> A word of warning. You might be one of the individuals that has naturally short hamstrings and if
> that is the case you should consult a good sports doctor or physiotheropist who is experienced
> with cyclists and fitting a cyclist to a bike.

Thanks, Tom. Excellent information and suggestions.

My hamstrings are pretty loose -- I can just about put the palms of my hands flat on the ground when
doing a touch-your-toes while standing without warming up.

I raised my seat six months ago by about a centimeter because my patellar tendons were complaining
loudly after long climbs. This took care of that special interest group. I think the hamstring
tendonitis due to a messed up knee.

The tendonitis is isolated to my left knee, which is metal under the skin, and has a lot of
scarring. When viewed via an x-ray, the bone bits are quite misshapen, with lots o' lumpy parts.

I have only -- ever -- experienced this tenderness recently, like the past 30 days, and this after
ramping up slowly to riding longer distances (for me, that would be 40 miles or so in San Diego's
hilly North County, longer on flats if you can find any).

I suspect that the hamstring tendons on that side are just, well, being rubbed the wrong way. My
orthopaedic surgeon, whom I saw yesterday, expressed great satisfaction about how the knee is
holding up. But w/r/t tendonitis, he said he can't do anything for me and opined that this was my
body's way of telling me to cut it out. As in, give up cycling. He's mad, obviously. I just need to
learn how to take care of the tendons on that side.

MikeE
post #8 of 8

Re: Hamstring Tendonitis?

Mike Elliott <j.michael.elliott@REMOVETHEOBVIOUScoxDOT.net> wrote in message
news:<MPG.18a4905b746baa49897d2@news.west.cox.net>...
>
> The tendonitis is isolated to my left knee, which is metal under the skin, and has a lot of
> scarring. When viewed via an x-ray, the bone bits are quite misshapen, with lots o' lumpy parts.

With this in mind you should have both legs measured. It isn't unusual to have 1/4" difference in
leg lengths but some people have as much as an inch difference and don't even know it!

I think that you will find that you have a short left leg, perhaps by
1/2", and you can get an orthotic that will raise that foot a small amount to even the pressure on
your knees out.

> I have only -- ever -- experienced this tenderness recently, like the past 30 days, and this after
> ramping up slowly to riding longer distances (for me, that would be 40 miles or so in San Diego's
> hilly North County, longer on flats if you can find any).

If it is nothing more than an overuse injury it might take six months or more to disappear with
care. As I said, this particular injury is very slow in healing in most people. Probably because it
is so easy to irritate it again.

> I suspect that the hamstring tendons on that side are just, well, being rubbed the wrong way. My
> orthopaedic surgeon, whom I saw yesterday, expressed great satisfaction about how the knee is
> holding up. But w/r/t tendonitis, he said he can't do anything for me and opined that this was my
> body's way of telling me to cut it out. As in, give up cycling. He's mad, obviously. I just need
> to learn how to take care of the tendons on that side.

Doctors tend to want to use the most conservative treatment. I suggest finding a sports doctor or
sports physiologist who can fit you to the bike it your problem continues. These people are used to
crazy bicycle nuts who don't have any better sense than to continue exercising after it causes pain.
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