Hamstring Strain
and Hamstring Tendinopathy

Hamstring injuries are common among athletes and physically active people, especially tearing of the muscle tissue (strains) and injuries to the tendons. Once injured, runners have a high (30 percent) risk of re-injury, and recovery can take a long time. Rapid diagnosis and treatment after a hamstring injury can shorten recovery time and reduce the risk of re-injury.

The hamstrings are a group of four muscles, with the semimembranosus and semitendinosus located medially and the long and short heads of the biceps femoris locted laterally. Injury can occur in any of the muscles or their tendons, but the biceps femoris is most susceptible because of its load-bearing role in the gait cycle.

Hamstring Strain Causes

Certain things can predispose a person to hamstring injuries, including:

  • Poor timing and muscle coordination during the gait cycle
  • Inability of the muscle to sufficiently absorb shock and rebound
  • Previous hamstring injury
  • Over-striding and poor pelvic control
  • Inadequate warm-up
  • Fatigue
Carles Pedret MD PhD

Proud to learn from the world’s expert on muscle strains and tears prof. Carles Pedret MD PhD

Hamstring Strain Symptoms

Symptoms of hamstring muscle strain can range from mild to severe, depending on the severity of injury. A mild strain may appear as tightness or a dull ache, while a severe strain can be extremely painful. However, even mild strains should be treated, as their underlying mechanism may lead to more serious injury down the road if not corrected.

Symptoms of a hamstring strain include:

  • Severe pain while exercising, accompanied by a snapping or popping sensation
  • Pain in the lower buttock and back of the thigh
  • Bruising
  • Tenderness in the muscle and/or tendon
  • Hamstring muscle stiffness

Hamstring tendonitis occurs when the tendon that attaches muscle to bone becomes damaged or inflamed. Lower hamstring tendonitis presents as pain in the back of the knee, where tendons attach at the top of the lower leg. High hamstring tendinopathy occurs near the hip, and presents as deep buttock or upper thigh pain.


Hamstring Strain Diagnosis

The location and severity of hamstring injuries can be easily detectable with high resolution diagnostic ultrasound. Symptoms, inflammation and bruising are also indicators of injury.

Hamstring strains are graded by severity:

Grade 1: tightness, discomfort, spasm, mild swelling; able to walk normally but not run up to speed.
Grade 2: impaired walking with limping, twinges of pain with activity, swelling and tenderness; painful to bend the knee against resistance.
Grade 3: severe pain with tearing of half to all of the muscle; immediate swelling, bruising and weakness; crutches may be needed to ambulate.


Hamstring Strain Treatment

Because of the high risk of re-injury, even mild injuries should be fully rehabilitated.

Treatment at NYDNR may include:

  • Ultrasound guided dry needling
  • Gait analysis and retraining
  • Core stability training
  • Lower limb muscle strengthening
  • Virtual reality intrinsic feedback with C.A.R.E.N. to improve proprioception, agility and balance

Hamstring Tendonitis Treatment

Tendon tissue is unique from muscle and requires specific treatment. At NYDNR, we rehabilitate tendon injuries with extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT), eccentric loading exercises, gait retraining, and strengthening of the muscles of the lower extremities.

Kineo Intelligent Load: A New Innovation for Hamstring Rehab

Hamstring injuries heal faster and more completely when we can accurately select and modify the treatment approach. Kineo intelligent load is a training system that lets us adjust and adapt training loads and modalities to the individual patient. It gives us quantifiable data and real-time feedback, so the patient is never left in the dark about their progress.

The Kineo system enables us to:

  • Customize concentric and eccentric muscle loading to the individual patient
  • Use elastic mode to promote tissue healing
  • Increase loads at specific joint angles
  • Decrease loads at critical points
  • Assess and evaluate rehab progress with quantitative data

Kineo provides the patient with visual and auditory feedback while exercising, to help them focus, stay motivated, and achieve training goals. The system provides our therapists with important data to gauge how well the patient is progressing, and to make adjustments to the training protocol. Kineo combines traditional exercise with advanced technology, to accelerate and restore pain-free hamstring function.

Reactive Neuromuscular Training on Kineo

Kineo – the most versatile muscle testing using artificial intelegence
Lev Kalika Clinical Director and DC, RMSK

Dr.Kalika has revolutionized hamstring injury care by using high resolution diagnostic ultrasonography for structural diagnosis, combined with gait and motion analysis technology. The NYDNRehab motion and gait analysis lab is the only private lab in the US to feature research-grade technologies found only in the world’s top research labs, and made available to patients in our private clinic. Dr.Kalika’s modern approach to athletic hamstring injuries has put him on the radar of some of the world’s top distance runners, pro athletes and professional ballet dancers.

Our Specialists

HyunJu YOO, PT, MPT, DPT, CPI (Licensed Physical Therapist)
Dr. Christina Pekar DC
Dr. Michelle Agyakwah DC
Mariam Kodsy Physical Therapist

Our Rewards


In this instance, an athlete was originally diagnosed with minor quadriceps muscle strain and was treated for four weeks, with unsatisfactory results. When he came to our clinic, the muscle was not healing, and the patients’ muscle tissue had already begun to atrophy.

Upon examination using MSUS, we discovered that he had a full muscle thickness tear that had been overlooked by his previous provider. To mitigate damage and promote healing, surgery should have been performed immediately after the injury occurred. Because of misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatment, the patient now has permanent damage that cannot be corrected.

The most important advantage of Ultrasound over MRI imaging is its ability to zero in on the symptomatic region and obtain imaging, with active participation and feedback from the patient. Using dynamic MSUS, we can see what happens when patients contract their muscles, something that cannot be done with MRI. From a diagnostic perspective, this interaction is invaluable.

Dynamic ultrasonography examination demonstrating
the full thickness tear and already occurring muscle atrophy
due to misdiagnosis and not referring the patient
to proper diagnostic workup

Demonstration of how very small muscle defect is made and revealed
to be a complete tear with muscle contraction
under diagnostic sonography (not possible with MRI)


Complete tear of rectus femoris
with large hematoma (blood)


Separation of muscle ends due to tear elicited
on dynamic sonography examination

Buy now 3D Gait
Payment Success
You can call
or Send message