Chronic hamstring pain
by Kristy007, Oct 23, 2007
Please help me..............

I am a 30 year old female suffering chronic hamstring pain.  My pain has been affecting my quality of life for the last year.

My pain is not nerve pain.  My hamstrings ache & ache.  I am hyper-flexible & stretching doesn't seem to help my legs, they always feel tight, yet I have NO problem  touching my toes or stretching?  

My legs ache the worst @ night & I take Tylenol EZ tabs as if they were candy, sad but true, they allow me some sleep.

Sometimes it feels as though my legs are paralyzed & I must pick them up to move them, very strange.  They feel weak & sore beyond belief.  I do not have pain anywhere else except in my great toe in my left foot & left heel bone after a 12 hr shift on my feet.

I was told I had fibromyalgia, whatever, no trigger points for me & my pain is so specific to my posterior legs it didn't make sense & so I continue to suffer.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated & I am curious if having been severely pigeon-toed as a child might be affecting me now?
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Member Comments (12)
by francodo, Jan 22, 2008
About 10 years ago, I had the SAME pain non stop for over a year.  One day a doctor gave me flexeril to take at night.  After 3 nights of sleeping deep, my legs stopped hurting.  I was so happy, I cried.  
I have found deep sleep and regular exercise are the only things that got me out of it.  I can feel that pull high in my hamstring when it is coming back and get some sleep.
I too have always been very flexible and can stretch pretty far.  
I have never been pigeon toed.  
Hope you have found relief by now.
by westportjill, May 13, 2009
I have suffered from chronic back of leg/hamstring pain for 10 years.  Pain in both hamstrings - tightness that is worse when sitting or sleeping.  During deep massage, the pain can be brought on by extremely deep pressure, which for me, feels like scratching an itch.  It comes on for months and them it goes away for months.  I don't sleep well, I'm a light sleeper and I have 3 small children that are up a lot.   I am in pain right now and even taking oxycondon doesn't help.  I have tried so many things: chiropractors, neuromuscular therapy, stretching routines, physical therapy, acupuncture.  I have seen orthopedists, infectious disease specialists, rheumatologists, and no one knows what it is.   I was pain free during 2 of my pregnancies, but not with the last pregnancy.  The pain is often brought on by nothing, or exercise and sometime but not always, after a night of standing for awhile.  
I sit on tennis balls a lot to get at the pain, but it's short lived.  Does anyone know what is going on?
by orthotics, Nov 03, 2009
I also had chronic hamstring tightness/inflammation.  However, I was able to help diagnose my problem after 10 years!  I am typing this in the hopes someone is also able to recover from this nagging/debilitating issue.  I am not a doctor, however, I have done plenty of research over the past few years.  For those of you who have occasional muscle tightness only after jog or physical activity then this post may not be for you.

Before I had an issue I was able to run 2 miles in under 11 mins and the 40m in under 4.5.  Then one day... I could barely walk because of the tightness in my hamstring.  I tried everything - strethcing, taking ibuprofin, heating, icing, building up my quads, building up my cavs, building up my hamstrings, and etc. -  nothing worked.  I went in for an MRI but everything came out clean.  Then the pain started radiating up and down my body to the back of my knee, to my achilles, and to my back.  The tightness was especially severe several hours after an activity (basketball, soccer, hockey, walking).  The pain would even radiate up and down my leg while I was laying down in bed.  Then one day I read about orthotics (no I am not a salesman, I am just telling my story).  Your feet act as your foundation - if they are out of alignment then your entire frame above them will be in constant distress during load bearing conditions (standing, wlaking, leg pressing, etc).  

After years of chronic pain I went to another doctor.  His immediate impression was everything looked ship shape.  My gate was normal when walking and I appeared as healthy as a horse.  I pleaded with him for another opinion and he sent me to a podiatrist.  The podiatrist ran the same tests except he also asked me to stand up straight and look up.  As soon as I looked up the light bulb went off in his head.  The arch on my left foot appeared normal during non load bearing conditions, however, as soon as weight was applied to my foot the arch collapsed.  The lack of support caused my hamstring to tighten in order to support my body's weight and thus led to my tendonitis.  The longevity of the injury caused back and knee problems.  Now I wear custom orthotics to support my arch and my frame.  The pain has abated and I am now able to run 3-5 miles on a regular basis.  The takehome message is if the pain has no warning signs, is immediate, and long lasting I would advise to have your feet checked out.  Symptoms to look for would be chronic ankle, knee, hip and/or lower back pain that is especially severe after physical activities.    If this is the case then the force vectors on your body are not aligned properly.  Other indicators include hereditary symptoms of weak arches.  I hope this helps someone out there.
by James451, Feb 25, 2010
Im 24, and ur post describes exactly what i have too.
I have chronic aching hamstring pain as well. Its only my leg hamstring, but hurts constantly.
I began by stretching everyday.  However, im extremely flexible, and yet the pain continues, and the tightness comes back.
Sometimes it feels better, like first thing in the morning. However thru out the day the pain gets worse. And when i stand up, the leg is extremely stiff.
I cannot sleep, and take Aleve to an excess.
I describe it as a "very bad growing pain."  Its very hard to ignore, and very hard to live with. But i do plan on trying Flexeril.
by colinhr, Oct 16, 2010
Hello my fellow hamstrung friends -

Thank you so much for sharing your struggles with me and all.  I have been working through some significant life changes as a result of similar symptoms, and despite significant discouragement, am continuing to search for solutions.  I’m  32 y/o, 6’ and 170 or so pounds (down from 175 and dropping, as it’s difficult to be active enough to keep the muscle mass on).

Seven years ago, I fell skateboarding and hit my right hip on the street (I now question very much the wisdom of skateboarding's legitimacy as a hobby) and felt intense pain throughout my pelvic region.  I recovered to what seemed like normalcy within a month or two and resumed my activities, but a relatively mild fall snowboarding the next year showed me otherwise.  My recovery from that fall has been much slower and less complete, but up until about a year ago, I was still very active and my pain was manageable through strength and flexibility exercises.

I had been working for several years in a restaurant, on my feet for long periods of time, when my right knee (having had ACL repair in '96) began to hurt from IT band tightness.  I soon thereafter began to have abnormal back tightness, and when I went to pop my back as I often did using a little twist maneuver, felt something go seriously wrong.  The pain forced me to sit down, and ever since then, my lower back and hamstring pain has basically run my life.  I have been keeping fairly good track of the pain by recording it’s level everyday to record my progress/regression, and it has improved.  However, I still have fluctuating levels of lower back pain and relatively high and steady levels of upper, now spread to lower, hamstring pain on a daily basis.  The active, outdoorsy life of rock climbing and surfing I once knew is now fading from my memory.  

Being as flexible as I am (not many 32 y/o guys I know can almost do the front splits or put their palms flat on the floor with their elbows bent), hamstring tightness is an unlikely culprit, but they feel as if they are tight/pulled all the time.  Standing in one spot aggravates them; some days when I’m out and about moving around with my mind occupied, the pain seems to lessen to the point of being almost unnoticeable.  But when I see old friends and we talk about what my life is like now, the reality of how much it has changed hits me.

I have done ART (Active Release Technique) once, focusing on the hamstring area, and it did indeed seem to help, and hope to be able to focus on strengthening opposing muscle groups, as is often prescribed.

Just wanted to share my story and see if anyone had any thoughts – again, thanks to all of you and I hope we can one day provide just the right word of encouragement or tip for treatment for each other.
by 1gotpain, Apr 12, 2011
Don't give up unless you have had a second opinion.  Try and find a physician/chiropractor in your area who uses (Jeanet travell's) trigger point therapy or the ELECTRO ACUSCOPE/MYOPULSE modality. The average patient is pain free within 3 visits.
Good luck!
by skamurse, Dec 06, 2011
i also have the same exact problem with my right hamstring for about 6 months now and the pain/tightness never goes away no matter how well i massage or stretch it. i have had lower lumbar herniated discs for about 8 years now, so i use to think it was pain from over compensating from using my back muscles. but it has been going on so long...i doubt that is the problem. my doc told me it might be tendonitis...but im not an athlete or anything and does not feel inflamed. the dull/aching pain is hard to describe and i definitely know its not nerve pain either. i have read some of your posts and one thing i have never tried are muscle relaxants. i think it would be a good idea because for almost the same exact amount of time (6months) i have also been increasingly tired and fatigued no matter how much i sleep!!! i think i am not getting enough deep sleep/rem. all of these problems started when i got divorced so maybe it can be stress induced too...i dont know....
by unicornsd, Jan 26, 2012
I have been experiencing ham string pain for two years, and it seems to be getting worse not better. I have tried pain pills, massage, exercise, stretching, physical therapy, chiropractors, so far nothing has worked.  If anyone has any great ideas, I'd love to hear them, but just knowing I'm not alone and not crazy helps!  Thank you all!
by bmanjnk99, Oct 02, 2012
I recently started to suffer from a similar pain in my left hamstring and also suffer from problems getting into a deep sleep since I had a bad sinus infection 10 years ago.  This seems to be a common theme to some people here.  In my case, I was recently diagnosed by my doctor with a possible Sleep Apnea disorder.  This can either be a neurological disorder or in my case, physical damage to my sinuses.  Basically your body has trouble getting enough oxygen at night, so your body continually brings you back to a near-conscious state to fix your breathing.  After having a sleep-study done, it was confirmed that I do have Sleep Apnea and now have a CPAP machine that pressurizes my sinuses at night so they do not collapse and wake me up.  I just started on the machine last night and already can tell the difference in sleep quality.  If this also fixes my hamstring problems I will post a follow-up in the future.  For those with similar sleeping problems, you might ask your doctor about having a sleep study done.