hamstring problems

How do I know if I have tendinitis or maybe sciatica in my hamstring? I have the symptoms of sciatica like a pain in the butocks and pain that shoots through the leg but this pain happened when i ran a sprint.It felt like I must have pulled something and it was very painful. I can feel it right in my but bone.Maybe it occured while i was injured? They took an x-ray and said it was most likely tendinitis. It hurts to stretch. It got better through the first couple of weeks or a month and my hamstring never really did too much after that. I let it rest for three months now…
It feels a little better but when i run it still hurts sometimes.

Did you have a neuromuscular examination done on your leg? This should reveal whether it is sciatica you are experiencing.

Apart from the pain, sciatica often also presents with weakness in movements at the knee and ankle .


you may want to have a chiropractor check your hip alignment and your piriformis muscle. I had similar symptoms to yours for a number of years and physiotherapists treated the hamstring muscle which resulted in no improvement that lasted more than a few days or my next sprint. If you suspect the nerve is being irritated the problem could be structural and originate in the spine or hips.
Is one leg longer than the other? If you are fourteen and your body parts are growing at different rates this could cause some soort of imbalance.
Hope this is helpful…

if i did have sciatica what can doctors do about it. I dont want to be full of medicine so i dont feel it, or i dont want to see a doctor every day. I want it over with. Is there anything i can do at home?

Not as long as you don’t know what the problem is.

If it is sciatica, a good chiropractor should be able to help you. Sciatica is caused by an impingement of the sciatic nerve, most commonly either by the piriformis muscle or at its nerve root(s) in your lower lumbar spine and sacrum. Relieving such nerve irritations is exactly what chiropractors specialise in.

If you get a proper diagnosis and treatment you should be better in no time.


thanx alot!

I have one more question.
Now here’s the full story: when i messed up my hamstring it was on a sprint. I did feel a pop. I was told it was a pull so a week later she said i could start running. I went for nearly three months running on it and every day after practice i would be in agreat deal of pain. It hurt to sit on it as well. I wnt to the doctor and he said it was tendinitis and i didnt run on it for two months. it did not make a big improvement although the throbbing did stop. Do you still think i could have developed sciatica? It hurts it to stretch.when i stretch sometimes i can feel it down my leg. I was thinking that maybe i did some damage to the tissue or something that might be permanent…
Also, I am seeing my doctor on monday. What should i tell him?

Dear James,

 I would leave the diagnosis up to a professional that can actually see, feel and properly examine you. 

You definitely shouldn’t have trained through the pain though, and I would strongly advise you to avoid doing anything that hurts the affected area in the future.

I would suspect that you had suffered a pull when you first felt the “pop” in your hamstring. After such an injury the muscle usually contracts and thus becomes tight in an effort to protect the injured area. (This is called guarding.) This tighness might then have caused excessive stress and thus inflammation around the area where the muscle inserts into your ischial tuberosity (what you called butt bone).

Tendinitis therefore sounds like a reasonable diagnosis to me. If this diagnosis is confirmed you would probably have to rest your leg for a while, try to reduce the inflammation and get some soft tissue work done on the muscle belly (not the inflammed insertion area) to losen up the muscle and thus reduce the stress on the tendon.

Sciatica could, however, co-exist with this problem. If the pain is not localised, but spreads all over the back of the leg and the buttock, it is likely that some nervous involvement of this nature is present also. It could also have been that you had some degree of sciatica first, which caused a lack of proper nerve supply to your leg and therefore predisposed you to the injury.

If you want the best treatment you can get, you might want to see a doctor to look after the inflammation, a physio or massage therapist to work on your hamstring and a chiro to make sure everything is alright with your lower lumbar spine, your sacrum and your hip.

Hope you’ll get better soon,

I was going to tell you I am now as flexible in one hamstring as the other. It still is uncomfortable when i do certain stretches though. Are you sure noneof this will be permanant since i ran with the injury fo a long time? Also, do you think i can get back on the football field before June-august?
Thanx again!

Dear James,

 Muscle tears heal with scarring and therefore always leave some degree of permanent damage. For more details have a look at some of the previous posts (including some of my own) on this forum regarding hamstring pulls.

Tendinitis should be pretty much fully reversible and if you have sciatica that should also not leave any permanent damage.

Let us know what the doctor says on Monday, and we can then give you some more tips on your rehabilitation.

The main thing, however, is not to do anything that hurts the muscle (apart from possibly massage depending on the diagnosis). You should therefore only exercise and stretch in the pain free range.


I went to the doctor today and told him i have not made much of an improvement over the last two months. He took another x-ray and said it was still tendinitis. He said that it was a “chronic injury”. I am getting an MRI taken next week. How long does “chronic” hamstring tendinitis take to heel? He said there was a bone fragment was pulled off or something? What kind of treatment will probobly be done?

Dear James,

 Unfortunately, your questions don't have a simple answer. However, I can tell you that the time it will take to get rid of the chronic inflammation is directly related to the duration of the rest you give it. 

If you have an avulsion fracture (bone fragment pulled off by a tendon) the treatment depends on the magnitude of the fracture and could range from simple rest to surgery.

Your doctor seems to be taking the problem seriously enough, though, so I’m sure you can trust in his judgement.


When i stopped running two months ago I was still sometimes jumping and catching the football. I was not running though. Do you think that is why it did not fully heal or was this type of activity too much for it? I have confirmed it was an pelvic avulsion fracture. Also, with a TYPICAL pelvic Avulsion fracture, how long would it take to recover?

Dear James,

your doctor will be better able to tell you how long your avulsion fracture will take to heal, as this dependes on its nature, magnitude, etc.

The chronic tendinitis will probably be of greater concern, though, as these kinds of inflammation can sometimes heal very slowly.

If your activities aggravated your tendon and you were in pain afterwards they definitely contributed to the slow recovery.


Besides not running, what can i do at home to speed up recovery time with a pelvic avulsion?(“home therapy”)


If you have sciatica, try the slump test. It should be self explanatory. Sit in a chair and slump (not too fast). Do you have pain in the area while slumping? This is the simplest test for sciatica caused by a nerve impingement at the spine.

It would also help if you consulted a text of some kind with a diagram of the sciatic nerve, and see if that correlates to where your pain is.

Chiropractors may or may not be able to help. I have sciatica, and a very good chiro was unable to help.

How many x-rays have you had done, covering which areas of the body, and how old are you? I am surprised that more than one was done if it covered your reproductive organ area. I have been warned not to have one, and I am hopefully going to have an MRI instead soon.

…edit; oops sorry, I didn’t read all the posts before replying. :o

I am about to turn fifteen and i have had two x rays done on my pelvis. I have also gotten an mri done. They said i have a pelvic avulsion fracture.
Do you know anything i can do at home to speed up the recovery process?