Hamstring tendonitis is the inflammation of one or more of the tendons that attach the muscles in the backs of your thighs to your knee bones and the bones of your lower legs. According to PhysioAdviser.com, it is most often caused by overuse of your hamstrings through such exercises as running and jumping. Muscle tightness can contribute to hamstring tendonitis, so certain stretching exercises can help to ease the condition. It's important to seek professional medical advice before beginning any rehabilitation program.
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Standing Forward Bend With Raised Leg
Stand up straight and place the heel of one leg on a chair, says bigkneepain.com. Make sure your leg is not above hip height or below knee height and that your support leg is straight, but the knee is not locked. Bend forward from your hips, keeping your back and the raised leg as straight as possible, and stop when you feel the stretch along the back of your raised thigh and knee. Don't try to touch your toes, as this will move the stretch to your back. The aim is to restrict the stretch to your hamstring muscles in the raised leg as much as you can. Hold the stretch for up to 30 seconds, then slowly return to an upright position and repeat the stretch on your other leg.
Standing Forward Bend With Crossed Legs
Stand up straight and cross one foot over the other, at your ankles, keeping both feet on the floor, says The Walking Site. Depending on how tight the backs of your legs are, this position may give you enough of a stretch down the back leg. To increase the stretch, slowly bend forward from your hips, walking your hands down a wall for stability if you need to. Only go as far as is comfortable--you should feel a tug, but no pain--and stop when your back is parallel to the floor, says The Walking Site. Keep your hands on your hips if you need to support your lower back in this position; otherwise, let your arms fall straight down so your fingers are pointing toward the floor. Hold for up to 10 seconds, then slowly return to the starting position and repeat with your legs crossed the other way.
Stretch for the Back of the Knee
According to The Walking Site, this exercise not only stretches the backs of your knees and hamstrings, it also lengthens your calf and back muscles. Stand facing a step and position one foot so the heel is on the ground, the ball of the foot is raised, resting on the edge of the step, and your toes are pointing in the air. Your other foot should be flat on the ground. Slowly bend forward from the hips, reaching your fingers toward your raised toes. Try to keep both legs as straight as possible throughout the exercise, but only go as far as is comfortable--don't force the stretch, says The Walking Site. Hold for up to 20 seconds, then slowly and carefully return to the start position before returning the upraised foot to the ground and repeating on the other side.
Seated Stretch with Rotation
Sportsinjuryclinic.net says to sit on the floor with one leg stretched straight out in front of you and the other one bent so your foot is resting against your other inner thigh. Slightly turn the outstretched leg inward, then bend forward from your hips. You should feel the stretch up the back of the straight leg. Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat on the other leg. To move the stretch along the inner thigh, start in the same position, but slightly rotate the straight leg outward. Lean forward from the hips and hold for 30 seconds. It is more important to keep your back and outstretched leg straight than to get your chest close to your leg. Don't force the movement, but as your flexibility increases, try to bend a little deeper.
Standing Hamstring Stretch
Stand up straight, with your legs hip-width apart and one foot slightly behind the other, says Sportsinjuryclinic.net. Keep your front leg straight, but bend your back knee and lean forward from the hips, taking care not to hunch over as you lower your torso toward your knees. You can rest your hands gently on your bent knee for support or, for an extra balance challenge, try stretching them out to your sides. Hold the stretch on each leg for about 30 seconds. If you need more of a stretch, try pointing the toes of your outstretched foot up toward the ceiling.