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Injury advice -- hamstring scar tissue


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I tore the top of my hamstring 5 years ago, twice in the space of 6 months, when working on splits. Now persistent pain in that area appears any time I stretch. I've worked out that lots of scar tissue built up in the area due to improper recovery back in 2019. 

I started working towards splits/oversplits again, a year ago, without much progress. I've been very careful of course. Despite the pain, I can get quite close to the splits but the pain is distracting and does not feel like a normal stretch would. And I feel like I can't go any further. 
 
I've had no luck foam rolling the area religiously*... Likewise I paid a sports therapist to help, but felt no difference.
 
Another physiotherapist, who used to be a dancer and works with dancers, emailed me to say she'd be happy to help... at £65 for 40 minutes.
 
Commenting on the above won't help, so I wil refrain. I have no choice but to self recover and would be grateful for any advice or reflections on similar experiences. 

*a tennis ball, used in the way shown in this video, does target the area better than a roller. Though I've only tried twice so far.
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Hello @pointe.counter.pointe  and welcome to the Forum!

 

I am sorry to hear that you are having these recovery issues but the Forum always recommends that you seek appropriate medical advice.

 

I'm not a dancer and have never danced but I had a long standing issue with one of my shoulders (not bad enough to go for a referral from the doctor for NHS treatment).  I went to a local physio and the latest price was £40 for 30 minutes.  I'm in Liverpool and that was the going rate - it could differ depending on where you live.

 

I've added some tags to the top of the thread.  If you click on them you will find earlier threads about physio and some recommendations.

 

 

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22 minutes ago, Jan McNulty said:

Hello @pointe.counter.pointe  and welcome to the Forum!

 

I am sorry to hear that you are having these recovery issues but the Forum always recommends that you seek appropriate medical advice.

 

I'm not a dancer and have never danced but I had a long standing issue with one of my shoulders (not bad enough to go for a referral from the doctor for NHS treatment).  I went to a local physio and the latest price was £40 for 30 minutes.  I'm in Liverpool and that was the going rate - it could differ depending on where you live.

 

I've added some tags to the top of the thread.  If you click on them you will find earlier threads about physio and some recommendations.

 

 

I have had this same issue in the past and it's a long haul to get back.
Doing the splits will  NOT HELP  in any way right now. Firstly, a split stretch has far more to do with the hips than the hamstrings and you will irritate the injury still further.

All the work needs to be done in the areas AROUND the hamstrings and not the hamstrings themselves. So, the quads, glutes, iliotibial ( IT) band, hips and lower back. By easing these things off, the inflammation around the hamstring is reduced. It takes time. Once everything has been eased off, the hamstring will stop going into spasm.

Obviously a good Physio would be the way to go even for a couple of sessions to get an idea of the best exercises you can do at home. I always say at the start, I can only afford 2 sessions they can give me as much information as possible. A couple of sports massages can really be beneficial in easing everything off too. If this is really not possible, then working out the best exercises for the supporting muscle system from the internet. 'Move with Elena' is very good on Instagram and you should find safe stretches for everything there.
For future reference and when your hamstring has recovered, the best hamstring stretch is lying on your back, knees bent. Take one leg up straight to ceiling and flex foot, take a long towel or thick band and wrap around toes keeping knee straight and foot fully flexed. Hold band in both hands and gently pull leg back until maximum stretch. Do not hold the stretch for long - static stretches are not beneficial. Irritating your hamstring  at the moment will only prolong the pain although keeping it gently mobile throughout the healing process will be beneficial.

 

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Not sure where you are in the country but it may be worth digging a little deeper into NHS options for physio. I am in Suffolk and you can self refer for NHS physio so you don't need to go through your Doctor, just fill in a form on a website to get things started. I did this several years ago for ongoing back problems and couldn't fault the help I got. I ended up having an MRI to rule out structural issues and was then referred to the pain clinic at the local hospital which is where I really turned a corner. Might be worth a look to see if you can do something similar in your area. Good luck with your recovery.

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1 hour ago, NeverTooOld said:

Not sure where you are in the country but it may be worth digging a little deeper into NHS options for physio. I am in Suffolk and you can self refer for NHS physio so you don't need to go through your Doctor, just fill in a form on a website to get things started. I did this several years ago for ongoing back problems and couldn't fault the help I got. I ended up having an MRI to rule out structural issues and was then referred to the pain clinic at the local hospital which is where I really turned a corner. Might be worth a look to see if you can do something similar in your area. Good luck with your recovery.


This is great advice. Only the professionals can tell you what's up and making sure there's nothing structurally wrong to begin with would be a first step.

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Yes, nhs physio is relatively easy to get in certain areas…. But in my experience it’s all very basic & not at all ‘hands on’ - they seem to mostly direct you to print outs or ‘cartoon’ video clips of exercises. I felt the actual problems were never even looked for to correctly diagnose & that they had little experience of anyone with the typical range of movement a dancer (even an old one like me!) might have. Almost like ‘well you can do x/y/z more easily than most over 50’s so what are you complaining about?’ attitude. No respect for the fact that movements were suddenly severely limited from ‘MY’ normal. Had more success seeing private chiropractor & sports massage but do still worry something is being missed. It seems impossible to get referred on nhs for any diagnostic scans in my area….

Good luck 

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10 hours ago, Peanut68 said:

Yes, nhs physio is relatively easy to get in certain areas…. But in my experience it’s all very basic & not at all ‘hands on’ - they seem to mostly direct you to print outs or ‘cartoon’ video clips of exercises. I felt the actual problems were never even looked for to correctly diagnose & that they had little experience of anyone with the typical range of movement a dancer (even an old one like me!) might have. Almost like ‘well you can do x/y/z more easily than most over 50’s so what are you complaining about?’ attitude. No respect for the fact that movements were suddenly severely limited from ‘MY’ normal. Had more success seeing private chiropractor & sports massage but do still worry something is being missed. It seems impossible to get referred on nhs for any diagnostic scans in my area….

Good luck 

I did end up going through the process several times because most physios (and Doctors) are trained in acute issues rather than anything chronic/ongoing and so it was only after I pushed a little for further investigation that I got somewhere. However, once I did get to see the right people, it was fantastic and really helped.

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This is definitely one for a specialised professional in person, I'm afraid. Even one or two sessions to properly assess what's wrong and give you advice, as @Ruby Foo says.

 

On 03/06/2024 at 09:14, Ruby Foo said:

Doing the splits will  NOT HELP  in any way right now. Firstly, a split stretch has far more to do with the hips than the hamstrings and you will irritate the injury still further.

Depends where your tightnesses are. My limiting factor is definitely the hamstrings (to the extent you can localise), for complicated reasons to do with slight hyper mobility. Definitely back off on the splits though.

 

12 hours ago, Peanut68 said:

. Almost like ‘well you can do x/y/z more easily than most over 50’s so what are you complaining about?’ attitude. No respect for the fact that movements were suddenly severely limited from ‘MY’ normal.

Another reason to find someone with dance experience - my wife had physios specialised in post-natal care for a while and they were almost giddy treating someone with any mobility or body awareness. Apparently being able to localise the problem is astonishing to them. Blank incomprehension when you explain you're doing six hours of dance and (at the time) about four hours horse-riding a week.

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