+Donna Martin
Nov 112012

What pain and symptoms are associated with the biceps femoris?

Pain Pattern of the biceps femoris

Pain in the back of the knee going up the outside of the thigh that worsens when walking can indicate bicep femoris muscle dysfunction.

  • Pain in the back of the knee
  • Pain toward the outside of the knee going up the outside of the thigh
  • Pain worsens while walking
  • Pain in the back of the leg when rising from a sitting position

Where is the biceps femoris muscle?

The biceps femoris is in the back of the thigh and connects the pelvis to the head of the shin bone of the lower leg. It is one of 3 hamstring muscles.

What movements does the biceps femoris muscle control?

  • Bends the knee
  • Twists the bent knee out away from the body
  • Straightens the leg at the thigh

Activities that cause biceps femoris pain and symptoms:

  • Sitting for long periods of time
  • Sitting on a hard surface putting pressure on the hamstrings
  • Poorly conditioned athletes frequently injury the hamstrings
  • Football
  • Soccer
  • Swimming
  • Cycling

Interesting facts about the biceps femoris:

Like the biceps in the arm, the biceps femoris splits into two heads. The short head of the muscle is absent in some people.

Clinical diagnoses to which this muscle symptoms may contribute:

Biceps Femoris Muscle

You use the biceps femoris muscle when you bend your knee, twist your knee away from your body and straighten your thigh.

  • Pulled or torn Hamstring
  • Bruised ischial tuberosity
  • Cauda equina syndrome
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Bursitis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Sprain/Strain

Other muscles that should be considered and examined in conjunction with the biceps femoris muscle:

Satellite Trigger Points: Semimembranosus, Semitendinosus, Adductor magnus, Iliopsoas, Quadriceps, Quadratus Lumborum, Paraspinals, Rectus Abdominis, Gastronemius

Affected Organ System: Urinary and Reproductive System

For anatomy information see: Biceps Femoris Anatomy: Origin, Insertion, Action, Innervation

Help with Biceps Femoris  Hamstring Muscle Pain

Sombra Warm Therapy Gel provides pain relief. Warm Therapy Gel for Bicep Femoris Hamstring Muscle Pain

Sombra Warm Therapy Pain Relieving Gel is a pain relieving gel that I use both personally and in my massage therapy practice. It provides warmth without burning heat and is great for relieving pain.  Applying Sombra to the muscles on the inside and back of the thigh, down to the knee can help reduce pain and tightness caused by the hamstring muscles. I recommend Sombra for chronic pain and chronically sore tight hamstring muscles.

Cold Therapy Gel For Biceps Femoris Injury and Pain

Biofreeze is recommended for recent muscle injury

Biofreeze Pain Relieving Gel is an excellent pain relieving gel and I recommend it for those who have sudden onset muscle pain or recent injuries.  It is better to use than warm therapy gels and creams for muscle pain caused by inflammation as it cools the area much like ice. A recent study showed that Biofreeze decreased pain 2 times more than ice and the pain relief lasts 9 – 10 longer. If  your pain is from a recently pulled hamstring I would recommend Biofreeze.

Cold And Warm Pack For Hamstring Muscles

Thigh or Quad Ice Wrap by Active Wrap  The  Thigh or Quad Ice Wrap by Active Wrap can be used for warm or cold therapy. I like this pack because it can be adjusted and can be worn while you are up and moving. If you have chronically tight muscles in the back of the thigh I suggest using this for heat. However, if the pain is caused from a recent injury I always recommend cold for 20 minutes several times a day.  Remember if you are using cold therapy to only apply for 20 minutes per hour to avoid tissue damage.



Braces and Supports To Help Biceps Femoris Injury and Pain

McDavid Thigh Brace Wrap covers the thigh and can be used for  hamstring  support or rehabilitation. This support works well if your pain is more in the upper thigh area and does not go down into the knee. Provides great compression and warmth to help maintain muscle mobility and reduce pain. Sizing: SM 18 to 20 inches, Med 20 to 22 inches,  LG  22 to 25 inches, XL  25 to 28 inches.


mcdavid-groin_sm McDavid Groin Wrap is recommended for high hamstring and groin pulls. This strap works well for people who have pulled a hamstring muscle who are experiencing knee pain and weakness and need a knee support. The strap in addition to the knee brace gives support along the length of the muscle. The strap has an adjustable Velcro closure so you can adjust the pressure as needed.




Professional’s Choice Miracle Knee Support The hamstrings can contribute to stiff and painful knees. The Professional Choice Knee Support is one of the best knee braces I have used. It provides support to weak buckling knees and provides heat to help keep the muscle, ligaments, tendons and joint mobile. The two Velcro bands are adjustable and provide compression for the muscle to bone connection of the hamstring muscles in the lower leg.  Although it looks bulky, it is comfortable and was made for people who ride horses who bend and straighten their knees for extended periods of time. It does not bind or pinch. If you are prone to knee pain and buckling knees I highly recommend this brace. Purchase Information:  Professional’s Choice Miracle Knee Support



Massage Tools for Self Treatment of the Hamstring Muscles


I recommend the Tiger Tail 18″ Rollerto use on both upper and lower leg muscles to help relieve tension and pain. I like the Tiger Tail for its ease of use and because it does not strain the wrists and hands. You do not have to contort into different positions or get on the floor or up against the wall to use this foam roller, simply roll it up or down the muscle. The 18″ is a good size to use on leg muscles as well as other muscles. This roller is also recommended by physical therapists, athletic trainers and doctors for self treatment of muscles in between appointments. To use the Tiger Tail on the hamstring muscles start just below the buttock, and roll down the back of the thigh stopping before you reach the back of the knee (NEVER use the roller on the back of the knee, it may cause nerve damage). Cover the entire back of the leg including just to the inside and outside of the thigh. Start with light strokes for a minute or two and build into more pressure and more time. Do not overdo as you can irritate the muscles!

Find and Treat the Source Of Your Hamstring Pain

The Trigger Point Workbook can help you resolve muscle pain throughout your body. Do you know that small knots in the Biceps Femoris muscle can contribute to aching pain in the knee and can make it difficult to stand from a sitting position? If this pain pattern sounds familiar  I  recommend that you purchase Claire Davies  The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook: Your Self-Treatment Guide for Pain Relief. Mr. Davies explain the trigger point phenomenon and muscle pain in everyday language.  But what makes this book worth its weight in gold are the individual muscle trigger point treatments that Davies has compiled. His diagrams and step by step instructions help you locate which muscles are contributing to your pain,  how to find the trigger point and treat it. He also provides stretching and strengthening exercises for each muscle.  It takes time and practice to master finding trigger points, but once you learn you have a tool and method to help relieve muscle pain throughout the body.  If you have unresolved pain in the back of the  knee it maybe trigger points in the biceps femoris muscles. Deactivating trigger points can reduce or eliminate this pain. This book is a must have for anyone interested in finding the cause and treating muscle pain.


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