Follow and Like Us:

Semimembranosus Muscle: Buttock, Thigh, Knee, Calf Pain

Semimembranosus Pain Pattern

Pain below the buttock traveling down the inside leg to the knee and sometimes calf can indicate semimembranosus dysfunction.

  • Pain just below the buttock
  • Pain down the back of the thigh and into the knee, occasionally going into the upper calf
  • Pain intensifies while walking
  • Deep aching pains in thigh and knee while sleeping
  • Deep pain in the back of the thigh when rising from a seated position

Where is the semimembranosus muscle?

It attaches at the bottom of the pelvis (ischial tuberosity), traveling down the thigh connecting to the head of the shin bone (tibia).

What movements does the semimembranosus muscle control?

  • Bends the knee
  • Twists the bent knee in toward the body
  • Straightens and lifts the leg to the back of the body

Activities that cause semimembranosus muscle 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
  • Kicking a ball (football, soccer)
  • Hurdles
  • Doing the splits

Interesting facts about the semimembranosus muscle:

  • Pain and stiffness in the semimembranosus are often diagnosed as hamstring tendinitis or sciatica.
  • A braking action of the semimembranosus muscle along with the other hamstring muscles stop the body from falling forward when standing upright.
Semimembranosus Muscle

You use the semimembranosus muscle to straighten the thigh and bend the knee.

Clinical diagnoses to which the semimembranosus muscle symptoms may contribute:

  • L5 radiculopathy
  • Bruised ischial tuberosity
  • Deep vascular thrombosis
  • Cauda equina syndrome

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

SatelliteTrigger Points: Long head of Biceps femoris, Vastus Lateralis, Vastus intermedius, Vastus medialis, Rectus Femoris, Adductor Magnus, Quadratus Lumborum, Thoracic Paraspinals and Rectus Abdominis

Associated Organ Systems:  Genitourinary system

Due to similar muscle attachments, movement control also read: Semitendinosus Muscle

For anatomy information: Semimembranosus Anatomy

Help with Semimembranosus Hamstring Muscle Pain

Cold Therapy Gel For Semimembranosus Injury and Pain

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. To treat the semimembranosus muscle, rub Biofreeze from the top of the inside of the back of the thigh to the inside and back of the knee and down to the inside of the lower leg.

Biofreeze is recommended for recent semimembranous muscle injury

Cold Pack For Hamstring Muscles

The Pro Ice Quad Multipurpose Cold Therapy Wrap is a good choice to provide cold therapy to both quadriceps and hamstring injuries. The wrap not only provides a consistent temperature but also provides compression which is important for reducing swelling and aiding in faster recovery.

cold pack for hamstring injury

Hot and Cold Multipurpose Wrap For Thigh and Knee Pain

The Hot Thermal and Ice Cold Compress Therapy Gel Pack Wrap is adjustable and is a great choice for a multipurpose pack to use on your thighs, knees, hip and back. The pack can be put in the freezer and used for cold therapy on recently injured muscles to reduce pain and swelling. The pack can also be put in the microwave for warm therapy for chronic pain and stiffness. Solid quality construction that will last for a long time. Made in the USA
cold hot pack to treat hamstring strain and sprains

Warm Therapy Gel for Semimembranosus 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 back of the thigh, down to the knee and the upper calf can help reduce pain and tightness caused by the semimembranosus muscles. I recommend Sombra for chronic pain and chronically sore tight hamstring muscles.

Sombra Warm Therapy Gel provides semimembranosus muscle pain relief.

Braces and Supports To Help Semimembranosus Injury and Pain

McDavid Thigh Brace Wrap covers the thigh and can be used for hamstring support and 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 thigh brace provides support and pain relief for the Semimembranosus muscle

Groin Strap for High Semimembranosus Hamstring Pain and Injury

McDavid Groin Strap is recommended for high hamstring and groin pulls. This strap works well for people who have pulled a hamstring muscle up high near the buttocks. 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.

McDavid groin strap provides support for high Semimembranosus muscle dysfunction

Knee Brace for Semimembranosus Hamstring Knee Pain

The semimembranosus muscle can contribute to stiff painful knees. The Professional Choice Knee Support is one of the best knee braces I have used. It provides support to weak buckling and painful knees while providing heat to help keep the muscle, ligaments, tendons and joint mobile. The two Velcro bands are adjustable and allow you to adjust the compression. 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 injury and buckling knees I highly recommend this brace.

Professionals Choice Knee Brace

Compression Leggings for Hamstring and Upper Leg Muscle Support

Compression wear is not just preventative wear for exercise. Compression wear can also aid in muscle injury support and reduce swelling during recovery time. If you are considering compression wear look for graduated compression. Graduated compression provides tight compression at the lower end of your limb and gradually decreases compressive force toward the top of the limb. This is important for circulation and inflammation reduction. To properly support the hamstring muscles the leggings need to not only cover the thigh but must also go down past the knee as the hamstring muscles connect the pelvis to the bones in the lower leg. Compression leggings for men as well compression leggings for women come in all sizes, have a choice of colors and are available in various price points. Can be worn alone or under pants.

Massage Tools for Self Treatment of the Hamstring Muscles

I recommend the The Tiger Tail 18" Roller to 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!

Tiger tail foam roller to treat semimembranosus pain and stiffness

Self Treatment For Semimembranosus Muscle Pain

Do you know the small "knots" or dysfunction in the semimembranosus muscle can can cause pain in the buttock, back of the thigh, back of the knee, and down into the upper calf.

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 explains 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. 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 hip pain that runs down the thigh into the knee it maybe trigger points in the semimembranousus 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.

The Trigger Point Workbook can help you resolve Semimembranosus muscle pain.

Leave a Comment