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Semitendinosus Muscle: Buttock, Thigh, Knee, Calf Pain-Hamstring Muscle

Semitendinosus Muscle Pain Pattern

Pain below the buttock traveling down the inside leg to the knee and sometimes calf can indicate semitendinosus 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
  • Aching pain down the back of the thigh while sleeping
  • Deep pain when rising from seated position

Where is the semitendinosus muscle?

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

What movements does the semitendinosus muscle control?

  • Bends the knee
  • Twists the bent knee in toward the body
  • Lifts the leg to the back of the body

Activities that cause semitendinosus 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 semitendinosus muscle:

  • Pain and stiffness in the semitendinosus is often diagnosed as hamstring tendinitis or sciatica.
  • The semitendinosus along with the other two hamstring muscles provides a braking system that keeps your body from falling forward when standing upright.
Semitendinosus Muscle

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

Clinical diagnoses to which the semitendinosus muscle symptoms may contribute:

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

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

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

Associated Organ Systems: Genitourinary system

Due to similar muscle attachments, movement control also: Semimembranosus Muscle Pain and Symptoms

For anatomy information see: Semitendinosis Anatomy

Help with Semitendinosus Hamstring Muscle Pain

Cold Therapy Gel For Semitendinosus 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. Rub the gel into the back of thigh, into the knee and down into the upper portion of the calf.

Biofreeze is recommended for recent semitendinosus 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 semitendinosus 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 For Semitendinosus Injury Treatment

Warm Therapy Gel for Semitendinosus 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 can help reduce pain and tightness caused by the semitendinosus hamstring muscle. I recommend Sombra for chronic pain and chronically sore tight hamstring muscles.

Sombra Warm Therapy Gel provides pain relief to strained semitendinosus muscle.

Braces and Supports To Help Semitendinosus 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 thigh brace provides support and pain relief for the Semitendinosus muscle

Groin Wrap for High Semitendinosus 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 for high hamstring pulls

Knee Brace for Semitendinosus Hamstring Knee Pain

The semitendinosus 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 allowing 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 for semitendinosus muscle knee pain

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 Roller for semitendinosus treatment

Self Treatment For Semitendinosus Hamstring Pain

Do you know that small knots and other dysfunction in the Semitendinosus muscle can contribute to pain at the bottom of the buttock that travels down the back of the thigh to the knee?

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 pain that runs down the thigh into the knee it maybe trigger points in the semitendinosus muscle and other hamstring 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 semitendinosus muscle pain.

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