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Sports Medicine

Hamstring/Glute/Pelvis

04/26/2010

Question:

I have been told that I have not only torn my hamstring, I’ve also damaged my glutes and put my pelvis, out by about an inch and half. I have been having acupuncture, which has helped a little but some days I can hardly walk. Bending is painful, driving and or sitting for too long aggravates it as well. What is the best thing to do for this type of injury? Anti-inflammatories haven’t helped.

Answer:

Recommendations RE: the "best thing to do for this type of injury" need to be based on an accurate diagnosis. Whether or not you've sustained a hamstring tear - and its severity, which will influence recovery time - should be able to be clarified - if not by physical examination alone, then if necessary also by MRI or ultrasound.

Sometimes, what may seem to be a "hamstring" problem is actually a pinched nerve in the lumbar spine (lower back) causing pain in the buttock and back of the thigh. If you have a problem involving the tendinous attachment of your hamstrings to your pelvis at the ischium - your "sit bone" - it may feel as if there's a problem with your "glutes" but that might actually not be the case. Whomever told you you've "damaged your glutes" should clarify for you exactly what this means, and on what basis was this "diagnosis" made.

I'm also not aware of what is meant by your pelvis being "out by about an inch and half"... this could mean that due to pain, muscle weakness and/or muscle tightness, your pelvis is not currently normally aligned with respect to your legs below and spine above.

Acupuncture can potentially lessen pain symptoms, but would not directly treat the cause for your symptoms (for example, by facilitating healing or shortening recovery time).

If you've not already done so, consulting with a sports medicine physician should clarify the basis for your symptoms, as well as provide you with a plan for treatment/rehabilitation, time course for recovery, and prognosis.

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Response by:

Brian L Bowyer, MD Brian L Bowyer, MD
Clinical Associate Professor
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University