Hamstring and calf muscles insert behind the knee joint and have a large impact on knee movement and pain. Strains in these muscles are a common source of posterior knee pain and happen when the muscle is suddenly and forcibly contracted and stretched at the same time.
Hamstring Insertion Pain
The hamstrings are made of three muscles and their tendons. They make up the bulk of the back of the thigh. The muscles start at the bottom of the pelvis, running down the back of the thigh. Their tendons cross the knee joint and attach to each side of the shinbone. The job of the hamstrings is to pull the leg backward and propel the body forward in running or walking (Hip extension). They are also responsible for bending the knee (Knee flexion).
Injuries to the hamstrings occur when the muscles are stretched too far. Fast or twisting motions like sprinting are common causes of hamstring injuries- occurring most often in activities that involve running, jumping and kicking. With low levels of fitness and poor flexibility also being contributing factors, hamstrings injuries can happen to anyone.
Most SOLE THERAPY patients that suffer from hamstring pain have suffered with it for a long time. They often note feeling tight in the back of the thigh or a pulling sensation that slows them down.
Calf Insertion Pain
The calf is made up of two muscles but only one of these muscles crosses the knee- the gastrocnemius muscle. This muscle starts at the end of the thigh bone behind the knee, runs down the leg and inserts into the Achilles tendon with other muscles. The role of the gastrocnemius is to point the foot (Ankle plantar flexion) and also assisting in bending the knee (Knee flexion).
Damage to the top of the calf muscles can occur to anyone, but is more common in people with poor flexibility, poor knee stability or muscles that have not been conditioned or warmed up well. Patients will complain of gradual pain occurring at the back of the knee. The top of the muscle will be sore to touch and pain is reproduced when resisting bending of the knee.
Injuries occur to the top of the gastrocnemius in situations where the leg is straightened with the ankle bent- the calf is at maximal stretch in this position. A forceful push off or pointing of the ankle can place too much force onto the muscle causing injury.
At SOLE THERAPY our 1 hour comprehensive biomechanical assessment will address your pain and also get to the bottom of the cause. Our podiatrists have a range of treatment options that will can be personalized to your lifestyle, get you out of pain and prevent injury from occurring again. These include:
- Dry needling and acupuncture
- Customized functional orthotics
- Personalized at home stretching programs
- Advice on joint strengthening
- Footwear options and fitting advice
If you are getting pain behind the knee, come and visit SOLE THERAPY so we can get you out of pain!
Words from one of our Podiatrist's,
DR VICTORIA KOKOTATSIOS