Jump to content
Ballet Talk for Dancers to close ×
Ballet Talk for Dancers

Hamstring Ouch!


Recommended Posts

Hello all,


I've been plagued by some hamstring trouble for the past few months. :yes: I pulled my hamstring in November 2003, and I immediately eased off of it, downscaling my efforts in class (particularly with such things as grandes battements, penche, and grand jete) and only doing light stretching from time to time. After a while, I felt improvement and was able to return to dancing "full out". However, I still feel a strange twitch whenever I stretch my hamstring in isolation...that is, the twitch doesn't present itself when I stretch both legs together. I only feel the twitch when I stretch the afflicted leg by itself. My ballet instructor told me that it could be one of two things: 1. the muscle tendon is shifting either laterally or medially as I stretch the muscle out, which is causing the twitch, or 2. the muscle is overstretched. The twitch happens in the lateral half of my hamstring (further away from midline) and slightly above my knee.


What I'm looking for is a confirmation that my instructor was on the right track with her "diagnosis", as well as suggestions for treatment. Are there certain stretches that I should be doing or, as it were, NOT doing? Should I still be having trouble with my hamstring when the initial injury happened in November? Any help/suggestions would be fantastic.




Link to comment

Hi Jamie


Sorry to hear about your hamstring problem. What does concern me deeply is that you have relied on your ballet instructor for a diagnosis. Is she is medical doctor by any chance? Although I highly value the advice given by my ballet teachers, if I am in any pain, and with you , it seems as though you have been in pain for over 6 months, I would seek the advice of a medical doctor. Only they will be able to assess you properly, and maybe they will recommend a Physical therapist, who will give you specific exercises to do.


In answer to what stretches you should be doing and those that you shouldn't, the basic answer is, 'if it causes you pain, then don't do it'. Not very helpful, I know.

If you had the initial injury in November, and its now July, and you are still having problems, then you really do need to see someone for professional advice, otherwise you could be causing irreparable damage to your hamstring.



Link to comment

Hamstring strains do take quite a long time to heal (up to 9 months sometimes), and there is often scar tissue from the healing process. PT can help. Also, there are masage techniques and various other modalities (I've benefited a lot from ultrasound treatments on my muscles). Xena is right to advise seeing a medical doctor for this. In addition, I've gotten good results from a doctor of chiropractic who works extensively with dancers. I have a strain in my left hamstring right now and can sympathise. Cambre forward and grands battements are pretty sad looking at the moment.


Good luck!

Link to comment

Jeanette and lampwick,


Thanks for your advice. There are mainly two reasons why I haven't seen a doctor yet: 1. since I'm a full-time graduate student and don't have medical coverage, I was trying to avoid wallet strain in addition to hamstring strain, and 2. I guess I didn't realize the severity of the injury I may be dealing with. I suspected that I might have to see a doctor, but hearing that advice from both of you solidifies it for me.


Thanks again!


Link to comment

Harkness Center for Dance Injuries


Westside Dance Physical Therapy


Since money's an issue, you want to be sure to get all you can from your care. I put those two links (if you don't know about these places already). Never been to either one personally, but they have good reputations.


Your ballet teacher may have someone to recommend too.

Link to comment



Thank you so much for those links...those facilities look quite impressive! I've made an appointment to see a chiropractor next week about some tension and soreness I've been experiencing in my lower back, so I will be sure to tell her about my hamstring to see what she thinks. If that doesn't work out, I will definitely visit one of the facilities you suggested.

Link to comment

Lower back tightness and hamstring injuries? Your psoas may be in spasm (I don't really know) Just wanted to sympathise in advance if you need some massage work on that muscle. Have fun :green:

Link to comment



Your psoas spasm theory definitely seems logical...at the very least, it could explain why I can't seem to open up my hip flexors no matter how diligent I am about stretching!


I will post an update after I see the chiropractor this week. Thanks for the advance sympathy. :P

Link to comment

Yes Jamie, do keep us posted on how you are going with treatment. You definately sound like you really need some Tender Loving Care (TLC) :P

Link to comment

I saw the chiropractor today. As it turns out, my right hip was posteriorly and inferiorly rotated, which pulled my right leg upward slightly and made it about 1/2 an inch shorter than my left leg. My hamstring injury, also in my right leg, was likely caused by overcompensation for my misalignment. My chiropractor gave me a few adjustments and then showed me a few exercises to do to help my adjustments "stick". I have to go back next week for a check-up. I also have to lay off the right hamstring for a while and treat it as a regular pull...only very light stretching until the twitch disappears.


I don't know if this is psychosomatic or not, but I already feel better and my adjustment was only an hour ago! :shrug:

Link to comment
  • 1 month later...


I wanted to check in and see how your hamstring recovery is doing, since I seem to have a hamstring problem myslelf right now :( Also, Jeujeucda and Tigger both mentioned hamstring pains back in '03 - how are you both doing?? Has anything in particular helped with your recovery?


I think I overstretched my left hamstring 3 or 4 months ago. I was in a modern class and we were doing a straddle stretch after having warmed up. I remember thinking "wow - I'm pretty flexible today - my stomach is almost on the floor!" Well, apparently the left leg didn't like that too much. :flowers: The next time I tried the straddle I had definite pain and soreness in the left hamstring, right where it connects at the top of the leg/butt and I could barely lean forward at all into the stretch. I kind of cut back on the stretching at that point, just doing very gentle stretches on that side. Stupidly, I didn't do the RICE thing, since the pain wasn't bad - it didn't hurt when walking and really only seemed to bother me when doing specific hamstring stretches and grande battement. Then, I basically had the month of July off, with no classes, since I was recovering from a different injury, and I hoped the rest would take care of it. But now I'm easing back into exercise and classes (went to a beginning ballet class on Sunday!!! yay!!) and the pain and stiffness are definitely still there. I'm going to talk to my physical therapist about it later this week, but I'm wondering how you all coped?? Thanks!

Link to comment

Why do people always go to chiros for muscle problems? Get thee to a Orthopedist! (AKA Orthopedic surgeon) STAT! Only they know how muscles and bones work, and only they can prescribe physical therapy (and some very cool drugs) if necessary.


PTs are specialists and some of the best healers you will ever meet. Many specialize in dancers.


Now get going!



Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...