This is a question I am often asked when dealing with hamstring injuries. My typical answer is, “it depends”.  Some of the questions I ask are as follows

  1. Was there a particular incident that led to a pain in your hamstring?
  2. Is it something that gradually came on over time?
  3. Do you have a history of hamstring injuries?
  4. Does the pain go down the leg?
  5. Describe what the pain feels like? Is it a sharp shooting electric like pain?
  6. Have you any numbness, tingling, pins and needles?
  7. Are there any associated issues that might relate to it?
  8. How is your general health?
  9. How is your bladder and bowel movements?

If the answers to Q4-Q7 is No, and Q8 and Q9 are Good, I am usually happy to let someone run with a bit of hamstring pain.

Hamstring pain can come from a number of sources like tendinopathy, muscle strain, muscle tears, referred pain from the lower back or glutes, etc.

Research tells us, a comprehensive early rehabilitation plan following a muscle tear, strain or tendinopathy is advocated. Some gentle initial running, were pain allows is part of this process.

On a VAS scale of 0-10 with 0 being no pain and 10 being the worst pain you have ever felt. I advocate running if your pain is around a 3-4 and it;

  1. doesn’t increase with duration
  2. comes back to baseline afterward your run
  3. hasn’t increased in pain the following morning

All too often we are afraid to exercise due to pain. Sometimes it’s ok to exercise with a little pain. It doesn’t mean you are making something worse, just that you are asking an area that is irritated to do some work.