Interpreting your PHT symptoms over 24 hours

Title: Interpreting Your Proximal Hamstring Tendinopathy Symptoms

Introduction: Welcome to another episode of our podcast series dedicated to helping you overcome the challenges of proximal hamstring tendinopathy. I’m Brodie Sharp, an online physiotherapist and recreational athlete, and today we’re diving into a crucial topic – how to accurately interpret the symptoms associated with proximal hamstring tendinopathy. This episode is designed to provide you with the knowledge and practical takeaways you need to tackle this condition effectively.

Understanding Proximal Hamstring Tendinopathy: Before we get into the nitty-gritty of interpreting symptoms, let’s briefly recap the journey of our injury-prone friend, Pete. Pete, like many runners, started experiencing symptoms that he initially ignored. His Achilles began to feel tight and mildly painful after increasing his running distance and incorporating more hills into his routine. The pain wasn’t too bothersome during his runs, especially after he warmed up, which led Pete to believe he could continue running.

As weeks went by, however, he noticed increasing stiffness and pain during his first steps in the morning, especially after running the previous day. Despite managing symptoms well during his runs, Pete’s condition didn’t improve. This is a classic case of proximal hamstring tendinopathy, and we can learn valuable lessons from Pete’s experience.

Assessing Symptoms in Proximal Hamstring Tendinopathy: One of the essential steps in managing proximal hamstring tendinopathy is to accurately assess your symptoms over a 24-hour period. Your symptoms can vary before, during, immediately after running, and even the following day. It’s crucial to pay attention to the timing and severity of your discomfort to make informed decisions about your training and recovery.

  • Pain During the Run: In many cases, tendinopathy symptoms may improve during your run as your tissues warm up and gently adapt to the load. However, this is often followed by mild pain after your run, which can be different from the expected muscle soreness following a workout.
  • Morning Stiffness and Pain: Morning stiffness and pain are particularly informative in assessing whether you’ve overloaded the affected structures. If you wake up with increased discomfort the day after physical activity, it’s a sign that you may have exceeded your capacity to tolerate load.

Real-World Application: Different running-related conditions can present symptoms at different times, and understanding these patterns can help you manage your condition effectively:

  • Conditions like patellofemoral pain and ITB injuries often manifest during a run and worsen as the run progresses.
  • Acute tendinopathies, such as Achilles tendinopathy, can become more painful after you cool down following exercise.
  • Plantar fasciitis typically results in soreness and stiffness during the first steps in the morning.

Tolerating Load and Monitoring Symptoms: For individuals with chronic tendinopathy, like Achilles or patellar tendinopathy that has persisted for more than 12 months, the key is to ensure that symptoms are not worse the day after an activity. If you can wake up with only mild discomfort, say a two out of ten pain level, it indicates that your load management is appropriate.

Testing and Retesting: To further assess your condition, consider specific tests and retests. For instance, you can perform a “shoe-off test” and check for any changes in pain before and after a run or exercise. Similarly, you can evaluate the level of discomfort while lying on your back with your legs resting on a surface and dig your heel into it.

The Influence of Thoughts and Emotions: Keep in mind that emotions, fears, and anxieties can influence your perception of pain. Some individuals may experience more pain when they’re anxious or downcast, while positive emotions can reduce pain severity.

Conclusion: Accurately interpreting your symptoms is a critical step in managing proximal hamstring tendinopathy effectively. By paying attention to when and how your symptoms arise, you can make informed decisions about your training and rehabilitation. Remember that knowledge is power, and your understanding of your condition is key to your recovery journey.

In our next episode, we’ll explore the hidden dangers that can hinder your tendon’s recovery. Stay tuned for more valuable insights and practical advice on your path to overcoming proximal hamstring tendinopathy. Thank you for listening and taking control of your rehabilitation.