Hi! Apologies in advance for the dissertation…
I’ve been dealing with some fairly specific lower hamstring/outer knee pain for quite some time and am hoping this group could offer thoughts as to what the issue might be.
For a few months (~Dec. to early March) I had a nagging issue on my lower hamstring. In the most extreme ranges of knee flexion/extension I would get pain at my lower hamstring. I first noticed it kneeling on the edge of a mat at a climbing gym. I’d have the leg bent, kneeling, and wouldn’t be able to full straighten my leg when I got back up. A few steps in it would alleviate (some). Likewise, after standing for a while, bending my leg up would cause pain at the knee, particularly the outside of the knee.
I had been running all the while, with a foolish assumption that consistent use and stretching might “work it out”. The pain stuck around, and came to a head on a downhill trail after a particularity steep uphill. At that point, the lateral knee pain started and has been more a problem since, especially when bending my leg after standing. I had to hobble the last couple miles to the car that day, but have only had that degree of pain once since, on a 5-6 mile walk.
I’ve had some treatment and diagnosis from a chiropractor. Their thought is that the cause is hip weakness and imbalance. Specifically, my right leg was weaker than my left – where I feel the pain – and I was overusing my left leg and wore out the tissues. We’ve treated the tendons to my fibula head and IT Band tendon into my knee, but that provides only a bit of pain relief within a normal ROM. I can bike and complete a variety of strength training movements with no pain (e.g. squats, lunges, leg lifts, stairs/step ups), though a straight leg on planks and pushups produces pain.
I’ve been foam rolling my left leg to oblivion for a bit more than 2 weeks on the advice of the doc. It’s helped the outer knee pain, but hasn’t changed the pain at the extremes of my range of motion – full straight leg or full bend.
Does anyone have an idea of what could cause this? The internet points to the popliteus or a hamstring and/or calf strain – but it’s pretty murky information, and the doc was quite sure it’s not a muscle strain.
I would greatly appreciate any thoughts this group might have on the cause/recovery/etc. – or even if this sounds like a familiar overuse issue.