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Sore biceps femoris - how long to get though this?




Mar 22, 10 20:15

Post #1 of 9 (23360 views)
Sore biceps femoris - how long to get though this? Quote | Reply

First, yes I am scheduled to see a PT later this week, I just thought I'd see what others' experience has been and how long it took to get through this. I have been running 40 to 50 mile weeks to get ready for the season, the first time I have consistently done this kind of volume. I think I was smart about the build-up, and hadn't had any issues at all until 2 weeks ago. I went for an easy 10 miler Monday evening between work and a work dinner. Felt great, it was the first run of the year in just a T-shirt. But then on my short lunchtime run Tuesday, I immediately began to feel pain in my left biceps femoris, not far above the knee. I walked a bit and tried to run easy, but no go, so I stopped and walked back. Once walking, I had very little pain at all. Since then, I find that I can swim or cycle with just a slight awareness of that area, no real pain to speak of. Sometimes no sensation at all. And after a day off running Wednesday, if I run easy, I will feel it for a few miles, then it lessens as I go. But tempo pace became painful after a few miles later that week, so again I ran easy for a few days with a day off here and there. Then tried mile repeats, which felt fine to start, but at the end of the 1st mile started to hurt, so again back off and ran easy and the pain lessened dramatically.

I realize as I type this what folks are going to say, but damn, this is the wrong time of the year to back off or give it a complete rest. I'm signed up for 2 races in May and June, and it's time to be building speed after all that base work. I guess I'm just hoping that anti-inflammatories or something would do the trick.

One other thing - I have never had pain here before. And the fact that it started quite early in a short, easy run really mystifies me. The only thing that I changed was that on the Monday evening run I used a brand new pair of Saucony Omni 8's, then went back to my Omni 7 Moderates on Tuesday. The 8's feel the same to me, but that's all that differed from my usual routine.

Thanks in advance for whatever you share.



It wasn't for the money, at least it didn't start that way
It wasn't for the running, but now he's running every day


Mar 23, 10 4:56

Post #2 of 9 (23324 views)
Re: Sore biceps femoris - how long to get though this? [ergopower] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Bump for morning folk


It wasn't for the money, at least it didn't start that way
It wasn't for the running, but now he's running every day


Mar 23, 10 10:01

Post #3 of 9 (23293 views)
Re: Sore biceps femoris - how long to get though this? [ergopower] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Try sports massage, pick the person carefully, make sure they really dig in to the sore area or do trigger point. Also a sports specific physical therapist. You may have some muscle imbalances which could be causing the problem. Make sure you listen to your body and do not run through the pain that could cause a worst chronic problem. Ice and get correct stretching for the area from a physical therapist. It should not be the end of your season if you handle it correctly. Good luck


Mar 23, 10 10:53

Post #4 of 9 (23279 views)
Re: Sore biceps femoris - how long to get though this? [ergopower] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I strained my bicep femoris about 3 weeks ago and I know how frustrating it is. It doesn't hurt as you walk or even when you do light exercise, but as soon as you add some gas you know you'll feel it later in the day.

Doc said probably 4-6 weeks of rest will heal it. The main muscle that pulls on the bicep femoris is the hamstring, so she said go easy on runs and biking. Swimming seemed to have less restrictions since it doesn't seem to use the hamstrings too much.

Stretch and let it rest a bit. You'll be glad when you don't end up with chronic injuries.

"The solution is to just go faster"

Flying Wombat

Mar 23, 10 11:06

Post #5 of 9 (23267 views)
Re: Sore biceps femoris - how long to get though this? [ergopower] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I have had several issues with the exactly what you describe. It always seems to come on easy short runs, and usually about 2-3 months after I start back running after a hiatus. For me its in one point in the muscle and will be intense enough to stop me in my tracks. As you say cycling and swimming dont seem to bother it. I have found the worst thing I can do is run until its sore, rest a bit then try again. This just extends it out longer.
I have found taking a week or two off running to allow the acute symptoms to subside and then a slow return with some walk/run combinations. Running a little often is better than running more less frequently. I have found 10-15 minutes per day easy and then 2x per day on a couple of days to be better than 45 minutes at a time. (thanks Desert Dude for that one!)
I also had some trigger point injections into the muscle during the rest period that helped.



Mar 23, 10 14:55

Post #6 of 9 (23241 views)
Re: Sore biceps femoris - how long to get though this? [ergopower] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Thanks all for the comments. Saw the PT this afternoon. He feels that it is an overuse issue, perhaps aggravated by inflexibility in my big toe joint. He had me walk with sensor pads inside my shoes, and my left foot consistently had a very high pressure point at my big toe, while the right foot was fairly normal. Corroborated by wear pattern he observed on the soles of my running shoes. I had never even been aware of it. Otherwise my flexibility/range of motion were good.

So 2 weeks of no road running, will focus on cycling and swimming and do some deep water running. Then resume with an easy week then see if I can do tempo and interval workouts. If no problem, he'd prefer not to change anything, but probably work on flexibility at that joint. If still problems, he thinks orthotics might help. Fingers crossed.

Hope everyone's training goes well, hope to toe the line @ Jerseyman and the D.C. triathlon.



It wasn't for the money, at least it didn't start that way
It wasn't for the running, but now he's running every day


May 5, 10 20:28

Post #7 of 9 (23088 views)
Re: Sore biceps femoris - how long to get though this? [ergopower] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I'm dealing with the same thing right now. Did lots of steady state base building until a week ago and decided it was time to start up tempo. Did too much and now I'm injured. Left Hamstring deep inside just won't tolerate runnng. I can get away with stretching, light weights, swim and bike, but can't run. I'm also entered in a couple tune up events in early June. Hopefully, I can get it resolved and get through those for training. I've had this before it usually resolves itself after a few weeks of false starts. Just don't let up on the other activites and you should be ok.


May 6, 10 4:03

Post #8 of 9 (23058 views)
Re: Sore biceps femoris - how long to get though this? [ergopower] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I was pain free there until I pulled it during a race on the bike in may of 09. Rather then stop, I pushed on and had to walk the run. I couldn't ride more than 30 minutes after, and spent a month in PT and at different doc's. It took a few different people to diagnose it as a hamstring pull and biceps femoris tendonitis (fibular head pain).

I was put on anti-inflamitories and really focused on stretching. This one is what finally worked for me. Take your time, I was stupid and wanted to race through it, and lost about 9 months overall.

ErgDB Erg & PowerAgent workout generator | My blog - special thanks to Kiwami


Apr 18, 13 7:00

Post #9 of 9 (14208 views)
Re: Sore biceps femoris - how long to get though this? [ergopower] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Hey ergopower,

May not add much more to what has been said, but wish to emphasize a "Stop And Heal" approach. In 2010 I had my first Femoris issue, two physio sessions, needles seem to solve it. But it was an illusion as cycling does not expose the injury. I was not doing too much running due to knee surgeries. 2 summers I did 11000 kms cycling but tops 1000 running. All I felt, gradually, is slight tightness in my right leg. felt the need to stretch.

Last summer had a brief one week lower back discomfort, which passed away. Later I learned that was the SI joint..

This winter (Canada) I added more running, TM. Was pretty fast once I stretched. The hamstring tension was not an issue. Then, march this year, BLAM, I could not run one more step. Had to google anatomy, seek physio, and this is what I suddenly developped: SI joint dysfunction, piriformis sciatica, high hamstring tendenosis and loss of feel in my right hamstring. Had to add chiro (3 physio and 3 chiro sessions a week). Gradually, the SI unlocked, (each session relived many hamstring symptoms )swelling subsided. Piriformis began improving. Then we found the ischeal tuberosity tendon lumps after lots of effort, hiding below the tuberosity (you have to use a 2 inch hard rubber ball or drop on the ischeal tuberosity using a gym machine handle and break the lumps). Tennis ball is too big... The swell was so substantial that the whole thing felt natural and uniform. Yet when compared to the other leg, it seemed painful and bigger. In practical terms, I could not flex 5 lbs on the flex machine... Eventually, we found the ground zero: going down a painful sheath, mid length , the bicep femoris, from two years ago. As the BF lost functionality, tightened the muscle, dropped my strength and flexibility. Pulled the pelvis backwards, and locked my SI joint more and more till it froze this March. For 2 years did not feel much, but the chain effect caught on. To test would ART the BF, I could temporarily curl, that's how we knew. Other wise ROM or functional tests would not reveal much.

Was I going to need a Sciatic injection?

Was it an L4-5 disc?

Would I need a piriformis injection?

Is my sciatic trapped by the piriformis?

Turns out no. No more running. HAD TO STOP. A month now, no choice. Yesterday I did 1 hr cycling, first ride outside. I was weak, underpowered but the femoris was hardly felt. Lesson: cycling does not use the femoris nearly as much as running, but may still gradually wear it. I feel good: cycling circulated my cells, etc, speeds up recovery. But physio for the femoris and BF/ST tendon recovery must go on.

Am finally, clearly recovering. But the key lesson is, as far as you feel anything, and I mean, anything in your BF, do not run and must do the required physio to break down the scar tissue, and heal it. Then gradually resume. No choice.

The slowest healing part of my group is obviously, the tendon portion. 8 weeks median, 14-30 weeks numerous patients. It takes that long for collagen cells to become functional tendons.... A single run step at 80% would, guaranteed, set me back. Two runs and I would be fully reinjured again.

Even if my piriformis is 90% healed and I can run 100% (as I seem to do these past two years) I now know better and will heal it first, completely. Done it before on other muscles, this one is not different. I do not want an avulsion or permanently scarred hamstring group..

Medical articles, sports medicine all said the same thing: a hamstring injury must be treated as a chain thing, in parallel with hip and lower back evaluations and never in isolation. They were right, as my physio and chiro found a chain effect. You could heal an SI joint but a defective HS will lock it up again... Or you can heal a hamstring but a locked SI joint will not mov eand that hamstring will be overstretched from the get go.

Finally, remembering the injury history is critical at establishing a diagnostic, as well as healing roadmap. An understanding of anatomy also important.

Speedy recovery...

Oh I forgot... Anti inflammatories are good and bad. they help reduce inflammation or pain (say a sciatic type issue), and to get out of bed. Drop the swelling (for bigger tears, Grades 2-3 or 3) which you appear not have as you can still function). But BAD as they slow down the very inflammation that is designed to envelop and heal your tendons.. Key is I had maybe a Grade 1 to 2 strain, and no requirement for steroid or PRP injection. From my surgeries though, bottom line: never use NSAIDs unless in pain or as directed, otherwise, so say the specialists, they slow down the repair of torn tissue.

(This post was edited by Belisarius on Apr 18, 13 7:15)


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