Question:

Before I started my job as a Delivery Driver for Amazon I was stretching and foam rolling daily. About a month into the job I started getting some hamstring and calf soreness/ swelling I suspect from stepping in and out of the vans with one leg so many times throughout the day. I’ve been able to mitigate the symptoms through icing and heat compression, however, it’s gotten to the point where on my left leg I can’t lunge on it like I used to.

Normal physical movement like getting down on one leg, kneeling down on one leg cause my hamstring and calf to swell up, get stiff and causes a dull pain. I can still walk and do my job but I’m much more limited physically and haven’t been able to stretch or foam roll it because the last time I did it aggravated it and made it worse. I’m waiting to get in with my doctor to possibly get an MRI. There is no visible bruising, I just can’t use my hamstring and calf muscles, especially on my left leg, like I used to. I haven’t stretched or foam rolled in months due to fear of re-aggravating it.

What’s going on? Could this he tendinitis symptoms? I did break my fibula on my left leg years ago playing soccer, perhaps that’s linked to this? For the record at my job I’m constantly on my feet all day and stepping in and out of vans and large vehicles, but I’ve found I have to try to limit this with my left leg since it tends to be the weakest. I’m frustrated that I’m not what I physically was as of last year. What can I do and is this an actual physical issue I can fix?


Answer:

Thank you for your question. So sorry to hear about the hamstring and calf soreness that you’ve been dealing with. Please note that without doing a full examination, it is difficult to comment on your specific condition. However, we should still be able to provide you with some useful information.

Pain in the hamstring and calf area can be indicative of several conditions. One possible condition is hamstring tendinitis, meaning the hamstring-bone attachment in the hip or behind the knee becomes inflamed. This is often due to overuse or a sudden increase in repetitive movement that continually stresses the hamstring tendon, such as stepping in and out of a van with the same leg throughout the day. Possible symptoms of hamstring tendinitis include pain and swelling at the back of the knee that increases with the irritating motions, as well as stiffness and muscle weakness such as you have described. While stretching and foam rolling can be helpful for such a condition, the timing at which it is performed is very important as it could very well aggravate symptoms if done too soon.

It is possible that an old injury such as a broken fibula could be linked to your symptoms since one of the hamstring muscles attaches to the fibula bone. Since you have already tried icing and modifying your activity at work with minimal improvement, you may benefit from an evaluation with a physical therapist to help determine whether you have tendinitis or something else going on. Based on description, your symptoms very much likely can be treated and resolved! The physical therapist would perform a detailed physical exam to determine the origin of your symptoms and would provide you with a more accurate diagnosis and the most appropriate treatment.


**This reply is for informational purposes only. It’s not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician, physical therapist, or other qualified health provider with a medical condition.