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What is biceps femoris tendinopathy?

Biceps femoris tendinopathy is inflammation within the biceps femoris tendon which lies to the outside of the back of the knee. The biceps femoris is one of the hamstring muscle group. Biceps femoris tendinopathy is sometimes called biceps femoris tendonitis. Physiotherapy is an important treatment for biceps femoris tendinopathy.

How does biceps femoris tendinopathy happen?

Biceps femoris tendinopathy occurs most commonly in sports involving lots of acceleration and deceleration. The biceps femoris tendon transmits forces produced by the biceps femoris muscle (one of the hamstring muscle group) to the lower leg to control movement of the leg at the knee joint. Repetitive use of the biceps femoris muscle and, therefore, the biceps femoris tendon can cause microscopic tears within the tendon. The body acts to repair these microscopic tears by commencing an inflammatory response. This inflammation within the tendon is tendinopathy.

What are the symptoms of biceps femoris tendinopathy?

Biceps femoris tendinopathy causes a gradual onset of pain felt to the outside of the back of the knee. Initially, the pain may only be present after exercise. At this stage the pain is often ignored as it is relieved with gentle movements or the application of heat. However, if you ignore the problem and continue to exercise, the tendinopathy is likely to worsen and your pain may begin to be present for longer periods during exercise until it is present all of the time. Symptoms may include:

What should I do if I have biceps femoris tendinopathy?

If you have biceps femoris tendinopathy you should arrange a physiotherapy appointment as soon as possible. Without treatment it does not generally get better. In the meantime you can begin icing the painful area for 15-20 minutes every 1-2 hours using a bag of frozen peas or crushed ice wrapped in a damp cloth.

What shouldn’t I do if I have biceps femoris tendinopathy?

If you suspect that you have biceps femoris tendinopathy, you should not ignore the problem and continue to exercise. Although the pain may ease as you exercise; the exercise itself could be causing further damage. If this occurs, you may find that your pain starts to worsen with exercise and your recovery may be prolonged.

Could there be any long-term effects from biceps femoris tendinopathy?

If left undiagnosed and untreated, biceps femoris tendinopathy can lead to prolonged pain at the back of the knee and a prolonged lay-off from exercise and sport.

Physiotherapy treatment for biceps femoris tendinopathy.

Physiotherapy is important in the treatment of biceps femoris tendinopathy. At the initial assessment, your physiotherapist will be able to diagnose your problem and its severity. Following diagnosis, your physiotherapist will develop a treatment programme specifically for you. Treatment may involve: To arrange a physiotherapy assessment call Physio.co.uk on 0330 088 7800 or book online.

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