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Pulled my tendon - how long does it take to heal?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:33 AM in Lower Back Pain
Hi. I have had stiff back for almost a year now. Every couple months my back would just give out and I need to be in bed for couple days before I can walk straight again.

About 2 to 2 1/2 months ago my back was a little stiff and I bent down to do something and right there I felt that I pull my right thigh tendon - the Vastus Lateralis, actually. The pain starts at the top right below my pelvis bone on the rigit side, and radiates along the tendon to my knee. But the pain was very minor, and what came next was much more serious.

About 5 weeks ago my back got stiff again, after a day and a half of rest I decided to be more active and started to do some cleanup in the garage. That involved a lot of bending. Afterward I was so stiff I couldn't walk straight and had to go rest in bed. After couple hours I could not get up without intense pain along where both my Gluteus Maximus (please check on wikipedia as this is the most accurate way I know to describe it) join my hip bone. And if I made a wrong move my muscle would go into a painful spasm.

So I was in bed for two weeks and the only place I could go was to the bathroom. I couldn't really stand as any load placed on my lower back would cause it to hurt.

After two weeks I was about to move around a little. After four weeks I was able to walk around straight but I could not sit for long as the pain would start to appear and I would need to stand up and walk around a little bit.

Now it's been five weeks. I can walk around, sit for more than 20 minutes depending on the chair. Can bend over the sink a little without too much pain. However, what is really bothering me is that my Vastus Lateralis tendon on my right thigh still hurts a little when I pull on it - as when I do some stretching on my back in bed.

So my question is, am I doing it more harm than good since I've been doing stretching exercise and stretching makes it hurt? How long does it usually take a pulled tendon to heal? As for the rest of my lower back - if I use the muscle it hurts. If I pull on the muscle (like dangling myself from a pull-up bar, for instance), it hurts. I think the tendons are still inflamed.

My lower back hurts but this right thigh tendon is really worrying me because I thought it should've been healed by now.

I don't have any numbness or pain and needle or mobility issue and my thigh pain is really only apparent when I pull on the muscle and has nothing to do with whether my spine is under load. I'm just wondering if it would ever heal 100%.

I figure I would need to get this tendon straightened out before I deal with my back. I did see a doctor about 3 weeks ago but my lower back pain was much worse and thus I did not notice that I still got pain along my right thigh tendon.

Again should I be stretching the tendon before it heals 100%? How long does it usually take a pulled tendon to heal? Thanks for any help.


  • Welcome to the site and sorry to hear of your condition but congratulate you on your positive attitude about your condition. Just so we are talking the same language the ligaments join bone to bone while tendons join the muscle to bone. Are you talking where that muscle (of the quadriceps group) joins the bone (and which end is causing problems) or the whole muscle is so tight and it is muscle tightness (and both connecting ends) you are worried about?

    The problem I had was a herniated disk and this was crushing the nerve (where it exits the spine) causing the same muscle (and at times others) to spasm and tighten. Stretching the quadriceps may be treating the symptom whereas if your problem is like mine then you may need to look carefully at the cause.

    What did the doctor say 3 weeks ago as the root cause of the year of pains and this 5 week episode and what tests did he/she do to come to the diagnosis? If you have not seen http://www.spine-health.com/video/back-pain-when-should-i-see-a-doctor-treatment suggest you have a quick look and some of the other web pages on this site.

    You seem to have done some muscle analysis so ask how are you stretching the muscle and could this be twisting or compressing the spine and lower lumbar disks (which would cause the stretching to make the situation worse)? There are ways to stretch a muscle that may be isolated to that muscle (e.g. laying down and using a towel) but you would need to do some research and suggest you see a Physical Therapist if possible.

    Hope that you continue to recover and suggest you see your doctor again. If the diagnosis of the root cause is known then you can correctly treat the condition rather than a symptom.

    Note: that I am not part of the medical profession so this should be treated as an unqualified opinion and suggestion.

    Kind Regards
  • Hi. Thanks for your comments. I do mean tendon. The reasons are two:

    One. the pain is at worst where the muscle attaches to my pelvis. And it radiates down. If I torn my muscle fiber the whole muscle would feel stiff. That is not the case.

    Two. When I was little I torn the tendon of my shoulder once, and it is exactly that kind of feeling - where when you move the muscle it is not the muscle that hurts but the point where it attaches to the bone.

    I don't remember how long it took my shoulder to heal but I do know that it wasn't that long and I just didn't use my shoulder at all when it was healing. But I need to walk.

    I do not have sporadic spasm. The only spasm I had was the first three or four days when I could not get out of bed because my lower back hurt so much and I would accidentally exert load on my lower back muscle causing my muscle to contract. But this is a whole different story. My right leg tendon does not have spasm.

    I went to see an acupuncture doctor today and she told me my spine is a little compressed but not pressing against the nerve. And that my spine is not in proper shape or something and I did not fully understand what she meant. She said acupuncture would relax my muscles so she can do a proper adjustment. I elected to wait till next week to see how I feel.

    The thing about compressed disks is that I read many many people with compressed disks don't have pain. But in any case I am getting a little better every day and it's just that this tendon along my right thigh is really annoying. It is what hurts when I sit.

    I've been trying to stretch my spine on my own. I don't even know if it helps. I think I feel better but It might all be psychological.
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  • I'm glad to read you are getting better every day. That's good news. As for tendons........I had a partial tear to my achilles tendon 3 years ago, dx by MRI. I wore a boot for 6 weeks. Three years later, it still gives me pain if I'm on my feet for too long for one time, or at the end of the work week. :''( I don't think it will ever be pain free. Just another of the parts of my body I want transplanted =)) . Good luck, hope you do lots better than I did.

  • Hi. Sorry about your tendon. Actually I am not really sure it is a tendon pull or not because I keep reading about disk pressing against a nerve would give me the same sensation. But this nerve, this starts from all the way up about the belt line instead of under the buttock so I don't know.

    Anyway, I am getting a teeny tiny bit better everyday. I just hope that it does not become a chronic issue. The pain is really not that much, it is just annoying. And it still hurts when I bend. My morning stiffness is generally gone. But my lower back and thigh pain is still the limiting factor of my mobility.

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