Do you often experience tight hamstrings and back pain at the same time? If so, you’re not alone. The worst part is that these two problems are usually caused by the same thing: poor sitting habits.
So, how can we prevent and fix tight hamstrings and back pain?
Causes of Tight Hamstrings and Low Back Pain
First and foremost, we must understand why sleeping in a bad sleeping position can cause tight hamstrings and back pain. Sleeping in a poor, hunched-over position strains the muscles of the lower back and puts the whole body at risk for injury.
If you’ve ever woken up with a stiff or painful lower back or heavy legs, you know that it can be extremely painful to wake up from sleep like this.
Second, weak hamstrings.
Weak hamstrings are a major cause of back pain and many other problems associated with sitting.
Because your hamstrings are responsible for moving your entire body forward, keeping them strong and tight when you sit can help prevent muscle imbalances and poor posture that leads to back pain.
If your hamstrings are weak, then they will not be able to support all of the weight on your sitting bones when you sit down, causing low back pain and even injuries.
How do Tight Hamstrings contribute to low back pain?
Mostly by not letting the muscle relax fully. Tightness in the hamstrings causes your pelvis to tilt forward and the muscles to become too tight.
The result? Pain from sitting or standing, which is exacerbated when you walk, squat, or do any activity that involves lifting and bending your forward leg.
How can you prevent Tight Hamstrings?
Learn how to balance your body while working or standing up from a chair. You may want to consider doing this every day as part of your warm-up routine before starting any work out regimen. The key is doing it slowly and carefully.
Here are some examples:
Bridge: hold for several breaths and then let your knees relax.
Prone Hip Flexor Release: hold for several breaths, relaxing your hips as you let them drop to the floor.
One-legged Standing Piriformis Release: hold for several breaths, letting the tightness in your hip release. Repeat on other leg to get the full benefit.
Single knee-to-chest: hold for several breaths, letting the tight hip of your front leg release. Repeat on other leg to get the full benefit.
Supine straight-leg raises: hold for several breaths, letting your hips and lower back relax as you increase the stretch in your glutes.
The best thing you can do is stretch! You should stretch both when you wake up in the morning and before bed at night.
Don’t forget to take time throughout the day to stretch your hips and hamstrings using a foam roller or other self-massage tool. At times, it may seem better to just sit around and do nothing when your back hurts (and no one would blame you!) but remember that not stretching will only make your back problems worse in the long run.
Tight hamstrings can be a serious problem that leads to back pain, hamstring strains, and pulls. And if you aren’t careful, tight hamstrings can become another issue that you might have to deal with when you try to lose weight or just keep your weight at bay.
Creating the right balance of strength is an important step in keeping your body healthy and not putting too much strain on one part of it. Follow the tips above regularly and always remember to stretch out before engaging in any kind of physical activity or exercise.
To wrap this all up, keeping your hamstrings loose is easier than it may seem at first glance. It really just takes more stretching than most people perform on a regular basis.
Do you have a tight upper back also? Check the article below: