Are Tight Hamstrings Causing Your Back Pain?

The human body is a miraculous machine that works separate components together to function. This being said, when one part of the body isn't able to function properly, it can effect other parts of the body. Often times this can create pain and inflammation in the movement systems affected. Are tight hamstrings causing your back pain? Let's take a deeper look to learn more.

How the Hamstrings Work

The hamstrings are the long muscles along the back of your thigh. They are made up of three different muscles that mainly control knee flexion and hip extension. They play an important role during walking or running, because they decelerate the leg during movement and protect the knee and hip joints.

How Tight Hamstrings Affect the Spine

Yes, it can be tight hamstrings causing your back pain. Because the hamstrings originate on the pelvis, if they are tight, they can cause the pelvis to shift posteriorly. This pelvis shift forces the lumbar spine to go into a forward flex position. In this position the muscles that work to stabilize the spine are over active, particularly the quadratus lumborum. This can lead to back pain and increased tightness in the lumbar spine. A forward flexed spine can also lead to stress on the intervertebral discs and even cause a herniation.

What You Can Do To Treat Tight Hamstrings

Whether it is tight hamstrings to blame for your back pain or even if you notice that your hamstrings are tight, it is a good idea to keep them flexible. Although it can vary, normal hamstring flexibility is from 75-95 degrees. So a good goal is to be able to stretch your leg 90 degrees perpendicular from your trunk. There are several ways to help improve your hamstring flexibility:

  • Self or Assisted Stretching
  • Massage Therapy
  • Foam Rolls or Massage Guns
  • Corrective Exercise Program for Core Stability and Flexibility

If you suspect that tight hamstrings are causing your back pain, or if you have back pain in general, contact Silver Chiropractic and Wellness to get a full evaluation. Dr. Silver can get you back on track to a healthy spine and improved overall health.