2 Tips to Relieve Tight Hamstrings and Lower Back Pain

2 Tips to Relieve Tight Hamstrings and Lower Back Pain

Desk jockeys who are chained to their laptops fall prey to a sedentary lifestyle which inevitably leads to tight hamstrings and lower back pain.

According to the American Academy of Pain Medicine, Back pain is the leading cause of disability in Americans under 45 years old.

The main causes of non-specific back pain, or pain that’s not connected to a single trauma, is obesity, muscle weakness, a genetic component, or a sedentary lifestyle.

When rehabbing your back on your own, and correcting your sitting posture, spend some time loosening your hamstrings.

Tightness in the hamstrings limits the motion in your pelvis, which can stress the low back and make it more difficult to truly stand upright.

So here are 2 Tips to loosen tight hamstrings and lower back pain:

1. Foam Roll Your Hamstrings

tight hamstrings and lower back pain

Place the foam roller underneath your upper hamstring muscles below your glutes. Cross your right leg over your left leg and roll the foam roller down from your glutes to right above your left knee. Do 10-12 slow and steady passes. Repeat on the other side.

Learn more foam rolling techniques

2. Downward-Facing Dog

tight hamstrings and lower back pain

Start on your hands and knees, with your hands slightly in front of your shoulders. Pressing back, raise your knees away from the floor and lift your tailbone up toward the ceiling. For an added hamstring stretch, gently push your heels toward the floor. Hold the position for 5 to 10 breaths, and repeat the pose five to seven times.

If fully straightening your legs is problematic while doing Downward-Facing Dog, you might be shifting your weight forward into your hands to decrease the pain in your hamstrings and calves. If this is happening, try doing a Quarter Dog .

tight hamstrings and lower back pain

With practice, Downward-Facing Dog will help to increase your hamstring and calf flexibility, which will alleviate any pain you might feel in your legs.
Take breaks from Downward Facing Dog and try a Child’s Pose.

tight hamstrings and lower back pain

Start on all fours with your arms stretched out straight in front of you, then sit back so your glutes (butt muscles) come to rest just above — but not touching — your heels. Hold the position for 5 to10 breaths, and repeat as many times as needed for a good, soothing stretch.

Learn more yoga poses

I hope that these exercises have helped relieve your tight hamstrings and lower back pain.

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I was lucky that Morgan had a free spot this week because the stiff neck I’d had for a while suddenly turned into an excruciating neck/back/shoulder problem. Morgan got right to work, giving a very deep and sometimes painful massage. He also gave me some tips for exercises. Last night and this morning I still felt stiff and achy, but now, 24 hours later, my shoulders are significantly looser and I can turn my head! I look forward to the first good night of sleep in a week!

- Ann D.