I have had a bad back now for 8 or 9 months. The pain changes all the time, sometimes right down by my tailbone, sometimes low back sometimes mid back and even up in the neck.
When I stretch my hamstrings it doesn't feel the saem as any other stretch, it def 'hurts' more than it stretches. i can never hold the stretch for long at all. When i stretch the quads i can hold it for a long time and it feels good, the hams just feel way too tight.
anythign I can do about this?
04-18-2006, 08:40 AM #1
Could tight hamstrings be the cause of my back pain?
04-18-2006, 08:43 AM #2
04-18-2006, 08:48 AM #3
04-18-2006, 09:18 AM #4Originally Posted by WeedyBloke
I went to the Doctor. His prognosis was, "People your age get lots of back pains. Let me prescribe some pain medication" Gee thanks, Pharmaceutical whore.
I went to the Chiro. He told me that my hamstrings are so tight, that they were actually pulling my pelvis a little out of alignment and this was in turn pinching a nerve. He gave me an icepack and told me to stretch with one leg straight up a wall and the other on the ground as often as I could.
The problem was gone in days.Green: It's the new Red
Let's just pray we're still allowed to vote in 2012.
04-18-2006, 11:33 AM #5
Ah this is promising. I was never sure how I injured my back as I never felt it go, never heard a pop or crack, it jsut seems to be a niggling injury that throbs away int he background.
My legs feel out of alignment, i can feel it when i bend down, it's why i don't squat. I have no pain in my legs, it's jsut like my body isn't moving right, you know, the mechanics of it.
Anyone have a link to good hamstring stretches with pics? i only know 1 basic one and like i said it's painful and hard to hold.
04-18-2006, 11:36 AM #6
Absolutely! I had SERIOUS lower back pain after my first year of grad school, and the Chiro told me to stretch...BOOM, gone.
Also, with respects to your neck pain. Try stretching your chest muscles. Tight chest muscles have a tendancy to put a lot of strain on your back, bad posture, leading to upper back/neck pain. Should take you about 10 minutes a day (5 minutes in the morning, 5 in the evening) to get rid of all your back pain.
04-18-2006, 12:00 PM #7
I've had this pain now since last june and it has caused me a great deal of depression. I have tried physios, osteopaths (cost me a fortune) and regular doctors (4 of them) and the longer it went on the worse i started to feel. the worry/stress has made it worse I'm sure. I've gone back to lifting now but almost my whole body aches/throbs at some time during the week, at other times that bodypart might be pain free, almost like it's not injured at all. It's soooo sfrustrating and no-one has been able to help me.
I'll be amazed if this is really all I needed to do. i will personally come round to your houses and be your gimpslave for a month if my pain goes
What kind of leg and chest stretches do i need to do?
04-18-2006, 12:03 PM #8Originally Posted by WeedyBloke
I have that book and its a really good purchase. Its pretty cheap and you can probably buy it at almost any bookstore.
I would focus on hamstring, hip flexor/extensor, groin and lower back flexibility for your problem. I have a similiar problem (short hammies) and I really feel like the stretches I've been doing are helping alot with my back problems.
edit: check the stretches at the bottom of the page here. Particularly #2 and #3 for hamstring and hips. You should still buy the book
Buy it today
Last edited by mike_d; 04-18-2006 at 12:11 PM.
04-18-2006, 12:39 PM #9
The one that set me straight was:
Go to the end of a wall - put one leg straight up the wall - keep the other leg on the floor - just hold that position and if you can, shimmy up on your elbows or hands.
I did this maybe 15 minutes on each leg while watching TV before bed, then put an icepack where the pain was in my lower back when I went to bed.
I told the Chiro that the Doctor just wanted to give me drugs. He said, "That's the same thing as driving down the road, having your check engine light come on, and putting a piece of duct tape over the light. May make the light go away, doesn't make the problem go away."Green: It's the new Red
Let's just pray we're still allowed to vote in 2012.
04-18-2006, 12:48 PM #10
04-18-2006, 12:58 PM #11
04-18-2006, 01:58 PM #12Originally Posted by Viking22
So you mean you are laying down for this stretch? I'm still not 'getting' it lol :O
I'll do some searches for good stretches. Let me know if you find that particular one described in detail.
Thanks for all your help guys, I'd love to hear from anyone else suffering or recovered from an injury with my symptoms too.
04-18-2006, 02:01 PM #13
04-18-2006, 02:03 PM #14
Yeah. Just find a wall in your house that comes to an end - get on your back and scootch your ass up to the wall - now line the crack of your ass up with the vertical end of the wall - put one leg straight up the wall and let the other just lay on the ground like you're laying down. - now straighten that leg thats' on the wall. You'll feel itGreen: It's the new Red
Let's just pray we're still allowed to vote in 2012.
04-18-2006, 02:10 PM #15
04-18-2006, 02:36 PM #16
04-20-2006, 01:56 AM #17
04-20-2006, 02:12 AM #18
04-20-2006, 04:08 AM #19
Just been trying out various hip, hamstring and calf stretches I found.
It has to be a contricuting factor to my back, i couldn't stretch my hamstrings AT ALL. As soon as I start to straighten them it's really painful. No other part of my body feels like to stretch so it's not a normal strtch sensation.
What can I do? I'm a little freaked out by how uncomfortable it is to try and stretch, is there a way to make the muscle easier to stretch like a hot bath maybe?
04-20-2006, 04:15 AM #20
I had lower back pain for months, very painful at times. It completely prevented me from doing many exercises (squats, deadlifts, shrugs, among others). I spent $$ on a chiro, but he didn't help me. Finally, I just took a week off from lifting, took a brisk walk in the morning and then stretched my hammies. Started doing Stiff legged deadlifts, too. My back pain was completely gone in about 2 weeks.
I can't imagine how many people are capable of ridding themselves of low back pain just by stretching their hamstrings. Instead, they get perscribed painkillers that never even solve the problem.
04-20-2006, 06:34 AM #21Originally Posted by WeedyBloke
But remember many people will do a stretch, hold it for 10 seconds and say "well thats it".
When you are stretching, I mean really stretching it should be very uncomfortable, borderline painful. The head athletic trainer for the cleveland browns (NFL football team) showed me how to really stretch. I was drenched in sweat and it was one of the most uncomfortable things I had ever gone three.
Honestly I would hold each stretch for a good 45 seconds to a minute. And just keep pushing and pushing further and further.
If you google "hamstring stretches" or "low back stretches" you'll find quite a bit.
Now I wouldn't stretch like that before a workout. Just do normal light to moderate stretching before a workout.
Think of it this way. Stretching before a workout is to help you get warmed up. Stretching at other times of the day for flexibility should be aggressive and is for increasing flexibility. Stretching before a workout isn't really for increasing flexibility.
04-20-2006, 06:37 AM #22
just remember if you start stretching a lot and your just doing light stretching and holding for 10 seconds it is NOT going to increase your flexibility. Contrary to popular belief you have to PUSH yourself to increase flexibility.
Now please use common sense though. I am not saying to to a rope around each leg and have your friends tie the ropes to cars and have the drive in opposite directions.
You don't want to hurt yourself but to really increase flexibility you have to push it.
04-20-2006, 07:37 AM #23
04-20-2006, 08:04 AM #24Originally Posted by WeedyBloke
Be aware that one of the main symptoms of spondylolisthesis (http://www.spine-health.com/topics/c.../spondy01.html) is tight hamstrings. I know becuase I have it. and it sucks.
Last edited by Heatmiser; 04-20-2006 at 08:08 AM.
04-20-2006, 08:10 AM #25
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I have an AWESOME hamstring stretch...
First GO here:
My stretch is a variation of the FOOT ON A STEP STRETCH, except my stretch has the femur a little more vertical, and the knee is bent even more. Your ability to go vertical with your elevated will depend on your current flexibility. As you can see from the picture, his femur is more horizontal than vertical vertical. It is barely off of the horizontal axis, and only slightly declined on the pelvis side. I pull my other knee closer to the step/chair/bench and get more bend in my knee. The height difference between my knee and pelvis is more than what you see here.
I am not sure if this stretch puts too much strain on your knees, but I have been able to adjust the tension and weight my knees feel while still providing a great hamstring stretch.
The stretch is similar to what you would feel if you were playing as catcher in baseball. I take it a step further, but the basic mechanics are the same. With baseball, both legs are bent the same, and your feet never go lower than your pelvis. In my stretch, your pelvis goes lower than your stretched foot. Here is how I do it.
1. Find a chair or any elevated surface no more than 3 ft high. Workout bench will work just fine.
2. Put ONE foot on the chair. Other leg/foot can be used to support your weight.
3. Your other knee can be bent at 90 degrees and on the floor for stability.
4. Then slowly lower your body until you feel your propped up leg get tight.
5. Your knee should be bent FULLY. Similar to how it is bent at the end of a hamstring curl.
6. When this happens, your femur should be almost VERTICAL.
7. When you put your weight on that leg, you should feel a pull on the hamstring starting at the pelvis.
8. Depending on the surface used, you can hold onto it and apply just the right amount of tension.
I can include a picture later if this was not described well enough. One day, I did some squats, and I went too far. My left hamstring was really sore. That stretch helped me work out my tightness over the next few days.
04-20-2006, 09:00 AM #26Originally Posted by Heatmiser
My doc checked my blood for ankylosing spondylitis (sp?) and it was fine. he also checked for plenty other stuff and everything seemed normal.
I forgot to mention though that before i got back pain i injured my feet and have possible plantar fasciitis and sore archilles tendons. When I stretch the backs of my legs i can feel ppain in the sole of my feet as it stretches them out.
04-21-2006, 09:21 AM #27
04-21-2006, 11:44 AM #28
1. When to stretch:
------Don't stretch first thing in the morning because all your muscles are way too cold, not enough blood. If you're going to be lifting/working out that day, do your warm up, and then do your stretches.
------Stretch right before going to bed. Not only does this help keep your muscles loose, but it's a GREAT way to "relax" before going to bed.
So essentiall you want to stretch your "problem" areas twice a day.
2. How long to stretch:
-------This generally depends on how old you are. I'm in my mid 20's, and I need to stretch upwards of 1 minute. Many college trainers will tell you you want to: (1) stretch each muscle in 3 second intervals, rest, then do it again, for like 1 1/2 minutes; or (2) hold a stretch for over a minute. This way you'll see progress.
-------What I do is I stretch each muscle for a minute
3. To fix your lower back:
-------You'll need a towel or a rope for this. Best way to stretch your hamstrings is by lying flat on the floor, take the rope/towel and wrap it around the upper part of your left calve, and pull your leg toward your body (while your upper body is still lying on the floor). Try to keep your leg moderately straight. ALSO --- FLEX your quads while doing this, and it will make the stretch MUCH more painful --- yay. Hold for over 1 minute, repeat on right leg.
-------I'll use my left glute stretch as an example. I do this by sitting on the ground, put my right foot square on the ground (so my knee is bent at like 130 degrees), and then I put my left ankle over my right knee, and then I try to lean forward. You should feel a DEEP stretch in your left butt cheek. Hold this for a minute, repeat with right leg.
4. To Fix your Upper Back Pain:
-----While this isn't the best way to stretch your chest, I've found it the best way to stretch for my upper back pain. Just find a doorway, put one forearm on each side of the doorway (so your upper arm is parrallel to the floor, and your lower arm is perpendicular to the floor) and just LEAN forward as far as you can. Try to keep your head up, upper arms at a 90 degree angle to your body. Hold this for a minute.
-----I also do a simple chest stretch where you grab something with your left hand, pull away from the object, and then twist to your right. You should feel a DEEP stretch in your left chest muscles and a little in your shoulders. Try to stand up straight. Hold this for a minute, repeat on right hand.
-----Go to a door way, grab the upper right side of the doorway with your left hand (so your hand is basically above your right shoulder) and then try to pull your body to the left. You should feel a deep stretch in your left lat. You know you're doing it right when your left hand starts to go a little numb =) Hold this for a minute, repeat with right arm.
And you're done. Two weeks your lower back pain should be gone. Hey, also, if you could, PM me if this starts to help.
Last edited by Bupolo; 04-21-2006 at 11:50 AM.
04-21-2006, 11:56 AM #29
Oh One More Thing
One other thing you may want to try is (if you haven't taken a break in a while) take a break from serious lifting this upcoming week, and stay away from anything that is really going to work your chest, lats, hamstrings, or glutes. Also, focus on your back by doing lost of Back Extensions (for lower back) and ROWS (For inside upper back). This will add to the benefits of the stretch and strengthen those weaker areas.
04-21-2006, 12:53 PM #30
I used to have pretty back low back pain from running that eventually morphed into full time low back pain. One day I was goofing off in an exercise phys. lab I was in and using the old school presidential physical fitness hurdler stretch box and my prof. looked over at me and commented that my back must hurt all the time. I said yes, sort of suprised and asked how she knew. She said watching me do the hammy stretch she could tell that my hamstrings were really tight and were probably the cause of my back problems.
Things that worked for me were 1. stretching a lot. and also doing a ton of core exercises to address strenth imbalances in my lower back and my core. One of my favorite exercises to do both as a warm up and as an active stretch before doing a heavy back day, or a long bike ride are lighter weight straight leg dead lifts. I've found that the low weight actually helps me stretch my hamstrings a bit better than a standard hurdler stretch and it also warms the muscles up in my back and legs. I usually start out with just the bar for basic warm up flexibility, then make my way up to 135 or so. It's not much weight, but it feels really good and when I'm done I feel really warmed up, loose, and ready for the heavier lifts. Your results may very.