Did you know lower back pain, hip and knee issues, poor posture and other problems can be associated with tight hamstrings? The hamstrings are a group of three muscles located in the back of the thigh. When these muscles are tight, or inflexible, they can cause discomfort beyond pain in the immediate area. If it’s difficult to touch your toes without bending your knees, either from standing or when seated on the floor, you may be suffering from tight hamstrings. So what can you do to feel some relief?
A common cause of tight hamstrings is being in a seated position for prolonged amounts of time. Too much sitting means your hamstrings are constantly flexed, so it’s important to give those muscles a chance to elongate. Take breaks to stand up, walk around or do some stretching.
Equally important is the time you give to stretching before and after you exercise. Proper warm up and cool down of your hamstrings can prevent injury.
Consistent stretching is a great way to relieve tight hamstrings. Here are some stretches to try at home.
- Simple Hamstring Stretch
Seated on the floor with both legs straight out, reach forward while bending at the hip towards your toes, being careful not to overly round your back. Hold for up to 30 seconds.
- Hamstring Stretch with Strap
While lying flat on the floor, place a strap or towel around the bottom of your foot, hold on to each end in your hands. Slowly extend your leg so the bottom of your foot is raised towards the ceiling while keeping your knee straight. Your other leg should be extended on the ground. Hold for up to 30 seconds. Repeat with your other leg.
- Standing Hamstring Stretch
While standing, cross one foot over the other. Bend at the waist and slowly lower your upper body toward your knees, careful not to bend your knees. Hold for up to 30 seconds. Repeat on the other side.
It’s always key to listen to your body. If you are experiencing prolonged pain, it may be a sign of a more serious issue. Contact us to meet with one of our orthopedic specialists for a consultation.