Hamstring Stretches to help the Lower Back

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Hamstring Stretches to help the Lower Back

Post  Admin on Sun Jan 31, 2010 10:52 am

Learn how stretching the hamstrings can relieve lower back pain.

Effective hamstring stretches and hamstring injury treatment is vital to the overall health and condition of the lower back muscles and to relieving lower back pain. The lower part of the spine, or the lumbar region, is the region where most people experience back pain. This part of the back carries the weight of the body and the muscles are prone to strain.

If you suffer from hamstring strain or lower back pain, or are seeking to prevent its occurrence, it is important to follow the information in this article. In addition, making stretching a part of your fitness regime will have a significant impact. To get you started on a safe and effective stretching routine learn more about The Stretching Handbook and how it can improve your fitness.

The lower back is acted upon by any of the muscles connected to the lower torso. For example, the abdominal muscles play a leading part in keeping the lower spine straight and any back exercise program must strengthen the abdominals.

The subject of this article, however, is stretching the back of the legs, or hamstring muscles, and how that helps prevent or help treat lower back pain. It might not seem obviously necessary to stretch your legs in order to help your back, but let me explain why this is so.

The hamstring group of muscles, located at the back of the upper leg, are actually a group of three separate muscles. The top of these muscles are attached to the lower part of the pelvis, and the bottom of the hamstring muscles are attached to the lower leg bone just below the knee joint. The technical or anatomical names for the three hamstring muscles are semimembranosus, semitendinosus and biceps femoris.

Tight hamstrings tend to pull on the pelvis, as the top of the long hamstring is attached to the pelvis, so this causes a rounding of the lower back (Seen in the images below). Over time, this postural imbalance will lead to back pain.

By improving the flexibility of the hamstrings you are able to remove the tension from the pelvis and allow the pelvis to sit in its' natural position, which in turn allows the spine to resume its' natural 'S' shape.

So, how do you improve the flexibility of your hamstrings and relieve lower back pain? With stretching!

Stretching Guidelines
As with most activities there are rules and guidelines to ensure that they are safe. Stretching is no exception. Stretching can be extremely dangerous and harmful if done incorrectly. It is vitally important that the following guidelines be adhered to, both for safety and for maximizing the potential benefits of stretching.

Breathe. Don't hold your breath. Holding your breath can raise your blood pressure, if you do suffer from high blood pressure. In any event, it makes you more tense. The deeper you breathe, the more relaxed you are, the deeper and longer you will be able to stretch.
Never force a stretch beyond the point of mild discomfort. Stretching tight muscles will be uncomfortable, but you should never feel any sharp or sudden pain. If you do, stop immediately-you are pushing yourself too far.

Be consistent. Stretching for a few minutes each day will gradually build flexibility and range of motion. This is far preferable to stretching only once a week for a longer time.

Wear loose comfortable clothing. It's obviously very difficult to stretch if your clothes are tight and restrict movement.

Time yourself and try to increase your time in each stretch by a few seconds each week. Start with 10-15 seconds and extend this by 5 seconds each week until you can hold a stretch for at least 30 seconds.

Stretching is one of the most under-utilized techniques for improving athletic performance and getting rid of those annoying sports injuries. Don't make the mistake of thinking that something as simple as stretching won't be effective.

And to help you improve your flexibility quickly and safely, you can't go past The Stretching Handbook & DVD. Together they include over 130 clear photographs and 40 videos of every possible stretching exercise, for every major muscle group in your body.

The Stretching Handbook & DVD will show you, step-by-step, how to perform each stretch EXACTLY! Plus, you'll learn the benefits of flexibility; the 7 critical rules for safe stretching; and how to stretch properly. Discover more about The Stretching Handbook & DVD here.

If it hurts we can help!
James Dean @ ItHurts.com

ItHurts.com is the premier health & wellness company that provides a community where people can talk to each other about their pain and share ideas that help you relieve and eliminate your pain.

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