Do you have tight hamstrings?
What are my hamstrings I hear you ask!
They are the group of muscles in the backs of your thighs. Hamstrings consist of 3 different muscles: Biceps Femoris, Semitendinosus and Semimembranosus.
The hamstrings attach to the bottom of the pelvis, on our sitting bones (Ischial Tuberosity) and extend to our tibia and fibula and are strong hip extensors and knee flexors.
We use these muscles when running, cycling, swimming and climbing stairs, they also help to stabilise our hips when bending over.
The term “hamstring” originates from the eighteenth century. Back then butchers would display pig carcasses in their shop windows by hanging them from the long tendons at the back of the knee – Andrew Biel – Trail Guide to the Body
When our hamstrings get tight through overuse and not enough stretching and massaging, they can cause the pelvis to rotate back, flattening the lower lumbar curve, which can, therefore, cause lower back pain as your spine is not in its correct neutral position and increases pressure along this area.
With a flattened lower back, this can also aggravate your sciatic nerve, causing pain to radiate down the back and front of your legs. This can also cause you to have weakened stomach muscles and an unstable lower back, plus an increased risk of straining and tearing the hamstrings themselves
Why do I have tight Hamstrings?
This could be because of a number of reasons:-
- Sitting at a desk for many hours
- Not stretching enough following exercise (stretches should be held for at least 30 seconds in each pose to get the benefit)
- Lack of core strength, hamstrings have taken over the role to stabilise the trunk
- Genetic reasons – born with shorter hamstrings
What can I do about it?
- Taking up classes such as Yoga or Pilates is brilliant at stretching all muscles as well as building up core strength
- After exercise, do stretches that help lengthen and strengthen hips
- Deep tissue massage to help relax the tight hamstring muscles after the exercise and stretches
So if after doing your Yoga / Pilates and stretches you are still suffering from tight hamstrings and your lower back is still hurting, then let me work on relaxing those muscles by booking a massage with me by clicking book appointment online