When it comes to chronic pain arising as a result of sciatica, most people take solace in medications and pain killers, ignoring the easy remedy of stretching their hamstrings, mostly due to unawareness, which has been shown to have a great effect in alleviating the pain.
See when your hamstrings are tight, they place a lot of pressure on your lower back and lead to sciatica, or similar symptoms. Stretching your hamstrings regularly though loosens up these vital muscles and protects you from injuries.
Anatomy of hamstrings
Hamstrings can be found behind your thighs, made up of 3 muscles, extending from the pelvis to the knee. They are involved when you bend your knee and extend your hips. Since we don’t activate the hamstrings too much on a daily basis, they tend to become very tight, which can be remedied by regular stretching.
Your hamstrings also need regular exercise and conditioning to remain strong and active. Otherwise you’ll suffer from muscular imbalance which can again lead to pain. We shall take a look at exercises to strengthen your hamstrings in the next article.“Core Chair” with unique features that are sure to alleviate your back pain.
Lying Hamstring Stretch
This is great for those with low back pain and leg pain since your back will be at rest during the stretch and thus negating any effect of extra pressure. You make use of a towel or a band for this hamstring stretch
• Lie on your back on a flat surface and lift one leg up with the use of a towel wrapped around your feet for support.
• Slowly straighten your knee until your hamstring starts to feel tight and you feel the stretch
• Bring your leg up to a 90° angle, or as high as possible
• Hold the stretch for 15-20 seconds and then work on the other leg.
Seated Hamstring Stretch
Stretching your hamstring while sitting is usually recommended for physically active/experienced folks and those with good flexibility. The position, though a bit difficult, can offer different types of stretches based on the leg placement.
• Sit on the edge of a chair and straighten one leg while making sure your heel does not leave the floor.
• With your back straight, push your core towards your leg without bending or leaning too much.
• Once you feel a good level of stretch in your hamstrings, hold the position for 15-20 seconds and repeat with the other leg
• For those who find this a bit too easy, you can keep your feet on a chair or stool which would give you a more deeper stretch.
Keep in mind
• Do not bounce or jump while stretching. This could damage or tear your hamstrings, or lead to spasms.
• Gently hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds while taking deep breaths.
• You ought to perform the stretch at the most comfortable position – sitting, standing or lying down
• Warm up by walking for few minutes before stretching. And if you suffer from intense sciatic pain, make sure you stretch your hamstrings twice a day apart from strengthening the muscle group.
• The hamstring stretch should put pressure but never hurt or cause pain.
Stay tuned for our next article on hamstring exercises and their benefits.“Core Chair” , a marvelous accessory that promises to alleviate your back pain and make life more comfortable. You can also use our exclusive coupon code “backpainsolutions10” and avail a 10% discount.