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Does tight hamstrings cause low back pain? what to do?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:22 AM in Lower Back Pain
Good Morning everyone :H I had a microdisectomy in May, I have had low back pain ever since. Recently I was diagnosed with both hip bursitis and sent to have iontophoresis with dexamethasone to the area. My first P.T. visit she had me do hamstring stretches and some hip strengthing. I came home and did what she told me to do. I couldn't walk for days, the pain was to intense and it caused my back to hurt even more. I was not able initially to have any p.t. after surgery do to nerve pain which I still have. What role does hamstrings play in low back pain, as I recall I have always had tight hamstrings. I have a apt. tomorrow and now I am fearful to do what she asks. I know the saying, no pain, no gain, but I also do not want to make my situation worse. Some folks swear by p.t. and some folks swear at it, I truly do not know what to do, any suggestions please would be greatly appreciated.
Thank You!


  • Hamstrings play a big role in low back pain.

    My question to you, is how did she have you stretch out your hamstrings?

    I was told by an awesome PT that if you have low back pain, always do your hamstring stretches while lying on your back. That way you keep from rotating your pelvis as you do if you are sitting and leaning forward.

  • Thank you! The therapist had me sit on the edge of a chair with my heel on a stool, told me to push down on my knee gently as tolerated. I could feel the pull in my back instantly and knew this cannot be a good thing. The knot behind my knee made it almost impossible to walk. Without a doubt will mention laying down to her, do you have any suggestions for that way of stretching your hamstrings? Would you say that the role it plays in loosening them hamstrings is the difference between pain and no pain? Is there a very gentle hamstring stretch laying down. Thank you kindly for your response
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  • http://www.easyvigour.net.nz/fitness/h_Hamstring_Stretch.htm

    From personal experience, I will attest to the fact that keeping the hamstrings stretched out, helps reduce the pain in my lower back, butt and legs.

  • My PT told me to do hamstring stretches by lying on the floor and putting one leg up on wall (let your heel rest on the wall). Get it as high as you can without discomfort, just enough that you feel it is stretching slightly. Hold for a minute. Do three times, each leg.

    Over time you want to try and decrease the distance from the wall, so that your butt is closer to the wall.

    It helps to do this in a doorway, so you can put the leg that isn't being stretched through the doorway.
  • thanks, it all makes sense to me, because of not stretching earlier in my recovery, my body is stiff as a board. After the surgery they tell you no lifting, bending,twisting,reaching or else you will reherniate your disc. So.....I listened and now I have to find some way to get through the pain as I stretch those unstretchable hamstrings, muscles etc. Gentle, gentle, gentle is the key here also. They also told you to walk yourself silly, apparently that doesn't do a thing for loosening your body up. I live in a house that has alot of stairs, I climbed those stairs after surgery all day long. My question why didn't stair climbing loosen up my hamstings? I so appreciate all of your comments and info, this is really serious for me and I am so perplexed by it all.
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  • The stair climbing probably loosens the hamstrings. My hamstrings are much more relaxed after walking so I assume stair climbing would have the same effect.

    Stretching is very important when you have low back pain. I have had lower back pain for over 20 years. Stretching my hamstrings has always reduced my back pain. I think they tighten up when something is not correct in the back. When my hamstrings get tight usually my lower back and hip area get tight. I believe this is the body's way of protecting the lower back.

    A few basic stretches in the morning and evening can make a big difference. I have tried different types of stretches and can't tell a difference.

    Good luck!

  • I am a newbie to the whole low back pain experience, I have had my aches and pains over the years but a tylenol and some ice and away I would go. Surgery has changed all of that, I need knowledge and information so that I can carve out a less painful life for myself. I am in deep gratitude for all the good advice I have received. Thanks ever so much. Serenity
  • Just wanted to let you know that I went to a new spine doctor today and he is putting me in water therapy. He said the best p.t. is in water, he guaranteed me that when I go back to see him in a month I will have less pain or no pain and have a smile on my face. The best way to loosen up is to do it in water, so I am signed up and ready to go. I am very hopeful that he is right and that I will get less pain and have a smile on my face. Serenity
  • Serenity

    That's fantastic. I'll keep my fingers crossed that it helps and that your doc is correct.

  • Aloha, Serenity. Im in the water 4days/wk and I love how nurturing & supportive it is. Enjoy!
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