Hello, everyone. I'm Natalie and today Veritas Health is bringing you tips for hamstring stretching.

Regular stretching of the hamstrings is important part of all back exercise programs. I recommend using a warm up either walking for 10 to 15 minutes before stretching, or alternatively, using a heating pad behind the thighs, this will help get the muscles warmed up and ready for stretching. When stretching you should select a comfortable position. If you are more comfortable lying on your back I'd recommend performing a lying down hamstring stretch. Conversely if you are more comfortable sitting that is probably the best position for your stretch in.

It's important to match the stretch to your spinal diagnosis. For example, if you have a diagnosis of a lumbar herniated disk, generally speaking, it is not best to perform a sitting or forward bending stretch. If you have a diagnosis of spinal stenosis forward bending stretch is actually usually included as part of your treatment plan. While doing these stretches is important to start slow. I recommend starting with about a 10 second hold and working your way up to about 30 seconds at a time.

It's important to remain steady and not have any bouncing or jerking during these stretches, as this can cause a muscle spasm. It's also important to be mindful and stay present while doing these exercises, pay attention to your form and maintain deep steady even breathing during these stretches. Finally it's important to stay consistent with hamstring stretching, these stretches should be performed about twice a day. I recommend tying us to an activity you already do twice a day, such as brushing your teeth.

It's also important when you are done stretching to cool down. If you have pain or soreness after stretching you can use an ice pack behind the thighs for about 10 minutes to help reduce any information or pain. You can learn more about hamstring stretching here in Spine Health. Please subscribe to our channel for more videos like this, and thank you for watching.

Dr. Natalie Ullrich is a physical therapist specializing in orthopedic and sports medicine at Plymouth Physical Therapy Specialists. She is passionate about treating each individual as a whole.