Holiday Hamstring Health: An Overlooked Way of Keeping Back Pain at Bay
Forget the holiday ham, let’s focus on the hamstrings
Tight hamstrings are a key contributor to lower back pain. Running through the back of the thigh, from hip to knee, the hamstrings are perfectly placed to cause dysfunction. Tightness in the hamstrings creates a pull that increases stress on the lower back, contributes to muscular imbalance, and can even cause sciatica. Tight hamstrings also:
- Pull the pelvis out of alignment
- Cause stress to the sacroiliac joints
- Contribute to postural problems
In short, tight hamstrings are a recipe for back pain that you can’t afford while you are trying to balance a hectic holiday schedule.
A simple christmas gift: loosening up your hamstrings
If you can afford a few minutes here and there during your holiday marathons, try to stretch your hamstrings out at least twice a day. This will resolve a lot of the back-pain related problems that tight hamstrings can cause. Here are some rules to remember when stretching out hamstrings:
- Never force it: if it feels like you are going to far, stop immediately. Forcing a stretch can result in more damage than good.
- Don’t hold a hamstring stretch for too long: static hamstring stretches are not meant to be held more than 30 seconds.
- Work on hip-flexor and back mobility before the hamstrings
- Get active afterwards: static stretches work best when they are followed up with dynamic movement.
Hamstrings are a microcosm of greater spinal health
Chances are you will notice immediate relief from tension when you stretch out your tight hamstrings. But this is just the tip of the iceberg! This holiday season is a great time to focus on natural pain relief modalities for managing back pain. Chiropractic is one of those modalities- spinal adjustment and deep tissue therapy are effective natural pain relievers. If you are looking to balance your back pain this holiday season, give our office in Fremont a call to schedule an appointment today.
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