Low back pain can have many sources–organic disease, herniated disks, and over-worked muscles can all cause pain in the lower back. One factor that many people are unaware of are short, tight muscles. The hamstrings are one such muscle group that can cause low back pain.
The hamstrings attach to the bottom portion of the pelvis, the ischial tubes, or “sit bones” as they are called in yoga. When the hamstrings get tight, they pull downward on the sit bones, which in turn causes the pelvis to rotate backward. As a righting compensation, the lumbar spine (low back arch) will decrease its natural arch and flex somewhat forward causing a straightening of the lumbar curve. This straightening increases the compressive forces of the intervertebral disks, causing stress, pain and risk for disk herniation.
One simple answer is to stretch your hamstrings–but NOT like your PE teacher taught you in the sixth grade. Reaching down to touch your toes merely increases the pressure on the lumbar spine–this can cause a herniated disk in susceptible people. If you’ve ever heard somebody say that they’ve “thrown out” his or her back by bending over to pick something up, tight hamstrings was very likely a part of the equation.
This does not have to be you. The solution is stretching your hamstrings regularly. When it comes to stretching the hamstrings, there is a right way and a wrong way. Watch the video above to learn the proper way to stretch your hamstrings. If you are suffering from low back pain and need a chiropractor in Los Angeles, West Hollywood or Beverly Hills, please visit my sports chiropractic office to get low back pain relief.