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Back Stretches - Hamstring Stretches

The stretch exercises for back pain on this site are two of many low back stretch options. I have chosen the hamstring stretch and hip flexor stretch as they are the two muscle groups that are often tight and instigate low back pain issues. Back pain treatment, such as these back stretches, keep your spine healthy and help to attain back pain relief.

Be sure to review the Stretching Fitness Tips before you begin.

Hamstring Stretch for Back Pain Relief

The hamstring muscles are found in the back of the thighs. Because of their attachments to the bones at the base of the pelvis, these muscles can pull on the skeletal structure and affect the spine.

  1. Lie on your back with your left knee bent and the left foot flat on the floor.
  2. Place an exercise band or long towel around the arch of your right foot.
  3. Keep your right knee as straight as possible and pull your foot (using the band) up towards the ceiling.
  4. You should feel the stretch in the back of the thigh and behind the knee and in the calf.
  5. Hold that stretch for 30 seconds.
  6. After 30 seconds, point and flex the right foot (staying in the stretch position).
  7. Repeat the foot movements 10 times.
  8. Repeat steps 1 through 7 on the left leg.
  9. Perform this stretch one time daily. 

Hamstring Stretch for Back Pain Relief

Hamstring Stretch for Back Pain Relief   Hamstring Stretch for Back Pain Relief

Muscle Focus:

  • You should feel a moderate-to-intense stretch sensation in the back of the thighs, behind the knee and into the calf muscles.

Tips:

  • If you feel increased back pain or leg numbness or tingling while doing this stretch stop the stretch and consult your local health practitioner.
  • Be sure that the leg being stretched is as straight as possible. Keep the knee cap pointing towards you (not turned outwards or inwards).

Benefits:

  • This stretch is particularly effective for people complaining of low back pain with walking.
  • The hamstring muscles attach on the lower pelvis. If these muscles are tight, they pull the spine into a flattened alignment and place the spinal discs in an unstable position. Keeping the proper length of your hamstrings means keeping the proper curve in your low back and protecting your spine.
  • The action of pointing and flexing your foot while in the hamstring stretch position helps to ensure that the nerves coming from your back and running down your leg are gliding properly.

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