Sore Back? The Answer Might Lie In Your Hamstrings

Pain in your back can make sleeping, sitting and standing a challenge, which can result in you feeling tired, uncomfortable and irritable throughout the day. It's smart to seek the care of a back pain expert if you've noticed either occasional or chronic back pain. There's a chance, however, that the problem with your back actually results from tight hamstrings – the large muscles found at the back of your upper legs. Anyone can get tight hamstrings, but this issue is often common among those who are athletic. Before you schedule a visit with your local chiropractor, it can be worthwhile to work on loosening up your hamstrings. Here's how you can do it.

Standing Stretch

Stretching your hamstrings while in the standing position is arguably the simplest way to loosen up these tight muscles. While there are multiple variations of the standing hamstring stretch, the simplest way to execute this stretch is to stand in an upright position with your legs together and allow your upper body to bend forward with your arms hanging toward the ground. You don't have to be able to touch your toes, but you should gently reach as close to your toes as you're able. When you feel gentle pressure in your hamstrings, hold this position for about 30 seconds.  

Tennis Ball Exercise

Although it's not technically a stretch, you can use a tennis ball to help loosen your tight hamstring muscles. Sit on the floor with your legs out in front of you and place a tennis ball on the floor under either of your hamstrings. Apply a little downward pressure to your leg and move the leg around until the tennis ball is positioned under a sore spot. You can then roll your leg gently to allow the tennis ball to massage the muscle tightness. Repeat the exercise on the other leg to keep your hamstrings in balance.

Towel Stretch

A bathroom towel can play a pivotal role in helping you stretch your hamstrings. Lie on your back, lift one leg in the air and wrap a towel behind the hamstring. Hold the ends of the towel in your hand and pull them gently toward you until you feel a stretch. A more advanced version of this stretch is to place the towel around your foot, but if you're a beginner, having the towel wrapped around your hamstring is an ideal approach. Repeat the stretch on the other side after you've held the first leg for 30 seconds.

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