Tight Hamstrings and Low Back Pain:
If you have really tight hamstrings, chances are pretty good that you have a flat low back. And if you have a flat low back, the vertebrae in the low back start to get pushed together. (Hint: that’ s bad) And when the vertebrae get pushed too close together, that can cause pain as the delicate nerves in the low back get crushed. A flat low back is a good indicator of what is known as kyphotic posture. Check to see if your neck protrudes forward too as this is also common.
So, low back pain doesn’t just come out of nowhere. There are very good reasons behind it. And this is just one way it can happen. If you have really tight hamstrings, the reason is that they are constantly in a shortened position, so they get really tight over time. And it will take some doing to fix it, but not what you think…
Most people would think, okay then, just stretch the hamstrings until they loosen up. But, that won’t get the job done. The reason is that your hips are out balance, so even if you stretch your hamstrings for a while, your hip position will just put those hamstrings back into a shortened position and they will get tight again immediately.
In other words, the root of the problem isn’t your hamstrings… it is your hips and posture. If you address that and fix it, your hamstrings won’t be in a shortened position any longer and they will naturally loosen up. That’s why people who just stretch, but don’t understand their posture first are usually just wasting a lot of time. You have to learn where to stretch and where to strengthen, so you get the results you want.
In the meantime, here’s a quick tip to think about as far as the hamstrings go… Take a look at yourself from the side, in a mirror. Is your butt tucked under your back? Does your low back look pretty flat? Try this: Push your butt back and create a natural curve in the low back (don’t overdo it – just a natural curve). Does that feel really tough and awkward? Probably…
So, you won’t be able to just hold that position, because the muscles are too out whack to hold it in place. Once you relax, your hips will just go right back to the state they are used to. The reason for that is the muscles that are tight and other ones that are weak are basically wedging it out of position. It is a matter of strengthening the weak muscles and loosening the tight muscles that are holding the hip out of place. And that’s what S.M.S. is all about. Of course, there are other postural distortions addressed in S.M.S., but kyphotic is one of the main issues a lot of people face.
Just remember that as you create a natural curve in the back again, your hamstrings will loosen up, the vertebrae will have more room and the nerves won’t be getting crushed. All of this will get you out of low back pain too! But, please don’t just sit there and stretch your hamstrings, because you will end up doing that for years without ever loosening them up or getting out of back pain.