What do tight hamstrings have to do with back pain?
A lot! Your back, especially your lumbar spine (lower back), is designed to be fairly stable. The network of muscles in your core (abdominals and pelvic floor) and surrounding your spine are there to support you in an upright position.
We are designed to be on our feet and moving. And that means our hips, where our legs attach to our pelvis/torso, are meant to be flexible and fluid so we can take strides, moving ourselves from one place to another. But what we typically are doing these days is sitting on our butt, not moving. So our hips (where all of the hamstring muscles connect to the pelvis) get really, really tight.
OK, great. But how do tight hamstrings make my back hurt?
Well, if your back was designed to be stable and strong, and your hips were meant to be flexible and fluid, but the exact opposite has happened instead, you're in real trouble! The thumbnail version of how pain occurs is this:
The tightness of your hamstrings causes your pelvis to be pulled down and away from the lumbar spine, which puts the lower back in a position of instability—the exact opposite of what it needs. Check out the image to see what I mean.
So how do I stretch my tight hamstrings?
I devote a huge amount of time and energy to the stretching of the hamstrings and the strengthening of the core and back in the Hauber Method™ videos. Sessions 3 and 4, in particular, contain amazing hip stretches that will give you relief that you have probably never felt before, as well as the most important exercises to help your core and back muscles fight the good fight against tight hamstrings.
To get started in your efforts to relieve your tight hamstrings, you'll want to access my favorite stretch on Vimeo on Demand by clicking the image below. It's a great stretch for tight hamstring and back pain, and it can help you start feeling better NOW!