The hamstrings and the back are much more connected than many realize. When one is not healthy, it is usually not long before the other experiences problems. When wondering how to fix tight hamstrings and back pain, the key is to avoid starting with the two muscles that hurt. Though they are where you feel the pain the key to how to tight hamstrings and back pain rests in the glutes.
It may be surprising for you to know this but it is prevalent for people to suffer from tight hamstring and back pain. The muscles are very much related because of the hips. When the hips are tight or causing pelvic rotation, it will put a strain on both of the muscles.
What Causes Tight Hamstrings and Back Pain?
Hamstring tightness is the result of a hamstring being under too much stress. There are a few reasons that this can happen.
- Poor running technique
- Weak hamstring muscles
- Weak glute muscles
- Incorrect firing patterns
The hamstring is a hip extensor and knee flexor and without it running is not possible. All of the points above put the hamstring in a position where it has to take on more stress than it can handle. The hamstrings, back, and glutes all work together but in varying loads. Tight hamstrings and back pain are results of glute problems many times.
How to Fix Tight Hamstring and Back Pain – Glute Strength
In modern society, we currently spend too much time sitting down. When we sit down for long periods of time the glute muscles turn off. When are glutes turn off it creates massive problems, especially for athletes. The glutes are hip extensors that play a significant role in propelling you forward when you run. If they are not working the way they are supposed to, it means that something else to make up the slack.
The primary muscles of the posterior chain are the hamstrings, glutes and the lower back. When the glutes do not do their job, it means that the lower back and hamstring have to make up the slack. Once the back and hamstrings are in this position, they often tighten up due to being overloaded.
How to Fix Tight Hamstring and Back Pain – Psoas Health
The second key to focus on is your psoas because of what happens when it is tight. The psoas connects to the hip and the back. When it is tight it pulls your lower back forward causing a large curve in your back then you should have. A tight psoas also causes the hip to rotate anteriorly. When the hip is rotated this way, it adds more stress to the hamstring.
As you can see if you want to know how to fix tight hamstrings and back pain, you have to make sure that the psoas is healthy. Nothing else works until you get the psoas lengthened and operated correctly. You can massage your hamstrings, you can massage your back and get all of the aggressive treatment you want on them, and they will not have a long-term effect until you get this right.
Here are some things you can do to stretch your hips and psoas:
How to Fix Tight Hamstrings and Back Pain – Hip Rotation and Mobility
When the hips do not move well, back is usually the result. The reason this happens is that your body need will always find a way to get what it needs. If your hips are not moving the way they are supposed to your lower back will make up for it. The problem is that for most athletic movements you don’t want your lower end moving at all. Part of having a strong core means stabilizing the lower back.
The best thing you can do to improve your hips is the stretch in the video below. It is a simple stretch, but when you do it daily, your hips open up a great deal. The stretch works on
- External rotators
- Hip Flexors
- Gluteus muscles
How to Fix Tight Hamstrings and Back Pain – Correct Firing Patterns
Your posterior chain has a firing pattern that often gets out of wack from incorrect training. The proper firing pattern is supposed to be.
- Lower back
What this means is that when getting hip extension when running. For example, the glutes should flex first, then the hamstring and lastly the back. This will happen quickly, but it is important because the lower back was not meant to take on the workload of the glutes.
The glutes are big powerful muscles, and they need to have the responsibility of firing first and carrying the most massive load. When the backfires first, it just is not a strong enough to consistently be able to carry that load without eventually breaking down.
The way to retrain this firing pattern is by starting very slow. Lie down, and do hip extension while lying face down. Instead of bringing your leg off the ground start by trying to flex your glute muscle. You need to build that mind muscle connection where you can flex your glute as hard as possible without anything else flexing. The easiest way to do this is to have someone else put their hand on your hamstring and lower so they can let you know when they feel the muscle tighten.
You are going to keep doing this and starting over until you can do the full glute raise with the correct firing pattern. The back should always fire last in the sequence. It is essential that if there is an incorrect firing pattern that you stop right away. The goal is to relearn this skill not continue to engrain bad habits.
Work with The Right Healthcare Provider to Fix Tight Hamstrings and Back Pain
Finding a healthcare provider that you can see on a regular basis will go a long way in helping you to stay healthy. The key is to find the right provider. All healthcare providers are not made equal. The right healthcare provider will change with your needs, injury, location and other details.
What you don’t want to do is feel your hamstring and back getting tighter and not take action in the hope that it just goes away. Seeing a health care provider is always going to be on of your best options. The reason is that they will have the knowledge and skills to get you back to health the quickest. Learning what you can on your own is essential for supporting what healthcare providers help, but it is not a replacement.
If you know what you are looking for in a healthcare provider, 9INE POINT Health is a great place to start to find great local providers that know how to fix hamstring tightness and lower back pain. If you are unsure of what you nee, or technology will ask you a few questions and help you figure out who you should see locally.
What If You Can’t Fix Tight Hamstrings and Back Pain?
Sometimes you can ice all you want, but a muscle is in pain because another area is not working or because it is protecting you. With the hips, for example, your back may be hurting because your psoas is doing too much work and it is also tight. The psoas may be doing too much work because your other hip flexors are not activating correctly. The chain reaction could keep going and go beyond tight hamstrings and back pain.
Sometimes you need the help of a sports medicine provider. Sports medicine providers are used to working with athletes that need to get results quickly, to get back on the field. If you are not an athlete, I am sure that you still want quick results.
There are many different options you can go with when looking for a provider. You could get a chiropractor, massage therapist, physical therapist or many other options. The key is finding someone you trust and that you are excited to work with.
How to Find The Best Healthcare Providers for Tight Hamstrings and Back Pain
9INE POINT Health is the best place to find the health care providers you need for any injuries. It does not matter where you are hurting; a 9INE POINT Health provider will be able to get you healthy again. 9INE POINT allows you to find the best local providers and compare them quickly using the 9INE POINT Number.
If you have no idea what you need, but you know you need something, 9INE POINT Health is an injury guide, and you will get helped through the process. We make it easier for you to find the information and the person you are looking for.
Skills to Look for in a Healthcare Provider for Tight Hamstrings and Back Pain:
- Active Release Technique
- Graston Technique
- Fascial Stretch Therapy
- Corrective exercises
- Dry Needling
- Sports Background
- Functional Movement Screen
- And more
KHO Health was acquired by was acquire by 9INE POINT in the summer of 2019 and is now referred to as 9INE POINT Health.