The Back-Breaking Truth

“Low Back Pain” is the most commonly treated diagnosis in America, and certainly in NYC. LBP is an umbrella term than can include many different issues from joint derangement, nerve involvement, hip dysfunction, and muscular involvement. There are a few things that most people can do on their own to improve pain.

The Journal of Bodywork & Movement Therapies recently published an article about the correlation between hamstring muscle length and low back pain. The study looked at the muscle length of 15 people with low back pain and compared it to the hamstring length of 15 people without low back pain. The subjects that did not have pain had significantly longer hamstring muscle length than the subjects with low back pain.

There is a catch to this, flexing forward to touch your toes is the most commonly used hamstring stretch BUT this usually increases pain in the low back. The best way to stretch your hamstrings is laying down. So how do your hamstrings get so shortened anyway? When you are sitting, your hamstrings are in a shortened position and even shorter when you are sitting in a slouched position (sound familiar?).

In the time it takes you for you to decide if you should stretch, you could be done with it. All it takes in 2 minutes a day to stretch your hamstrings, 1 minute on each side. Set your alarm clock 2 minutes earlier to fit it into your busy schedule!

Adegoke, B., Fabunmi, A.,, Fasuyi, F.Hamstirng muskce length and pelvic tilt range amount individuals with and without low back pain. Journal of Bodywork & Movement Therapies, 2017-04-01. Volume 21, Issue 2, 246-250