Tight Hamstrings Lower Back Pain

Tight Hamstrings? Here’s What To Do

Back pain and tight hamstrings are two particularly common problems that get in the way of exercise.

Yet, you rely on your daily exercise routine to keep your weight down, your body toned, and your health in check.

When these problems develop, understanding connections between common health problems and pain is important.

Such as the connection between bloating and back pain, and knowing how to deal with the problems can help you find relief and get back to enjoying your exercise sessions.

What Are The Hamstrings?

Hamstrings is quite a common term used, but not everyone truly understands which specific muscles the term really refers to.

There is no single muscle in the body that is known as a hamstring, but, instead, a group of muscles that are collectively referred to in this manner.

When someone refers to “the hamstrings,” they are actually talking about a group of different muscles that are located at the back side of the upper legs.

The term is not only used to describe these muscles but also collectively include the tendons that are part of the muscle groups in the region.

The main muscles that are part of the hamstrings include:

  • Semitendinosus
  • Semimembranosus
  • Biceps femoris

These muscles play numerous roles in both running and walking, which is why they are so important – and why problems with tightness affecting these muscles can affect your physical abilities.

They are responsible for ensuring the knee joints can flex, and help the thigh extended toward the back of your body.

Ultimately, the hamstring muscles are crucial for allowing the legs to move effectively; thus resulting in a walking or running motion.

Who Is Affected By Hamstring Tightness?

In a recent study, 107 students were analyzed to assist scientists in determining the prevalence of tight hamstring muscles among the young adult population.

The study also looked at how tight hamstrings were connected to lower back pain.

After a questionnaire was completed, the study concluded that 40.19% of the students had tight hamstring muscles.

Additionally, 10,3% of the students also had problems with lower back pain.

The students who experienced tightness in their hamstring muscles were more likely to suffer from lower back pain.

In another study by two scientists, college students between the ages of 18 and 25 were surveyed to determine the prevalence of muscle tightness in the hamstrings among this population.

The study also focused on finding how tight hamstrings affected the overall performance of the students.

Students generally had healthy BMIs, with the mean BMI of the male students being 23.9 and among female students, the mean BMI was 20.9.

Up to 96% of the participants had experienced tight hamstrings at a recent time, with a large number of students complaining about tightness in their right extremities.

Why Do You Have Tight Hamstrings?

There are various reasons why you may experience tight hamstrings.

These symptoms may be acute and only last for a few days, return frequently, or be chronic; causing you to experience tight hamstring muscles for a longer duration of time.

One of the most common reasons for hamstring muscles to become tight and painful is the failure to properly warm up before you participate in a session of physical activity.

When you do not warm up prior to exercising, your hamstrings may become tight, and you also become at a higher risk of injuries to your hamstrings and the muscles in the close regions.

Nerve entrapment is another common reason why many people tend to suffer from tight hamstrings, which leads to a condition known as protective tension.

This happens when the nerves in the area of the hamstring are compressed.

Movements in the area would then lead to an excessive stretching sensation and cause you to experience a tightness in the region.

It is relatively easy to determine if you might have nerve entrapment that is causing your hamstring muscles to be so tight.

Simply stand up straight – with your feet apart at shoulder-width.

Bend forward and then use your hands to touch the ground beneath you.

If you are not able to easily reach and touch the ground, then there is a chance that you might have nerve entrapment.

If you find that you feel a stretch that is mainly located at the back of your knees, or even in the muscles located in your calves, then the likeliness that you have nerve entrapment is even higher.

There is another cause that is rarer, but still something that should be taken into consideration – and this is an injury to your lumbar disc.

When your lumbar disc has been damaged, it may not only cause you to experience tightness in this area of your body, but the tightness may also be accompanied by pain symptoms.

A lumbar disc injury tends to cause pain in the hamstring area that gets worse after being still for a long period of time, such as when you get up in the morning after sleeping through the night.

Sitting may also be painful, and you might experience a tingling sensation in your leg at certain times.

You may also find that the pain in your hamstrings tend to become sharper and more intense when you get up after you have been sitting down for a while.

The Connection Between Tight Hamstrings And Back Pain

Multiple studies have confirmed that there is a definite relationship between tight hamstring muscles and pain in the back, with the lower back area to be a particularly common region affected.

It is, however, important that we consider how these two discomforting and painful problems are connected.

While lower back pain may not necessarily cause your hamstring muscle to become tight and sore, there is an opposite connection that has been confirmed by scientific studies.

When the muscles that make up the hamstrings become tight, excessive pressure and stress are, in turn, being placed on the lower back area.

This can cause symptoms to start developing in the lower back, leading to stiffness, pain, and excessive discomfort.

It should be noted that when lower back pain already exists when your hamstring muscles become tight, it may cause the lower back symptoms to become aggravated.

The pain may become worse, and it might cause you to experience some level of disability when you try to get up after you’ve slept, and in cases where you practice certain types of physical activities, such as a squat.

There have also been cases where people have not experienced lower back pain prior to the development of tight hamstring muscles.

In such cases, the hamstring tightness causes pressure to the lower back and leads to the development of back pain.

Furthermore, in cases where you have suffered a lumbar disc injury, this may also be a particular cause for the development of your back pain.

While this type of injury may cause you to experience tightness in the three muscles that make up your hamstrings muscle group, the injury usually tends to affect the lower region of the back as well.

Stress is placed on the region, which leads to inflammation and pain, as well as tenderness.

Many people may experience sudden pain signals in their back, along with hamstring tightness, when they have an injury to a lumbar disc.

What You Can Do About Your Tight Hamstrings

Even though tight hamstring muscles can be very uncomfortable and even become painful, especially when coupled with lower back pain, there are many strategies that you can utilize to help reduce the severity of these symptoms.

Medication can be used to help lower inflammation and to block pain signals.

Exercises are available to help loosen the muscles and strengthen them at the same time.

Additionally, there are supplements that you can take advantage of to help you experience relief of pain and inflammation.

Medication

There are different types of pharmaceutical drugs that may be provided to help relax your muscles and to reduce inflammation in your body.

Many of these drugs can bring about effective results and help you get back to life without a constant feeling of tightness in your hamstrings or pain in your lower back region.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are very popular.

These include Naproxen, Celecoxib, Aspirin, and Ibuprofen.

They help to alleviate existing inflammation in your body.

There is a lot of different muscle relaxer medications that are used for back pain and hamstring tightness.

These may include Tizanidine, Chlorzoxazone, Cyclobenzaprine, Carisoprodol, and Methocarbamol.

The specific option prescribed depends on the location of the muscle tightness and soreness, as well as the severity.

Exercises

Exercise can also aid in improving symptoms of tight hamstrings.

It may also be useful when this muscle tightness is accompanied by lower back pain.

Yoga is a particularly popular physical activity for these symptoms, with the downward dog and the extended triangle pose being some of the most recommended yoga asanas.

Specific hamstring stretches may also be helpful, which should be performed when your hamstrings are tight, as well as before physical activity as part of your warm-up routine.

Standing and seating hamstring stretches can be combined for more effective results.

Supplements

Lastly, you may also want to consider taking a daily supplement to help alleviate the inflammation that you are experiencing in your hamstrings, as well as your lower back.

There are many supplements out there that can provide you with effective results.

I personally found the Science Natural Turmeric with BioPerine supplement to the best one out of all that I tested.

This supplement contains a 1,300mg dose of high-quality organic turmeric extracts per dose, along with 10mg of BioPerine.

Turmeric is a popular spice that is used in curries and other Indian dishes and has many health benefits – with the anti-inflammatory effects being particularly potent.

The spice is also rich in the following nutrients:

  • Calcium
  • Fiber
  • Manganese
  • Chromium
  • Potassium
  • Vitamin K
  • Vitamin B6
  • Copper

Copper, potassium, calcium, and many of these nutrients will further help to improve muscle and bone function, while also targeting the inflammation that may be causing you to experience tightness in your muscles.

The supplement is very easy to take – you simply take two tablets once per day with a meal.

Be sure to take it with a full glass of water and allow approximately two weeks for the effects to start kicking in.

Conclusion

When your hamstrings feel tight, you may experience discomfort and a significant adverse alteration in your physical performance and abilities.

Muscle soreness may improve, especially with physical activity, and athletic performance can be drastically reduced.

When hamstring muscles become tight, it also increases the likeliness of back pain, leading to further disability and discomfort.

Fortunately, there are exercises, medication, and even supplements that you can use to reduce the severity of these symptoms and to help you get back out there without muscle tightness or pain getting in your way.

Foods That Help Joint Pain

Foods that Help Joint Pain

If you are suffering from joint pain, you may wish to consider evaluating your diet. What you eat has an impact on your joint pain and making the right food choices may help with sudden joint pain causes.

By learning how it starts, you can prevent it and be on your way to better management of joint pain.

Many of you may already be taking supplements and medicines from your doctor or over the counter to manage your pain and relieve stiffness and inflammation.

However, there are studies that show what you eat, including certain spices, foods, and supplements can help you in your quest for relief.

Upon speaking with a registered dietician, researchers at the Cleveland Clinic were able to determine what healthy foods were best for easing joint pain.

Idea for Relief: The Mediterranean Diet

Following a balanced diet with wholesome foods has many benefits, like greater energy, better digestion, and an overall feeling of good health and a strong body.

Following the Mediterranean diet, for example, is a great way to feel good and relieve joint pain. Reason being is that the health benefits of this diet correlate with NSAIDS, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

When you follow this diet, you will consume low-glycemic fruits, veggies and legumes, and many unsaturated fats. Olive oil is especially popular.

You will also enjoy a modest serving of alcohol mostly in the form of wine, high levels of fish, and low amounts of dairy and red meats.

A diet such as this consisting of real, wholesome foods is important as a whole-food, plant-based diet led to reduction of pain and greater functionality among adult patients who were suffering from osteoarthritis.

Simply put, the 2015 Michigan study that produced this evidence states that those eating well were having an easier time functioning and managing their pain.

Your best bet is to talk to your doctor, eat a whole-food, plant-based diet of legumes, veggies, fruits and grains. Stay away from refined food, which is not part of the Mediterranean diet.

Fish Oil and Veggies for Joint Pain

One example of a great supplement you can use to relieve joint pain is fish oil. These are high in omega-3 fatty acids.

Studies surrounding the consumption of fish oil show that it has benefits of the anti-inflammatory type and is very helpful for those with joint pain.

You can find fish oil in cold-water fish, like sardines, trout and salmon. If you are a vegan or vegetarian, you can get your serving from flax seeds, chia seeds, and organic soybeans.

There was also a study from Australia dating from 2008 that indicated fish oil provided a great reduction to joint pain, an improvement to cardiovascular health, and a reduced need for NSAIDs.

Kylene Bogden, a dietitian the Cleveland Clinic consulted with regarding this topic, stated that just one serving of cold-water fish twice per week would be enough.

Daily, she recommends a high-quality fish oil supplement daily in addition to consumption of it in your diet naturally.

Another great addition to your diet will be cruciferous vegetables. You should be eating plenty of veggies-it’s just a great, idea-but you will really want to make sure you take in a half cup of stuff like broccoli, cauliflower, kale, or Brussels sprouts, says Kylene Bogden.

They are nature’s powerhouses, loaded with antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins for your good health.

It was a 2005 Maryland study that showed sulphoraphane, an antioxidant compound that is found within cruciferous veggies, blocks an enzyme that causes inflammation and pain in the joints.

Aside from people suffering from arthritis, this may be a great help for athletes who put a lot of pressure on their joints in training and competition.

Herbs, Spices and More

Two of the greatest spices you can get for your joint pain relief include turmeric and ginger. They are renowned for their anti-inflammatory benefits and are often found in Indian foods.

Turmeric is also used in Asian traditional medicinal practices for its anti-inflammatory benefits.

You can add turmeric and ginger to your smoothies, sauces or morning eggs for a one-two punch of anti-inflammatory goodness.

A study from 2006 out of Arizona showed positive research that linked turmeric to prevention of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis.

One wonderful way to get your daily turmeric serving is by taking in Cody Bramlett’s Turmeric Capsules.

Cody Bramlett is a gym owner in San Diego, California who has helped many overcome physical aches and pains while improving their physical performance.

Known as Turmeric with BioPerine, this wonderful formula is going to help you get healthier.  When you order these supplements, you get a 60-capsule supply of these great little supplements.

They are packed with turmeric, curucumin, and BioPerine. These ingredients pack in nutrients like manganese, iron, VitaminB6, calcium, chromium, potassium and Vitamin K. The capsules are veggie-based, so those following a plant-based diet need not worry about consuming them.

This supplement not only helps to reduce inflammation, it will also help improve your concentration and focus.

The supplement is specially formulated to be potent, and its potency is enhanced by black pepper is simply packed full of helpful vitamins and nutrients.

Its combination of special spices and healthy ingredients will get your body functioning and also help melt stored fat.

Green tea is another drink you can sip to reap the benefits of good, natural joint pain relief. It is one of the world’s most beloved drinks, and the effects it has on health have been researched the world over.

In Maryland, for example, a study performed in 2008 showed that green tea brought forth changes in arthritis-related immune responses, says the Cleveland Clinic.

Using NSAIDs long-term can cause you discomfort and have adverse effects. The polyphenolic compounds found in green tea have properties of the anti-inflammatory type and are a great help when using nutritional therapy.

It is recommended you choose organic green tea, as this will reduce your exposure to pesticides.

What Should I Avoid When It Comes To Lowering My Joint Pain?

As you seek to manage your pain effectively, there are foods you will want to avoid. Some of the heavy hitters are sugars and refined grains. Examples include pasta, white bread and rice. These are the culprits which add to joint inflammation rather than fight it.

You will also wish to limit your sugar intake, six teaspoons for women and nine teaspoons for men are the recommended amounts. Use natural sweeteners like maple syrup, honey, and coconut sugar.

Red meat is also one to avoid-beef, lamb and pork are known to increase inflammation. If it comes from an animal with four legs, do your best to avoid it. You will also want to avoid partially hydrogenated oil and trans fats.

In the USA, Americans tend to eat lots of processed foods which contain Omega-6 fatty acids. These promote inflammation, and sources like corn oil, safflower and sunflower oil, peanut oil, and grapeseed/vegetable oil are the main culprits here.

Avoid these as best you can and be sure to check condiment labels like mayo and salad dressings to make sure you do not accidentally consume them.

Salt is often found in excessive amounts within processed foods as a means of preserving them and extending their shelf life. For some consumers, eating these excessive amounts of salt may result in joint inflammation.

You may benefit from reducing your salt intake to a reasonable amount. As you do with the Omega-6 oils, read the nutrition labels on each of these foods to educate yourself about what’s in them.

Although very easy to buy and store, convenience foods like microwave meals or potato chips are loaded with sodium.

Other products you should avoid are alcohol and tobacco. Many of us are fully aware of the health risks associated with smoking and drinking.

But did you know that some of these effects extend to your joint health? Smokers especially are at risk for development of rheumatoid arthritis, and those who consume alcohol have a higher probability of developing gout.

The best thing to do is to make sure you are eating a balanced diet of wholesome, real foods, getting enough rest, and taking part in daily exercise or other physical activity.

Cut back on the smokes and the drinks and start a healthy diet and exercise regimen with the help of your physician. Get enough sleep. It is not easy to give up what tastes and feels good, but your joints and overall health will thank you.

Conclusion

Thankfully, those who are suffering from joint pain and inflammation do not have to rely solely upon medicines and doctor visits to manage their pain.

While it is extremely important to stay in contact with your physician and follow his or her orders, there is comfort in knowing that pain can be managed by modifying your diet, and following a healthy, whole-foods approach.

Even if you struggle with getting your vegetables or do not know how to include various herbs and spices like turmeric or ginger into your diet, supplements like Organifi Green Juice can provide you an easy and tasty way to get what you need.

Start by speaking with your doctor to determine what is best for you. Then, clean out your home of any foods that will lead to inflamed joints and more pain.

Choose and purchase foods that will help you and aid you in your quest to live a pain-free life. You can also meet with a registered dietician for ideas and suggestions about creating a diet that works for you. By making smart choices now, you will enjoy lesser pain and better health as time goes on.

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