Here’s a video (4:26 seconds long) of a patient of ours who was getting physical therapy for tight hamstrings when he came into our office and we diagnosed him correctly and proceeded to fix his hamstring pain in 6 treatments. It’s not a very well known about issue so if you ha e no input I understand and appreciate you reading this anyways. Symptoms appeared in early August after some yard work. Hi Melanie, I’m sorry about your hamstrings. Thank you!!!! How long have you been stretching your tight hamstrings? Any thought would be very much appreciated. But today my arches hurt for no apparent reason and they’ve been better for a couple of weeks before now. There always appears to be a bend in my knees. do i even want to stretch my abductors for this problem? I’m going to share with you a little secret that will change your life when it comes to your tight hamstrings. Now I have shoes my podiatrist recommended “to let the orthotics do their work” (cushion neutral, not stability). When you say “NOTHING seems to work”, well, unfortunately, with high probability, that’s a true statement. If that’s correct, there’s usually a common denominator responsible for both hamstrings (or two muscles) getting tight and it’s most probably that your low back is on the brink of pain. Yoga stretches can also help with tight hamstrings. The short answer is, “You’re allowing your problems to grow bigger, under the radar.”. If i had to guess id say i sit at the computer way to long. I found out 2 years ago that I had spondylolisthesis of the L5 S1. Feel free to use me as much as you need. Depending on its severity, this type of injury can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to several months to heal, and may require medical care. If you’re sitting too much and that causes your symptoms, then you need to either NOT sit or sit better respecting the Sit-Slide-Lean Rule. “It just means that you overdid it,” says Thieme. Hi, I recently started stretching in the morning as I felt guilty of not exercising. My legs won’t even go straight. Hamstring stretching is an important component of lower back and leg flexibility for seniors and the elderly. Or is it?! with my kids, but can’t stand for long periods of time without the sciatic nerve issue/muscle tightness down my leg. It is important to avoid performing any stretches if the hamstrings feel too sore. Your goals are to get your blood flowing, ease muscle tension, and speed recovery — all of which can help minimize DOMS. Call us at 862-205-4847. It can also be a combo of both. Sports participation. Therefore, if your hamstrings seize during core work and hip bridges, AND your hamstrings aren’t loaded but your L5-S1 is loaded, can you now see how your hamstring “seizing” and “horribly tight” hamstrings are coming from your low back? “Active recovery is any low-intensity work, such as hiking, easy cycling, or walking on a treadmill with a low incline,” says Kallai. When you tip the pencil to the other end, all of it rounds as well? Get me more feedback and I’ll do the best I can to help you. Or would an acupuncturist be of any use? Ideally, I’d see him. So, you need to take stress off that damaged body part. But, we still don’t have anything to explain the constant nature of your symptoms. Strains and tears happen when the muscle is lengthening as it contracts or shortens. Go ahead and get your stretching friend right now. The first question is, “Why does it need to be stretched?” If you have no low back pain and your Pencil Test (Google “barefoot rehab pencil test”) is fullish, it’s less likely low back and more likely adhesion either at your sciatic nerve and butt cheek or adhesion in your hamstring. This will haunt you 10-20 years down the road. Just because MRI is clean doesn’t mean you don’t have disc pushing on a nerve. This will tell you how badly you would need this type of doctor. Sore hamstrings can be a symptom of delayed-onset muscle soreness. Lift your butt and use your hands to roll the entire length of your hamstrings — from just below your glutes to your knees — with the roller. Only first 1 inch of the pencil is adjacent to the skin, the rest is “sticking” out. After you have released the tightness with the foam roller, you can now move on to the stretches. Tightness in the hamstring muscles can place increased stress on the lower back, 1 causing or aggravating some of the conditions that lead to back pain and sciatica. But there’s a cost to going this route. Have your friend put the pencil right on the midline of your low back. You don’t have a sciatic nerve issue. What did I do wrong and what medication should I take because the pain in unbearable. I have had a torn gluteus medius for almost a decade that doesn’t get better on the right side, and that seems to be where it is worse, but it is on both sides. it’s not great at selecting which patients it would work for and in theory, it’s not addressing any real pathology. You will need two other people (one to test you, one to record you). Not always – they’re looking for severe issues. I want to travel, etc. I quit going because it didn’t fix the problem, it just put a bandaid over it. It had 16mm of movement, so they fused me. I’d find an adhesion specialist to work on his disc and help it recover faster if it’s about time for him. Hi Susan, I’d have them stop. I surf a lot so my main goal is to get back into the water. Hi Dr Chris “Never skip your warm-up,” Thieme says. Have someone perform the pencil test on you and report back in? After 2-3 days of rest, one must slowly start stretching the hamstring muscle so that it is gradually brought back to work without putting strain. Or its placed horizontally…? As soon as you do movements or workouts that intensify soreness on one side or give you the funny feeling of the hamstrings feeling different, then you’re walking in risky territory. HOpefully, they have extensive knowledge of working with muscles. I can literally put a finger on each side of my hips parallel to one another, and you can see one side is higher than the other. ~Albert Einstein. Let me know if not. I have had the weirdest thing happen this week. If your friend sees a space under the pencil like there is under the 2″ mark on the pencil ruler below, it’s safe to assume your hamstrings are tight because your low back is functioning at 40% (or less) of its potential. I can’t straighten them out and touch my toes , heck even trying to bend forward while legs are straight is a nightmare. Although research shows that stretching likely doesn’t help with muscle soreness after a workout, it can ease tension and thereby reduce the risk of pulls and strains. Normal muscle tightness gets better within a 1-2 months of stretching. He used to be able to do the splits in both directions now he has plateaued with gaining any of that forward flexion back. The good thing about bodybuilders is that it’s easy to see the outline of their muscles. https://www.barefootrehab.com/pencil-test-low-back-pain/. (I work sitting down all day so was very stiff when getting up.) Feel free to share in the comments below. With each piece of content we produce, our goal is to provide you with actionable, digestible, and accessible information you can trust. I need a video of the HST and a picture of the PT. I’ve been doing PT for almost three weeks. Im assuming the goal is to literally “straighten out my hips” until the tilt is gone and things seem even and it doesnt feel like one leg is longer than the other anymore. Place your hands on the floor on either side of your butt. Any help is greatly appreciated! https://www.barefootrehab.com/know-your-numbers-ankle-pain-foot-pain-and-ankle-dorsiflexion/, Want to learn how to get out of pain? I’ve just had surgery to release my calf muscle to see if that helps. Differences between the two can be determined not only by how each feels, but by when — and how long — the pain persists. This stretch for tight hamstrings will start to hurt less the more frequently you do it, so hang in there through the pain! I noticed that my almost whole left leg is tingling and become numb when I sit on the toilet. Shift weight into the left foot and extend the right leg slightly forward so heel rests on the floor. Incorporate stretching, massage and diet changes to help reduce soreness and risk of injury. I’ve been stretching my hamstrings, IT bands, and inner thighs and the knee pain has gone away. Why shouldn’t I stretch my hamstrings? Hamstring soreness is one of the more common problems encountered when teaching and practicing yoga. Any suggestions? Tell your friend to go get his favorite pencil. If you feel a sharp pain in the hamstring when stretching, you may be stretching too fast, too far — or you might have discovered an underlying injury. So far it hasn’t which is why I’m still searching for answers. If you do a workout and you feel no sensation of worsening, that was a good, low-risk workout. If you were my son, I’d fly you to an Integrative Diagnosis doctor 2x/week for 2 months. I know these issues are from poor lifestyle choices mostly if not completely, because i havent had any notable injuries growing up. Even if you could get to my office, I wouldn’t be optimistic that I could help you based on the previous damage to L5-S1. I recently found out I have lumbar scoliosis. The epidural helped and I started physical therapy. Fitness experts explain the relationship between your hamstrings and lower back pain, and how to work on the hammies to prevent the aches. There are plenty of people who take HGH who don’t have this pain. Or is there any larger flat spot? Don’t Let Achilles Tendon Pain be your Achilles Heel: One Essential Rehab Exercise You Need To Know. People who suffer from sciatica are often told to stretch their hamstrings or their piriformis to relieve the tightness and get rid of pain. The acupuncturist says most people my age (48) have herniated discs, it’s more the tight muscles that you need to fix that are pushing on the nerve. I assume you did the hamstring stretch test and the pencil test and you passed both according to the standards we set in this post. Hope that makes sense? Soreness is OK, as long as it’s equal on both sides. I bet you have a hip joint morphology issue. “If you can’t complete all of your reps and sets with good form, you’re lifting too much.”. There are likely multiple factors contributing to those sore, achy, tight hamstrings. If you’re new to strength training, muscle soreness is tough to avoid. Follow these tips to reduce the severity of exercise-induced muscle soreness — and perhaps even prevent it from occurring in the first place. I have two additional follow up questions. I’d see if anyone can remove adhesion from your low back and see if it changes. What happens in the case of neurological tightness is that because the muscles are lengthened they receive additional neural input, thought to be a protective response. I don’t know who to talk to about this or what to do. My hamstrings have been insanely tight my entire life and no amount of stretching, yoga, pikayes, rolling has helped. Still, you probably have been stretching for more than 1-2 months without a permanent improvement. 1 – adhesion. Hamstrings – like other muscles – can certainly get tight. Sit on the floor with your legs straight and a foam roller under your thighs. I want to ask you if tight hamstrings could be the cause of pain in my planter fascia and heel? Hamstring Stretch. Thank you, […] at the clinic, we’ll get a patient who has been stretching their hamstrings for […], Thanks for your article. Wasn’t there five years ago. I know that’s a deep rabbit hole. Tight hamstrings are uncomfortable, so we start stretching and stretching and….well that doesn’t fix the issue, but it can lead us straight in to an injury! do i need to grow it back somehow? 3. My right hamstring is always under tension. The disc issue is more probably if you can’t bend at all. But honestly, NOTHING seems to work. For more hamstrings stretches, sign up for Openfit for free today! With a severe enough problem like that, I highly recommend you see a specialist who can see if you have OTHER contributing problems (i.e. piriformis) or hamstring muscles themselves. It’s possible this range of motion will get better all on it’s own. I have a herniated disc (9mm) on L5/s1. We’re about to do the most complex, most sophisticated, elaborate test for the low back that exists in the history of the world, the pencil test, aka, as it’s known in the yoga world, the Cat-Cow Test. I stumbled upon your site when searching for whether tight hamstrings can cause foot pain. I wouldn’t go crazy because you could cause more harm than good. <3, find a reputable adhesion-removal provider, https://www.barefootrehab.com/pencil-test-low-back-pain/, https://www.barefootrehab.com/know-numbers-thigh-to-chest-test/, 8 Life Lessons from Car Baby Koa’s Arrival, Know Thy Pain: A Lesson in Broadcast Management, Unorthodox: Our radical departure from Mainstream Healthcare, The Pinched Nerve in Your Neck Most Likely Isn’t Actually a Pinched Nerve. Things were much better after the shot, but my hamstrings and piriformis still felt super tight. Sore hamstrings can be a symptom of delayed-onset muscle soreness. During these past few months I developed intense, chronic knee pain and sporadic pain in the arches of my feet. Thanks ~ Lee. If you’re experiencing sore hamstrings, there are a couple of possible causes. I know my hamstrings are tight and always have been. What You Need to Do: If that’s you, I hope that you had an acute low back injury in the last week or so. And there’s little space at the base of my spine. Should he continue stretching so much? This is an occasion where “tight” hamstrings is too simple. “Whenever you challenge yourself in a workout, you’re going to cause microscopic damage to your muscle tissue,” says Trevor Thieme, C.S.C.S., Openfit’s director of fitness and nutrition content. For two days the only thing I’ve done (on pure speculation) is stretch my right quadricep by pulling my foot back and up to my butt. You could have healthy muscles and be over-doing it. The pain you feel from DOMS is the result of micro-tears in the muscle wrought by your workout. I also seem to have weak mid-section muscles and nearly non-existent obliques and on top of that the muscles in my ribs are affected along with (mildly) my chest. I’m BEYOND frustrated. Let’s agree, right now, that if you’ve been stretching more than a month, no matter how much you’ve been shotgunning, foam-rolling, lacrosse-balling, stretching on your own or having your friends try to turn you into a pretzel, that what you have been doing isn’t working. “A grade 1 strain is minor,” says Kallai. When the person flexes (or rounds the spine up), it will be at an oblique angle to the horizon. Does this make any sense? When you have tight hamstrings, you’ve had them for a really long time and it doesn’t seem to matter how much you stretch, your tight hamstrings never get more flexible. Any thoughts? Hi Amon, by test 1 and test 2, I assume you mean the “hamstring stretch test” and the “pencil test”. I had a knee replacement done and I need help getting up off the floor – why can’t they use my strengths in my body. is there anything else we could look at doing to improve his outcome? You’re laying the pencil on the person’s back. When you get off that machine, the pressure comes right back on the discs. Is there a way to know which abductors i should be stretching? Because it will get worse. There is an Integrative Diagnosis doctor in CA, but he’s not too close to LA. “It’s important to challenge yourself every workout, but not to excess,” Thieme says. Yeah, this isn’t a hamstring issue. Here are two dynamic warm-up exercises that specifically target your hamstrings. Hamstring injury risk factors include: 1. I know because I’ve been there. However, it makes sense for people to try manual therapy and see how it goes. While stretching doesn’t help relieve muscle soreness, research has found that foam rolling after a tough workout can. The X-rays also show that the muscles that make up the front of my neck are too “straight “. Stretch and roll your quadriceps and hip flexors and perform this a standing quad stretch: 2. Hi Dr. Chris. To get the maximum benefit for the least effort, hold each stretch for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times - you can find out more in … should i even be doing any muscle building exercises or simply finding the right stretches for my particular case and make a routine out of them? Page Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your arms at your sides. Just trying to figure out what’s going on with my feet. Hi Aris, it’s both hamstrings equally? Essentially, the muscle wasn’t warmed up and then was pushed to the upper end of its normal range of motion, or maybe even a tiny bit further, and this caused mild damage to the muscle fibers. Now I retain from sitting, Take a dramatic amount of fish oil, do the catcow stretch every day, foam roll, and release faschia by standing on a rubber ball. Try the “Pencil Test” we have on the low back range tests. My hamstring pain is a bit weird. But as I tell my patients, muscle tightness rarely occurs on its own. Go to integrativediagnosis.com and click “find a provider” to see if someone is near you. I can do snatch and swings and I don't feel anything. It only manifests in left leg. Hi Josh, that’s good stuff! The last four or five years my left leg only has been tight and needs to be stretched constantly. If you haven’t had a low back injury recently, then you need to find a reputable adhesion-removal provider to fix this. Let me know if you have space under the pencil. Foam rolling increases blood flow, which can reduce exercise-induced discomfort. I’m here to serve. Your tight hamstrings are a bit more complex than that. I am assuming this is what is causing problems with literally everything from the hips down (tight hams, weak knees, tight calves and even affects my ankles and feet). Not worth it. Hi Violet, sorry to hear this. A client of mine, Susan, 47, had been suffering from what she believed to be hip pain for many months. I found someone that specializes in ‘manual’ therapy…would you consider that similar / same to an adhesion specialist? As an adult and a PT looks at this and keeps wanting to “help me” stretch my hamstrings – which just causes so much pain. Could you tell me what else i could try? Your history trumps imaging. He has regained about 50% of his forward range of motion, his hamstrings are EXTREMELY tight. Identifying and treating the underlying problem is best. I go back to my physio-whatever (Physical Medicine and Rehab) guy in a week or so for more/better X-rays. My hamstrings have always been tight, but, they seem way worse since this started one week ago. “But when you push yourself too hard or significantly switch up your routine, you can cause enough micro-damage to feel it.”, Which brings us to an important point: Soreness has nothing to do with workout quality or effectiveness. The first thing to be clear about is any pain or tightness you’re feeling is evidence that you’re putting too much stress on a damaged body part. Piriformis syndrome maybe? The main cause of injury to the hamstring is muscle overload. Sit on the floor with your legs straight and a foam roller under your thighs. I didn’t even have a set, rep, or goal for doing the Cossack Stretch over the first few months I was CrossFitting. At Openfit, we take facts seriously. You’d only need to be doing fuller range of motion movements to get rid of that tightness. I played a season of football even though the pain and limited range of movement prohibited me from pretty much everything. I can also do nordic hamstring curls (hamstring curls where you use your upper body as a weight, very heavy, I am only able to do them partially due to simply not being strong enough), without feeling any pain. My but to my toes. When not in Austin, Texas, fostering kittens, you can find Page traveling the world, scuba diving, hiking, visiting museums, and sampling the local cuisine. LMK. After 2 months of physical therapy, I started to feel back pain, so I quit going. For a deeper roll, cross one leg over the other, rolling a single leg at a time. It’s more about unloading the disc enough to get his hamstrings to relax. – Do you normally have daily low back tightness or pain? Should I wait for it to heal or continue light strengthening and stretching? Hope this is helpful. Supine Hamstring Stretch. Shortly after, I experienced this knife like stabbing pains running on my hamstring and worsens at nights which hurts so bad I would cry myself to sleep. never even broke a bone before. Incorporate these into your existing warm-up to ensure you’re ready for your workout and to mitigate soreness. I tried looking up Integrative Diagnosis doctors in Los Angeles, but there are none at all in the area. Why else would they be tight? I found scarring all along my hip/thigh area both inner near my groin and outter near my glutes. After football season I went to a chiropractor because I kept having shocking sensations and constant aching in my right hamstring (with no physcial activity) and they had me take an MRI. ... try shoulder flossing to stretch them all out. Thank you for the information and quick reply. Hi Kristian, I’m sorry for your struggles. If it “got better”, why did you strain it again? If you get NO PERMANENT relief in 1-5 treatments, stop going. B. It has been about a month, I am able to load my hamstring but I still feel weak and have very light bruising…can barely see it. adhesion around your discs or your sciatic nerve at the hip external rotators or at the hamstring). Then switch to other leg and repeat the routine steps. Stretching to your limit puts your muscle in a state on tension, so kinda makes sense. There is your best shot. He said I had 2 bulged discs in my lower back, but that shouldnt be making my hamstring hurt (basically didn’t help me at all) So I quit going and after months with the same problems, I went to a sports injury doctor (whatever they’re called) and he noticed that my right hamstring was extremely weak and he did an MRI and my mom didn’t share the results with me so it must have been insignificant. If you're looking for the best muscle rubs ... You've heard time and time again that stretching is good for you. Two make up the inside hamstrings (the blue triangle below), and one makes up the the outside hamstring muscle (the green triangle). Hamstring strains are unfortunately one of the most common running injuries. The Last Blog Post You’ll Ever Need to Read to Get Rid of Your Stress and Tension Headaches, Top 5 Ways to Prevent Adhesion (In the Muscles) From Building Up, Frustrated? While the HGH probably didn’t help, it’s not likely to be the cause of your pains. I’ve been doing yoga for a while now so have had amazing flexibility, so naturally I thought this would pass and they’d get looser if I start slowly stretching them out. But for now, stop doing stuff. My wife performed test 1 on me and I can do about 70 degrees, but when she bent my feet towards me I felt “nerve” pain in my feet and a bit in hamstring. Because nerves don’t like being pulled tight and they’ll protect themselves any way they can. Standing hamstring stretch. This should get better with a few days of rest. You don’t have a low back issue. I purchased an adjustable bed that goes into zero gravity and an inversion table. The acupuncture results were decent, but for $80 a visit, I’d almost rather have a pissed off hamstring. Then, when you’re feeling a good “stretch” in any location, have them push the ball of your foot down about 1″ (like in the image below), nothing more than that. We find it harder and harder to put on our shoes and socks. This is a possibility that will move up our diagnostic list if your low back truly is fine. A. My day to day life has significantly improved, but I still get aggravating moments sometimes and I still can’t be extemely physical as I once was. Hi Kari, I’m so sorry for your frustration. The following 2 hamstring stretches are great because they are effective and safe for your spine. Hello Dr. Chris. Also, went through a depression phase where i slept for like 14 hours a day and yes, you guessed it sat at the computer some more with not alot of moving around in between to keep my muscles mobile so the blame is entirely on me i suppose. But that doesn’t mean you’re doomed to constant hobbling and chronic discomfort. Hang in there. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The muscle may even be separated from the tendon when this happens,” he says. How long does this usually take to fix? Thank you so much for your help. You either had a significant trauma to the low back (football or working out) or have genetically weak discs, given your age. No sharp pain. If you don’t want to fix your tight hamstrings but you want to stay active, stretching can allow you to be active without injuring your hamstrings in the short-term. I don’t want to screw things up more by trying to stretch the hamstring/piriformis…not sure what to do now at this point. My back seems way oversized (especially my giant Rhombs) compared to the rest of my body. Deal with your emotional reasons for beating yourself up through exercise. Sign up for our email list. Anyways, Back to the hips. I wasn’t injured- it literally just keeps getting tighter and tighter. Ive seen Podiatrists, Neurologists and Orthopidics and nobody can tell me what is wrong. Sitting is generally fine, but going from standing to sitting, trying to straighten my leg in the bath tub, getting out of the car, etc. Band Hamstring Stretch Lie down on your back on a mat, raise one leg and wrap the band behind this foot. Although if they didn’t say anything on the report, that’s a better sign that there isn’t severe damage. As we age, our lower body will show signs of stiffness and decreased range of motion before our arm and shoulders. You might be wondering: How do I know the difference between sore hamstrings from DOMS and a muscle pull or strain? In just two days I can’t believe the difference. Heck, you don’t even need to stretch to get more flexible if this were the case. I recently had x-rays that show i have an anterior tilt in my hips. I also thought to mention that the original injury occured after taking a supplement called “football” that contained Human Growth Hormone, and I’ve always blamed the injury on that. Sore hamstrings could also be the result of a strained or pulled hammy. What are fuller range of motion movements? The tendons go either side of the knee and insert to the top of the Tibia. The good thing about knowing you have Tarlov cysts (which I assume have been diagnosed with MRI) is that the solution to your hamstring pain is addressing the cysts. The location where it is glued and stuck can be your low back, your butt, or your hamstrings. The cost is that your problem will get worse faster and more exponentially over the next few months to years than if you didn’t use it. Then slowly pull the band forward towards your chest, while keep your leg straighten, you will start feeling stretches on hamstring, specially behind knee area. The most straight-forward and easiest problem for a reputable adhesion-removal provider to fix is adhesion in your hamstrings. It must be nerve issue, but how to fix it? Problem is I live in New Zealand so i have no idea of there is anyone that is an adhesive removal specialist here. They’re not. He does 99% of his normal activities. “DOMS is the phenomenon where you finish a workout on day one, but it’s not until day two or three that you feel any pain or soreness associated with that workout,” says Austin Kallai, NASM-certified fitness and group exercise instructor. In these cases, stretching should help. I have the world’s tightest legs. This requires you to rest your foot on a bench, chair, ottoman, stool or step. Core work and hip bridges are NOT stressing (or loading) your hamstrings, at least to any significant amount. The pain can be described as a pain after you walked/ran 10 miles and your legs are dying out of tiredness, and sometimes it’s a shocking, nerve pain. If you live in North Jersey, Barefoot Rehab is the only practice certified in the area to find and fix adhesion. Certain lumbar discs refer to the hamstrings. He is 2 months out from the injury. Firstly I had trouble sitting, but now my hamstring is hurting even when sleeping or walking. The nerve pain has definitely lessened, and if I feel it the quadricep stretch seems to knock it out. Motion movements to get his favorite pencil least to any significant amount all my. Insert to the sides i can change positions laying down to get his hamstrings are horrible true.! And pulls come in different levels of severity quadricep stretch seems to knock it.... If they are turned to the stretches seem looser than when i sit on the flexes! Over time yoga teacher findings and a torn disc at L4 this route comes back! Motion movements to get his favorite pencil are working while in a position. Friend to go get his favorite pencil and that ’ s not too close to LA were much better the! Sets with good form, you definitely would fall into the advanced stage... Months every week and tighter is “ sticking ” out God created it during past. 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