1. #1
    Musclechemistry Site Representative Board Certified MD
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    Default Low Back Pain - Tight Hamstrings???

    Low back pain? Stop stretching your hamstrings. They feel “tight” for a reason. Let’s discuss.
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    Maybe not so much a myth, but a misconception in some cases. Research says: “Short hamstrings have been shown to be associated with low back pain.” Okay so just stretch it and hope the low back pain does away? Got it. Makes sense. Easy enough! But not really.
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    Every heard the saying, "Which came first? The chicken or the egg?"
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    Are tight hamstrings the chicken or the egg? Are they the cause? Or could they be a result of the pain?
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    Now I have you thinking! Before we get further into this, don’t think that low back pain is a simple condition lumped into a single group. That’s far from the truth. “Tight” hamstrings is more often a “feeling” not a number. “Normal” range of motion for your hamstrings isn’t putting your leg behind your head. Laying on their back Women can more often get the leg 90 degrees straight up, Men roughly 70.
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    So there was a study where they questioned that very thought. Three different groups were looked at: those with "flexible" hamstrings, those with "tight" hamstrings, and those with low back pain. (Blog post on my site goes into greater detail if you’re truly interested).
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    To save time what they found were those with pain had an abnormal muscle firing response as the hamstrings were stretched compared to other groups.
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    Normally, when a muscle stretches, the brain will try to prevent over-stretching (to prevent potential damage) by activating the muscle being stretched. This happens in a greater degree as the stretch intensity increases. Not the case in those with low back pain. This protective response is all over the place. Someone with low back pain doesn’t have the same kind of flexibility issues for the same reasons as someone who just has "tight" hamstrings and no pain. The muscles are reacting and behaving differently THUS giving the perception of feeling tight.
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    Those in pain do not have “normal” hamstring flexibility. You can’t just stretch away the back pain. “Tight” hamstrings seem to be a protective reaction to the pain itself.
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    Oh yea, the hamstrings are the egg. Because we all know the chicken came first!
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    Get It Done!

  2. #2
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    Great read!
     

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