Tight, inflexible hamstrings get lots of attention as a reason for lower back pain, but weak hamstrings may additionally be the source. The hamstring is definitely a set of three muscles that run from the pelvis to the knee behind the thigh. These muscles are used to facilitate the bending of the knee behind the midline of the body while the hip is prolonged, similar to when running or walking. The group also helps to maintain the knee aligned.
Tight quadriceps and weak hamstrings are a typical muscle imbalance. We are inclined to use our quads more in on a regular basis life, and lots of popular exercises on the gym emphasize the isolated development of quads. There are two primary ways during which weak hamstrings may cause back pain.
Hamstrings work with the quadriceps to stabilize movements of the knee and pelvis. This requires that the muscles are equal in strength, length and suppleness. If the hamstrings are weaker than the quadriceps, then the pulley system formed by the muscles is disrupted. The tighter, shorter quadriceps will pull downward on the pelvis in front and upward on the knee, because the hamstrings are too weak to exert a counterbalancing pull.
When the pelvis is pulled down in front, the lower back arches inward. This is named hyper-extension of the lumbar spine. Tight hip flexors and erector spinae muscles within the lower back often accompany weak hamstrings for this reason postural change. As vertebral angles change within the spine, there may be a rise of pressure placed on the back side of spinal discs, which might result in premature disc wear, bulging or herniation. These disc changes may cause sciatica.
Weak hamstrings can quickly turn into tight hamstrings. Weak muscles tire quickly on account of their lack of strength, and drained muscles go into contraction to guard themselves from further use. This forcible tightening of the muscle sets up a ripe situation for strain; the quadriceps fire into motion before the hamstring has recovered and lengthened. A pulled, strained or torn hamstring may end up.
When the hamstring is injured, the body will naturally compensate for it by employing other nearby muscles to do the work the hamstrings normally do. Lower back muscles could also be called into motion when the leg is moved, though this motion is beyond its scope of natural duties. The muscles within the back and hips that compensate for hamstrings can turn out to be sore and strained.
Signs Of Hamstring Weakness
There are a number of symptoms that time to hamstrings because the reason for back pain. In case your hamstrings are weaker than your quadriceps, you might notice that your bottom stands proud and that you will have an exaggerated lumbar arch.
If you will have localized pain within the hamstring and pain within the lower back, then a strained hamstring is indicated.
One other sign of a quadricep/hamstring imbalance is clicking or cracking of the knee when it’s bent or straightened.
Prevention and Treatment
Hamstring weakness and injury may be prevented by pursuing an exercise regimen that features each strengthening and stretching of the muscle group, balanced with strengthening and stretching of the quadriceps. See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGTcgPVexrI for a lot of hamstring exercises. See 4 hamstring stretches at http://physicaltherapy.about.com/od/flexibilityexercises/a/hamstingstretch.htm.
Treating a well-established muscle imbalances requires a mixture of myofascial release and targeted exercise. In case your quads have been chronically tight, they may have to be forced to chill out and re-lengthen. Foam rolling at home or myofascial release performed by a practitioner can accomplish this. Once the quadriceps have regained elasticity, the hamstrings may be developed.
A pulled hamstring can often be resolved with a temporary period of rest and ice. The above steps will have to be taken along with rest and ice to stop re-injury if a muscle imbalance is liable for the strain.
It can be crucial to know that weak hamstrings could also be on the source of back pain and hamstring strain. Keeping your body in balance will help to resolve lower back pain.
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