lower back pain due to tight hamstrings

Post questions and tips on prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation of chronic injuries.

lower back pain due to tight hamstrings

Postby trae » Mar 28, 2006 04:15

Hello Mr Kurtz and everyone else.

For as long as I can remember I've had lower back pain and weak back. I sit in front of a computer for work which doens't produce good healthy back. I've been to various doctors, physiotherapists, sports doctors (kineseologists?) and chiropractors. Out of the number of the professionals that I've visited only one of them suggested that I have tight hamstrings. I've finally confirmed that it's true. After a weekend of downhill skiing my lower back is killing me. Needless to say that my kicking form is terrible and practices often result in sore lower back pain.

What are my options here? According to stretching scientifically, I need to develop strength first before I work on hamstring flexibility. I've started doing conventional deadlifts and it makes my back feel happier. However I'd like to do something more. Would hyperextensions (with no weight at first) be advantageous? Any advice appreciated.
trae
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Apr 20, 2005 21:09

Re: lower back pain due to tight hamstrings

Postby mat » Mar 28, 2006 04:35

trae wrote:Hello Mr Kurtz and everyone else.

For as long as I can remember I've had lower back pain and weak back. I sit in front of a computer for work which doens't produce good healthy back. I've been to various doctors, physiotherapists, sports doctors (kineseologists?) and chiropractors. Out of the number of the professionals that I've visited only one of them suggested that I have tight hamstrings. I've finally confirmed that it's true. After a weekend of downhill skiing my lower back is killing me. Needless to say that my kicking form is terrible and practices often result in sore lower back pain.

What are my options here? According to stretching scientifically, I need to develop strength first before I work on hamstring flexibility. I've started doing conventional deadlifts and it makes my back feel happier. However I'd like to do something more. Would hyperextensions (with no weight at first) be advantageous? Any advice appreciated.


I have the same problem - I sit at a computer all day (I'm a software developer) and used to struggle with lower back aches and pains. I also have tight hamstrings although they've improved a lot recently.

What cured it for me is practising hindu squats, hindu pushups and bridges every day. It only took about 3 weeks to make my back pains disappear and the routine takes 10 minutes every evening. At the moment I only practise bridges a couple of times a week but my back is in way better shape than it was a year ago - and no pains.

Try to avoid exercises that hit specific muscles, instead aim for exercises that work the whole body - this will improve your core stability which will generally strengthen the trunk. Remember that the physiology of the back is extremely complex - best results are always acheived by working all the muscles in the back, abs, chest etc. simultaneously, because all the muscles are connected and influence each other and strength imbalances will potentially make the problem worse.

I find bridges are the best exercise for strengthening the back - but if you're new to bridges its best not to do them from cold - do a good warm up or a couple of other exercises (which is why I suggested hindu squats and pushups) before practising bridges.

Bridges are a very energising and uplifting exercise so if you're working out in the gym you could do your warmup, then practise bridges for a couple of minutes, then do your usual deadlifts/squats routine. To get real benefits from bridges you really need to practise them for a couple of minutes every day.

Hope this helps.

Mat
mat
 
Posts: 131
Joined: May 25, 2005 05:59

Re: lower back pain due to tight hamstrings

Postby dragon » Mar 28, 2006 05:49

trae wrote:I've started doing conventional deadlifts and it makes my back feel happier. However I'd like to do something more. Would hyperextensions (with no weight at first) be advantageous? Any advice appreciated.


Conventional deadlifts are one of the best all over body mass builders.If they're having a positive effect on you i'd stick with them-make sure your form is correct,concentrate on the strength gains and increasing the weight as your strength increases.

Adding more exercises could detract away from your gains in the deadlift and possibly over train you.

Dragon.
dragon
 
Posts: 734
Joined: Jul 03, 2004 05:55

Re: lower back pain due to tight hamstrings

Postby mmeloon » Mar 28, 2006 10:43

trae wrote:Out of the number of the professionals that I've visited only one of them suggested that I have tight hamstrings. I've finally confirmed that it's true. After a weekend of downhill skiing my lower back is killing me. Needless to say that my kicking form is terrible and practices often result in sore lower back pain.


How exactly did you confirm that tight hamstrings was the problem? I'm just curious. You mention that skiing aggrevated the condition but that doesn't seem like a "smoking gun" to me. Is there something else that convinced you that it was a hamstring problem?

What are my options here? According to stretching scientifically, I need to develop strength first before I work on hamstring flexibility. I've started doing conventional deadlifts and it makes my back feel happier. However I'd like to do something more. Would hyperextensions (with no weight at first) be advantageous? Any advice appreciated.


Note that Mr. Kurz prefers stiff-legged deadlifts to conventional ones.

-Mark
mmeloon
 
Posts: 193
Joined: Dec 12, 2003 19:36
Location: Santa Barbara, CA, USA

Re: lower back pain due to tight hamstrings

Postby trae » Mar 28, 2006 15:05

mmeloon wrote:How exactly did you confirm that tight hamstrings was the problem? I'm just curious. You mention that skiing aggrevated the condition but that doesn't seem like a "smoking gun" to me. Is there something else that convinced you that it was a hamstring problem?


I'm not a doctor and know very little about body mechanics. All I have is circumstantial evidence. My hamstrings are very tight (that's a fact). Assisted stretching (leg on someone's shoulder) leaves me in pain unless i concentrate on keeping my back to the wall. As I mentioned, downhill skiing took me outright. If you bend your knees and lean forward (keeping your back straight) - do you feel anything? I feel a mild pull in my back and tightness in my hamstrings. Finally, as I mentioned earlier, my physiotherparist mentioned tight hamstrings as the cause of my back pain. Other professionals mumbled something - the common answer was lack of core strength (which is unlikely since we devote a lot of time to it in the dojo). I was prescribed bunch of gentle bodyweight exercises that seem more fitting to a 60 year old lady, rather than a 25 year old male. Anyhow I'm going to go with tight hamstrings for now and see where it leads me.

mmeloon wrote:Note that Mr. Kurz prefers stiff-legged deadlifts to conventional ones.

-Mark


What is the advantage to a stiff legged deadlift? Bent leg DL looks significantly more technically difficult. I'm afraid of doing it incorrectly. Conventional deadlift is very straight forward.

dragon wrote:Conventional deadlifts are one of the best all over body mass builders.If they're having a positive effect on you i'd stick with them-make sure your form is correct,concentrate on the strength gains and increasing the weight as your strength increases.

Adding more exercises could detract away from your gains in the deadlift and possibly over train you.

Dragon.


I'm just exploring my options right now. I went from around 80 pounds to about 180 pounds (my bodyweight) in a matter of weeks - without hurting myself or overtraining. The effect was very noticeable - my lower back is more relaxed and the nagging lowlevel back pain was gone. However I haven't gone back to the gym in about a week in a half - 2 weeks (since I came back from skiing) and pretty much all of my symptomps are back. I'm curious if hyperextensions will be more beneficial and target more of the muscles that need to be targeted. I've always had problems with hypers.

Mat, thanks for the advice regarding bridges. Unfortunately, my messed up shoulder prevents me from doing them. I tried it anyway, and I see what you mean. I get a similar effect by rolling on an exercise ball, however it's not the same as the back muscles aren't working. I'll keep this exercise in mind for the time when I fix my shoulder.
trae
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Apr 20, 2005 21:09

Re: lower back pain due to tight hamstrings

Postby Thomas Kurz » Mar 28, 2006 19:11

I'd advise not to do bridging before deadlifts in the same workout or even within a couple of hours on the same day. After your lower back is stretched with back bridges it may be too lax for deadlifts. Bridging after deadlifts should be fine--unless you feel otherwise. I would not do hyperextensions before deadlifts either.
Thomas Kurz
Madrej glowie dosc dwie slowie
Thomas Kurz
Site Admin
 
Posts: 440
Joined: Dec 03, 2003 08:04

Re: lower back pain due to tight hamstrings

Postby mat » Mar 29, 2006 04:13

Thomas Kurz wrote:I'd advise not to do bridging before deadlifts in the same workout or even within a couple of hours on the same day. After your lower back is stretched with back bridges it may be too lax for deadlifts. Bridging after deadlifts should be fine--unless you feel otherwise. I would not do hyperextensions before deadlifts either.


I've done bridges before workouts/training as it helps me energise & motivate myself.

I have to admit that I've actually never tried doing squats or deadlifts after bridges though, and on reflection it might not be such a good idea. I stand corrected on this.

Cheers,
Mat
mat
 
Posts: 131
Joined: May 25, 2005 05:59

Re: lower back pain due to tight hamstrings

Postby dragon » Mar 29, 2006 05:48

trae wrote:What is the advantage to a stiff legged deadlift? Bent leg DL looks significantly more technically difficult. I'm afraid of doing it incorrectly. Conventional deadlift is very straight forward.


The conventional deadlift is the bent leg deadlift.
I wouldn't say one has more of an advantage over the other,it all depends on what you're trying to target.
The conventional deadlift has more potential to build strength through the entire body.The SLDL places more emphasis on the hamstrings.

Dragon.
dragon
 
Posts: 734
Joined: Jul 03, 2004 05:55

Re: lower back pain due to tight hamstrings

Postby trae » Mar 30, 2006 02:16

dragon wrote:
trae wrote:What is the advantage to a stiff legged deadlift? Bent leg DL looks significantly more technically difficult. I'm afraid of doing it incorrectly. Conventional deadlift is very straight forward.


The conventional deadlift is the bent leg deadlift.
I wouldn't say one has more of an advantage over the other,it all depends on what you're trying to target.
The conventional deadlift has more potential to build strength through the entire body.The SLDL places more emphasis on the hamstrings.

Dragon.



Thanks Dragon, I got everything wrong of course. I'm doing this version of the deadlift. One thing I'm having problems with is lowering the bar past my knees. In the effort to keep my back straight, my knees stick out and I must maneuver the bar around the obstruction. What am I doing wrong?
trae
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Apr 20, 2005 21:09

Re: lower back pain due to tight hamstrings

Postby mat » Mar 30, 2006 04:18

trae wrote:One thing I'm having problems with is lowering the bar past my knees. In the effort to keep my back straight, my knees stick out and I must maneuver the bar around the obstruction. What am I doing wrong?


If you look carefully at the technique of the guy demonstrating in your link, he's coordinating the movement so that he bends his knees just after the bar goes past his knees.

Cheers,
Mat
mat
 
Posts: 131
Joined: May 25, 2005 05:59

Re: lower back pain due to tight hamstrings

Postby dragon » Mar 30, 2006 06:08

trae wrote: I'm doing this version of the deadlift. One thing I'm having problems with is lowering the bar past my knees. In the effort to keep my back straight, my knees stick out and I must maneuver the bar around the obstruction. What am I doing wrong?


For a good source of deadlift technique i recommend Power To The People by Pavel Tsatsouline.Considering the guys size compared to the amount he can deadlift,he knows what he's talking about.

1-When squatting down to pick up the bar,don't imagine squatting down,imagine sitting back(like sitting in a chair behind you).
When done correctly your shins should remain close to vertical so your knees don't stick forwards.

2-The desent of the the deadlift should not be done slowly due to the risk of injury.The bar should be let it down under it's own steam but still under tension.
This is hard to explain.I seriously suggest you find a source to learn this from before trying it.

3-You say,"In the effort to keep my back straight".
There is a difference between keeping your back flat and keeping your back vertical.
Your back shouldn't round(keep it flat) but done in the way i describe it's impossible to keep it vertical(straight up).

Dragon.
dragon
 
Posts: 734
Joined: Jul 03, 2004 05:55

Postby trae » Mar 31, 2006 14:19

Thanks Dragon I'm going to give it a try. I think my form is near what it should be - my back is flat all the way through, but I may have to much of a squatting motion - i sit straight down.

I'm going to work on it tomorrow. Thanks again.
trae
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Apr 20, 2005 21:09


Return to Chronic Injuries

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron