Muscle pain and stiffness in the body happens to many people. It doesn’t matter whether you have a sedentary lifestyle or you exercise regularly– your hamstring muscles can start to feel tight.
Depending on the cause, the severity of the pain can also differ. You can experience mild pain, a dull ache or even a deep stabbing pain which makes it very uncomfortable to go about your day.
3 Common Causes of Hamstring Tightness
Before you start to look for a remedy, it’s a good idea to know why your hamstring feels tight. The following are three main reasons:
- Over Use – If you exercise a lot, go hiking, indulge in cycling, or even gardening, your hamstrings might be overworked. Many people tend to push themselves to get better results. While your body will meet the target, once you’re done, your muscles start to tighten. For a few days, you can expect to be sore because of it.
- Under Use – Interestingly, hamstring tightness can also occur because of underuse. This occurs when you’re leading a very sedentary lifestyle. Someone with a desk job and then hobbies like video gaming, reading a book, drawing or painting will have underused hamstring muscles.
- Back Problems – Our bodies work in conjunction with each other. If you’re facing back problems, your hamstring muscles might become strained. Some back issues can pinch the nerves and not only cause back pain but leg pain too.
Should You Stretch Your Hamstring Muscles?
Now, when a muscle tightens, people naturally think stretching will help to loosen it. Unwittingly, this could be causing more damage than you would have thought. Based on the nature of the muscle strain, there might be some instances where stretching might not help.
- If you’ve overused the muscle through exercise or other physical activity, you can try to do some light, gentle stretches to relieve the strain. Hamstring tightness caused by exercise responds well to this.
- Underused hamstring muscles occur because they have been in a shortened position for too long. Stretching produces good results but it should be done on a regular basis to prevent any injury.
- Hamstring tightness, which is caused by back problems, doesn’t always benefit from stretches. In fact, as the back pain pinches the nerves and causes tightness, we can wrongfully interpret it as a need to stretch. Doing so will end up doing more damage to your back.
Going to the Chiropractor
If you’re not getting any relief, it’s a good idea to go to a chiropractor, especially when your hamstring muscles are tightening due to back pain. Stretching improperly can also cause more strain on your muscles so it is better to be safe than sorry.
With their in-depth understanding of the musculoskeletal system of the body, a chiropractor can identify nerve damage, herniated discs in the spine or under-use of the muscle. They will be able to locate the underlying problem and devise a treatment plan for you.
If you need help, we are here for you!