Because of the mobility of the lower back area, this is one of the most common places for herniated disc pain to occur. Tight hamstring muscles can also affect this type of discomfort if the sciatic nerve, which is often affected by damaged lower back discs, is also being irritated by tense upper leg tissues. Today we’re going to focus on three specific hamstring stretches that can relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve and, in turn, ease lumbar herniated disc pain. If they’ve had treatment such as artificial disc replacement surgery, Santa Monica patients should check with their doctors before starting any new form of exercise.
If you have limited mobility or hamstrings that are especially tight, consider hamstring stretches performed while in a seated position. Get started by sitting on the edge of a supportive straight-backed chair. Place your feet on the ground about 3–6 inches apart and do this type of stretch by:
Tip: If you want more of a stretch, place your heel on a footstool or additional chair instead of on the floor.
Hamstring stretches can be done from different positions. This one is done while resting comfortably on the floor. You’ll lie on your back with one leg flat on the floor while the other one is bent. Complete the stretch by:
Tip: If lying on the floor is too uncomfortable for you or too hard on your lower back, try resting on a yoga mat or carpeted surface. You can also use a padded therapy table if your local gym has one.
One other common way to do hamstring stretches for lumbar herniated disc pain is while standing. Start with your feet and legs together. You’ll then complete standing hamstring stretches by taking the following steps:
Tip: Keep your legs engaged to protect your knees as you do standing hamstring stretches.
Start with slow, gentle stretches, but stop if you feel any sudden or unusual discomfort. Also, only stretch your hamstrings as much as what’s comfortable for you. Lastly, see your doctor or a Santa Monica spine surgeon if hamstring stretches aren’t helping you manage your lumbar herniated disc pain.
If you’re experiencing back pain you suspect is due to a lumbar herniated disc, don’t wait to contact a spine specialist. The spinal health experts at The Spine Institute can diagnose and treat your condition so you’re back to your normal routine as soon as possible. Call one of our friendly representatives today at 310-828-7757 and schedule a consultation.