Stretches for Your Hamstrings to Relieve Pain from a Herniated Disc in Los Angeles, CA

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.

1. Seated Hamstring Stretches

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:

  • Extending one leg outward and keeping your heel on the ground
  • Pointing your toes upward while keeping your spine straight
  • Leaning forward over your extended leg until you feel the stretch in your thighs
  • Holding the position for about 30 seconds or as long as possible before switching legs and repeating

Tip: If you want more of a stretch, place your heel on a footstool or additional chair instead of on the floor.

2. Hamstring Stretches Performed with a Towel

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:

  • Tightening the muscles in your abdominal area as you lift your bent leg
  • Wrapping a towel around the bottom of the foot you’re lifting and holding both ends of the towel with your hands
  • Pushing the heel of the toweled foot upward as you extend the leg outward as far as you can while keeping the other leg on the floor
  • Holding the position for about half a minute once you feel the stretch
  • Switching legs and repeating

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.

3. Standing Hamstring Stretches

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:

  • Drawing your lower abdominal muscles and stomach area backward and breathing in to elongate your spine as you breathe out
  • Bending forward from your hips and lowering your torso/trunk
  • Extending your shoulders in the direction away from your head while keeping your backbone elongated as you fold forward
  • Placing your hands by your hips or on the front of your thighs—but don’t apply pressure
  • Holding the stretch briefly while keeping your back flat as you inhale, then coming out of the stretch while exhaling

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.


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