The short answer is yes.
Hamstring injuries can be back related, and in almost all hamstring cases there would be some involvement whether directly or indirectly from our back and nerves.
How many times do we hear, “I’ve done a Hammy!” Especially from those Weekend warriors who work hard all week then get out to sports on the weekend and ‘ping’ goes the hammy.
Our hamstrings attach to the bottom of our pelvis, which works hand in hand with our lower back, hence any change in back position affects our pelvic position which in turn affects our hamstring length.
The nerves supplying our hamstrings come from the lower back, so any tightness or jammed joints in the lower back can affect the way the nerves are running down the leg and impact on their ability to glide and move with our hammies. We know, muscles protect nerves, so if we have a tight nerve coming from our lower back, the hamstrings will tighten to protect this nerve, and this tightness puts the muscle at a higher risk of damage if working hard.
This is why sometimes we can stretch and stretch a muscle but it just won’t seem to loosen off, because it may be protecting a tight nerve, and by stretching it you are putting the nerve under strain which actually makes the muscle tighten even further! In this case we need to look at the back to free up this tight nerve.
If you suffer from hamstring tightness or injury why not try freeing your back up and see if it helps?
These are 3 simple back stretching exercises on our blog ‘Stiff back – Do I need a new bed?’
Try these exercises 1-2 times a day for a week. If it helps you can confidently say your hamstring issues are back related.
Physio can help
The physios at Willunga are specially trained in the latest nerve testing and treatments. We can assess what contribution the nerve is having to your hamstring tightness, and how much is true muscle tightness. Neural tightness is often easily cleared, allowing tight muscles to let go and stretch properly.
What about calf muscles, Achilles tendons etc?…..more on this later