A tertiary victim of a sit-heavy lifestyle is the hamstring. When we sit for hours on end, the hamstrings are in a constant state of contraction, causing them to shorten, which creates a pull on the pelvis that can cause misalignment in the lower spine. This leads us to problem 1: do you know what proper seated posture looks like? If you are like many Americans, you may be sitting with a posterior-tilted pelvis for hours at a time, exposing your vertebrae in the sacrum and lumbar region to myriad compression and misalignment problems. Learning how to sit, if you must sit all day, is an essential measure that we would like to see desk-bound workers take seriously. As it relates to the hamstrings, you may be feeling general low back pain while the problem is originating in the leg, but how could you know? A quick self-diagnosis can be done at home with either a straight-leg raise or reaching for your toes:
- Sit on the floor with one leg and foot extended, and one in the butterfly position.
- Reach toward your foot and try to touch your toes.
If you can't touch your toes then chances are your hamstrings are tight. The degree to which this affects your life is variable: for some people it creates no problem at all but for others it can affect their posture, movement and musculoskeletal function. At Hayes Family Chiropractic, we work with you to determine if tight hamstrings may be causing dysfunction or pain and then help you solve it with spinal adjustment that accounts for any misalignment, and targeted stretching that will help release the region from tension. If you are in the Dunedin area, we urge you not to let your hamstrings hold you back from athletic endeavor or simply enjoying life any longer; call our office to schedule an appointment so we can start working on lengthening and strengthening those tight (or short) hamstrings.
Dr. Diane Hayes, D.C.