Spondylolisthesis and Tight Hamstrings

spondylolisthesis hamstring stretches

If you have searched the internet looking for answers about your spondylolisthesis you have most likely looked for common issues that may contribute to your spondylolisthesis or spondylolysis related back pain.

One common issue that is often discussed is tight hamstrings. Perhaps you have heard….

“Strech your hamstrings if you have back pain.”


“You back hurts because you have tight hamstrings, you need to stretch them. ”

From years of working with a variety of athletes and clients along with working on ways to help my own spondylolisthesis, one thing I have learned is that there is much more to a tight hamstring than meets the eye.

And in some cases to prescribe someone to lay around and stretch their hamstrings all day can cause MORE DAMAGE THAN GOOD!

Simple hamstring stretches are NOT the answer to fixing your spondylolisthesis.

Simple hamstring stretches are NOT always the only answer to fixing your spondylolisthesis.

Just because you are having back pain does not mean you have tight hamstrings and just because you have tight hamstrings does not mean you will have back pain.

If you do have tight hamstrings think about this:

Instead of spending hours stretching your hamstrings and worrying about how you can loosen them, change your train of thought. Instead try to think about what could be causing the tight hamstrings in the first place.

Once this question is properly answered you can then come up with an approach to correct the issues.

More than likely other physical problems are causing you to have tight hamstrings. And until these areas are addressed your hamstrings will continue to be tight. No matter how much stretching you do.

For some, tight hamstrings are the body’s defense to make up for lack of production from other areas.

A Great Read…

I recently came across a blog post that does a great job describing this exact topic.

I often read the blog of Eric Cressey.  Eric is one of the smartest guys in the strength and conditioning field and is a phenomenal strength coach.

I highly reccomend you read “5 Reasons Why You Have Tight Hamstrings“.

In this blog Eric discusses various causes for tight hamstrings and how they approach these issues. He explains this topic much better than I would, so I highly encourage you to spend a few minutes reading it, especially if you think you have tight hamstrings!

I was excited to see he feels the same way as I do when it comes to tight hamstrings.  In reason number one he does a PHENOMINAL job of explaining why people with spondy’s often have tight hamstrings.

Not everyone who has a spondy needs to fall into the “stretch the hamstrings” category. You need to get evaluated by a professional to determine the underlying cause of your tightness before you go stretching your hamstrings like crazy.

Your perceived tightness in the hamstrings could be a clue to another area that needs stability or strengthening work.

Enjoy the article and let us know what you think by commenting below.

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Leave A Reply (2 comments so far)

  1. jo sustek
    5 years ago

    I so appreciate this site.I look forward to the videos.I have been Dx with stage one without fx.I am a retired nurse,and even with proper lifting,I am sure my 41 nursing years has affected my back,plus an unexpected trip in my garage last year.My MD wants me to go to PT, but its a pre existing condition, and cannot get health insurance.I am too young for medicare by 18 months so please know that you area blessing to me.

    • Spondy
      5 years ago

      Hi Jo.
      I too have been frustrated by insurance and pre existing conditions, so I know exactly how you feel. Hopefully the site provides some direction and information to help you in your battle. Thanks for the kind comment and we wish you the best of luck in your recovery!

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