Stretching your hamstrings is not very effective.
Why this matters:
One of the common stretches provided in a pain relief program is the hamstring stretch. This can be done either with a forward toe touch, or pulling the leg straight up towards the ceiling so you can feel a stretch on the back of your thigh. The reason why this improves flexibility is due to the Golgi Tendon Organ (aka “GTO”) This structure detects tension in the muscle and causes the muscle to relax when a muscle is stretched over a period of time. The key term is relaxation. When you are recovering from sciatica, it may seem like it is helpful to relax those muscles, however, it is more important to ensure that muscles are supple and active. Stretching deactivates muscles.
The hamstring massage is a much more effective way to improve hamstring function. This technique will also place a lot less stress and stretch on the sciatic nerve. I usually recommend rolling out for 90s to 2 minutes per leg.
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