So many people deal with tender, tight hamstrings. For some, it’s a temporary condition that will go away once they start moving around and stretching out their hamstring. But for others, it can be a chronic condition that won’t go away no matter how hard they try to stretch it out.
A hamstring injury occurs when you cut, strain, or pull one of your hamstring muscles located at the back of your thigh. You’re more likely to have one of these injuries if you run a lot or when you’re sprinting and have a lot of sudden starts and stops.
Prolonged sitting, generally, can cause your quadriceps and gluteal muscles to weaken, which can cause the hamstring muscles to be overloaded, leading to pain in hamstring when sitting.
You can avoid hamstring pain by maintaining a good sitting posture and taking enough breaks throughout the day.
If you suffer from pain in hamstring when sitting all day at work, this article will help you overcome that pain. We’re going to talk about some of the best solutions to reduce pain in hamstring when sitting in your office chair at home or work.
How to Tell if You Have Pain in Hamstring When Sitting
If you have pain in hamstring when sitting, you’ll likely know by the sharp and sudden pain in your thigh. There could also be a sensation of tearing or popping.
You might even start to notice tenderness and swelling a couple of hours after the injury occurs. Look out for weakness, discoloration, and bruising as well.
What Are Your Hamstring Muscles?
Your hamstring muscles are the three muscles found behind your thigh. You also have a large nerve extending from your lower back to your legs called the sciatic nerve. There’s a condition called hamstring syndrome where the sciatic nerve is pinched. This can happen because of the band of tissue that holds together the hamstring muscles or because of friction between your pelvis and hamstring muscles.
Buttock pain and hip pain, as well as numbness down your leg, can come with this condition, and it can make stretching and sitting hurt. One of the ways to alleviate some of this sitting pain is to lay down, but this doesn’t always help.
Hamstring syndrome is often caused by strained hamstrings or back. Hamstring pain usually manifests along the back of your leg, near the convergence of your hamstring tendon and muscles, or close to your feet.
Why Do I Have Pain in Hamstring When Sitting?
Your hamstrings give you the power you need to walk. They assist your gluteal muscles to propel your body forward to help you get up from a chair, walk across a room, or climb stairs.
As we mentioned earlier, sitting can cause your hamstrings and gluteal muscles to become weakened. When your gluteal muscles are weakened, your hamstring muscle can be overburdened when propelling your body forward.
As a result of a tight hamstring and tired muscles due to overcompensation, injuries and pain can happen.
How to Avoid Pain in Hamstring When Sitting
Finding a comfortable office chair is always a good start when trying to avoid pain in hamstring when sitting, but you should also be stretching regularly and maintain good posture. There are also several things that you should do to make sure that your chair is set up correctly to avoid hamstring pain.
Height of Seat
When your feet are comfortably resting on the floor, it is a good indication that you have the right height for your office chair. If you can’t rest your feet comfortably, you need to adjust the height of your chair. This can help cut down on hamstring tightness. To learn more about the proper setup for your office chair, read our article on How to Measure a Chair for helpful tips.
Depth of the Seat
Ideally, the depth of the seat should be deep enough for you to sit on the chair comfortably. This means that you should be able to sit with your back against the chair, with the distance between the edge of the seat and your knees about three fingers wide.
Tilt of the Seat
Your hips should always be higher than your knees. Why? Because your weight should be shifted to your core instead of your spine. If your chair doesn’t allow you to tilt the seat, consider getting a wedge cushion.
Support for Your Back
Your lumbar should also be supported. This will take some of the pressure off your spine and hips. A hamstring stretch allows for better posture and can reduce the amount of stress felt in the lower back and lower leg due to the limited motion caused by hamstring tightness.
Posterior thigh pain can also be caused by the lumbar spine or hip joint. The repeated stress to your thigh muscles can cause hamstring tendonitis and can include thigh pain that typically occurs near your knee or hip.
Why Are My Hamstrings Hurting for No Apparent Reason?
If you’ve ever had to deal with tight hamstrings, then you know how annoying they can be. Most people don’t realize that they’re at risk for tight hamstrings until their muscles are already sore. More often than not, tightness in your hamstrings is caused by activities such as sports and exercise.
Doing less excessive activities isn’t going to fix your tight hamstrings – it could help, though! The best thing you can do is find activities that won’t put as much of a strain on your hamstring muscles, and if you can’t avoid performing excessive activities, try to do them less often.
The Biggest Difference Between Hamstring Pain and Sciatica
Hamstring strain and sciatica pain can both cause extreme discomfort because they’re both common injuries. Because of this, they’re often mistaken for one another, but the major difference is that sciatic pain is more in the buttocks and back region.
Three Ways to Ease Pain in Hamstring When Sitting with Movement
So many people have shared workspaces, so they can’t go crazy with stretches and movement, so here are a few discreet moves that you can do near or at your desk to stretch out your hamstring muscle.
1. Standing Figure Four
In a standing position, cross one of your ankles over your other knee – start with the right ankle over your left knee. Bend your left (standing) knee as well, then take your right hand and rest it on your upper thigh while you lightly push your right leg away from your torso.
This hamstring stretch is a great way to open your hip and lower back. Repeat doing the opposite side, and then repeat the move completely five times.
2. Cow/Cat in Chair Pose
For this hamstring stretch, get into a standing squat position. Deeply bend your knees and rest your hands on your upper thighs, then lightly round and arch your lower spine. You can also make this move by keeping your back long and shifting your weight from one foot to the other. Repeat this move about five times.
3. Bridge from Chair
From your chair (one that doesn’t roll), put your hands on the handles or sides of the seat, then lift your pelvis and hips off the chair and make a light and short backbend. Repeat about five times.
If you experience any hamstring strain or pain when sitting, it could be caused by your sitting posture. Most people who suffer from sit bone pain live sedentary lives because their jobs require them to sit in front of a computer most of the day.
Sitting for an extended period can cause your hamstrings to tighten because they aren’t supposed to be stuck in that position for long periods. The muscles can also shorten over time, leading to even more issues if ignored or left untreated over a long enough time.
Want a new office chair but you are on a budget? Check out our review of the 10 Best Office Chairs Under 200 Dollars.