The hamstring muscles become contracted if not stretched. This in turn can cause pain in the back of the leg. Stretching these muscles is a simple matter of watching TV!
Sit on the sofa with one leg on a stool or chair in front of you (height depending on how tight the hamstrings are) and the other foot on the ground at a 45 degree angle. Lean forward gently using your torso and gravity as the lever arm to stretch the hamstrings. Use your arm- resting your elbow on the knee of the leg that is being stretched to take the pressure off your back. Don’t bounce but use a continuous pressure on the hamstrings by using the amount of bend in your elbow to determine the amount of stretch needed to keep continuous pressure on the muscle group. After you have had enough, simply switch to the other leg. Continue gently for the next 10-20 minutes. Do not push until pain but simply until the muscle becomes “fatigued”. Do this every day.
If this stretch causes pain or numbness down to the foot- go easy! This exercise also stretches the sciatic nerve and while good for you generally, there are some times that stretching this nerve if already inflamed, can aggravate nerve pain.
This exercise is strictly for patients whom have had surgery at our clinic or are rehabbing after injury. Other surgeons may use very different rehabilitation protocols and these are not recommended unless your surgeon has read and agreed with these.