Hamstring strechesThe prior post was fascinating. Kidney pain pretending to be back pain - in my case I had shooting pains down my leg along the sciatic nerve.
Reviewing the posts - I saw one desribing a standing excersize to strech the hamstrings.
When I first damaged my back it happened doing such an move I went down and touched my toes from a standing position and as I went to lift myself back up from that position I had my first dibilitating back spasm.
Obviously once you have a spasm you can't strech it out that way. The lie on the ground approach and then pull a knee up to your chin can be done even if you are currently in a spasmed state. That lifting your body up with your back straight from a standing position creates a lot of compression pressure on your lower spine and you need to be careful with it.
The one I'm doing to increase back strenth so that I can do a standing back straight touch your toes, is to lie flat on my belly and then - in superman style - raise my hands and chest off the floor and my feet and knees off the floor and hold it. This does not compress the spine but directly builds strength in the lower back region which ultimately strengthens the lower back helping to prevent the problems.
For hamstring streches I lie on my back with one leg flat on the ground. You lift the other foot with the leg straight as far back as you can (or actually you start with it bent so you don't over compress your lower back, then straighten it once its at right angles to the floor). You have a belt drapped over your foot and you grab the belt with both hands. You then pull that straight leg back towards your head as far as you can. This streches the hamstrings without putting pressure on your lower back. The variation I'm doing now is I have someone also gently push back on my foot since I've gotton to the point where the pulling the belt does not increase the flexibility any more.