5 Simple Stretches for Lower Back At Home

This woman is completing low back stretches and properly stretching lower back.Image of a woman stretching the lower back.

Why Does My Lower Back Hurt?

By: Ehren Allen, DPT/Certified Manual Therapist

About 80% of adults suffer from lower back pains in their lifetime.  Anyone with back and hip pain will be looking for a back pain remedy.  The majority of lower back pains comes from moving or bending the wrong way.  Sitting for long periods at a computer also increases the risk of lower back pains. It is a common pain to be linked to Spondylosis.  This is a general term that refers to degeneration in the spine. 

There are many risk factors for lower back pain, including: 

  • Age
  • Fitness level
  • Pregnancy
  • Weight gain
  • Genetics
  • Occupational risk factors. 

The majority of lower back pain occurrences improve within 6 weeks.  Treatment needs can vary, but many benefit from physical therapy for strengthening and stretching exercises.

Do Lower Back Stretches Help Back Pain?

The majority of workers today sit at a computer station for at least 8 hours per day.  This prolonged sitting position can lead to stiffness and abnormal stresses on the lower back.  Regular stretching activity before and after work can help keep the lower spine mobile and keep muscles flexible and healthy. Yoga is an option for stretching and maintaining mobility as well.  Yoga poses can be modified or simplified for beginners.

When stretching, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Stretch slowly and avoid bouncing
  • Hold stretches for 20 to 30 seconds.
  • Repeat stretches 3 times.
  • Do not push through the pain (to avoid a pulled back muscle)

What are 5 Stretches for Lower Back that I Can Try?

We have provided 5 basic stretches.  These stretches are gentle and appropriate for beginners. Stretches for lower back pains should be held for 30 seconds and repeated 3X.

  • Knee to chest stretch - Lay on your back and pull both knees to your chest.  This helps stretch out the lower back and buttock muscles.

Knee to chest stretch opens the facet joints and stretches the muscles in the low back. This woman is properly completing low back stretches. Knee to Chest Stretch

  • Piriformis stretch - Lay on your back with the knees bent and feet rested on the surface.  Cross one leg over and grab the knee to pull it toward the opposite shoulder.  This helps to lengthen a muscle in your buttock region that is sometimes a source of irritation to the sciatic nerve.

Stretching the Piriformis can help with sciatica in some people. The piriformis is a muscle in the buttocks area. This woman is properly completing low back stretches.Piriformis Stretch

  • Hamstring stretch - Lay on your back with both legs straight and resting on the surface.  Then, lift one of the legs (still straight) and grab behind the thigh with both hands.  Gently pull the leg with the hands or strap. This helps stretch the muscle in the back of your thigh that attaches to your pelvis and can add abnormal pull when tight. 

A 90/90 Hamstring stretch is a great way to stretch the hamstring muscles without stressing the lower back. This woman is properly completing low back stretches. 90/90 Hamstring Stretch

  • Lower trunk rotation stretch - Lay on your back with knees bent and feet resting on the floor. Rotate the lower body, keeping the knees together and moving them to one side.  Do this in both directions.  This stretch helps to decrease stiffness in the lower back.  

Lower trunk rotation helps to increase mobility of the facet joints in the lower back. This woman is properly completing low back stretches.Lower Trunk Rotation

  • Hip Flexor Stretch: Lay on the edge of a bed or table.  Allow one leg to rest off the side of the surface while you pull the opposite knee toward your chest. This will help stretch the muscles in the front of the hip, which can become tight from sitting for long periods.

A Thomas stretch, or hip flexor stretch is a way to stretch the hip flexor muscles with less stress on the lower back. Bending the opposite knee up to the chest locks the low back in place. This woman is properly completing low back stretches.Hip Flexor Stretch

Learn more about Lower Back Stretching, watch this VIDEO, or read this ARTICLE.


Why is Stretching the Lower Back Important? Can Stretching Lower Back Muscles Help?

Stretches for lower back pains can help decrease the risk of low back pain and sciatica symptoms.  It can also increase your ability to walk, bend, and perform the normal activities of life.  If you have low back pain or these stretches do not help, Come see us at Jacksonville Orthopedic Inst.  We have a team of experts who are ready to help!

If you would like to learn more about lower back stretch or lower back strain, read an article from one of our Jacksonville Orthopedic Institute physicians about a non-surgical approach to dealing with your pain.


How Do You Fix Low Back Pain?

If you still have Low back pain, consider physical therapy. A physical therapist can help determine the cause of the pain and develop a long-term treatment plan. Watch this VIDEO on why Back Pain Can't Wait for treatment.

Please read this article on the FAST TRACK SPINE PROGRAM if you are interested in receiving physical therapy.  

The Jacksonville Orthopaedic Institute will continue to monitor the latest developments of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), we are committed to protecting the health and safety of our patients, families and caregivers. To read more about our safety measures go to JOI4U. JOI & JOI Rehab, encourages all patients to wear a mask to their appointment. Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms, including fever, cough or shortness of breath, should contact 904-JOI-2000 prior to your scheduled appointment. In an effort to adhere to the national social distancing request, please do not bring family members to your appointment unless they are needed for translation or transportation.  You can also complete all of your new patient paperwork from home. To request registration paperwork electronically click HERE.

If you would like to learn about JOI Robotic Spine Surgery, please watch this VIDEO.


If you need to schedule with an Orthopaedic Spine Specialist, call JOI-2000 or click below.




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