Physical Therapy Lower Back Stretches

By: Ehren Allen, DPT, COMT

Physical Therapy Lower Back Stretches that Are Easy to Do

  • Double Knee to Chest
  • Lower Trunk Rotation
  • Piriformis Stretch

To learn how to do these lower back stretches, read on. You can also learn 5 Simple Stretches for Lower Back Stretches at Home.

Lower Back Stretching Helps Keep You Healthy

Lower back pains and strains are very common.  Low back pain is one of the leading causes of doctor visits and missed work. Whether the pain is simply annoying, or debilitating, low back problems alter your life.

Daily activities will also affect the lower back. Repetitive stress on the lower back from improper positioning can lead to back problems. Activities that can lead to lower back pain include:

  • Prolonged sitting
  • Poor posture in a seated position when working at a computer at work
  • Lifting an object improperly. 

Even with good posture and proper lifting technique, it is still important to stretch the lower back to keep the muscles and joints healthy.  Stretching for lower back pain can be very relaxing as well.

Watch this VIDEO on Lower Back Stretches for Home. Then, read on to learn 5 ways to stretch your lower back.

woman on pink yoga mat on floor pulling her knees to her chest to stretch.Lower back stretches

How Do You Stretch Out a Tight Lower Back or Loosen Your Lower Back Muscles?  

Here are 3 Physical Therapy Lower Back Stretches to help keep your low back healthy. They may also be helpful stretches for back pain and the lower back muscles.

Double Knee to Chest Stretch

1. Double Knee to Chest- Begin by lying on your back with your knees bent. Bring your hands behind your knees or right below your kneecaps. Slowly bring both knees toward your chest, using your hands to pull your knees gently.

Woman laying on her back pulling both knees to chest to stretch the low back.  double knee to chest stretch helps open the facet joints in the lower back..Double Knee to Chest

Lower Trunk Rotation Stretch

2. Lower Trunk Rotation- Begin by lying on your back with your knees bent. Keep your shoulders on the ground as you gently roll both knees to one side. Make sure to keep your hips flat on the table as you roll to avoid over-rotation.

woman laying on her back with knees bent and rotated to the right to stretch the lower back.Lower Trunk Rotation

Piriformis Stretch

3. Piriformis Stretch- Begin by laying flat on your back with both knees bent. Place one ankle over the opposite knee and pull your knee towards the opposite shoulder. You should feel a stretch in the buttocks. 

Woman lying on her back with Left knee bent and the right foot rested on the L knee.  She is pulling the R knee toward her Left shoulder with the left hand to stretch the right piriformis muscle.Piriformis Stretch

It is important to remember that if any of the stretches for lower back pain listed above cause exacerbation of your pain, please stop or decrease the amount of movement you are performing the stretch. If you are interested in learning more about lower back Stretches, this ARTICLE may help.

Is Yoga a Good Low Back Stretch?

Image of woman doing yoga with left knee bent and right knee straight while leaning to the right and resting the right hand on the floor. left arm is straight toward the ceiling.Yoga Lower Back Stretch

The quick answer is Yes!  Yoga is a great form of exercise to increase:

  • fitness
  • health
  • flexibility
  • mindfulness

Yoga is also helpful to stretch the lower back muscles.  It is important to start slow and gently.  If you have a pulled back muscle or any other low back problem, you should see a doctor or physical therapist before starting Yoga.

Low Back Stretches can be a Back Pain Remedy

Lower back stretching and physical therapy 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, you might need to see an orthopedic physician specializing in the low back.  We have a team of experts who are ready to help!  If you want to learn more about the lower back anatomy, go to SPINE ANATOMY

Please read these related articles on: FAST TRACK SPINE PROGRAM, FlexibilityBest Hamstring Stretches and Direct Access to Physical Therapy.

Lower Back Care in Jacksonville, FL

If you want to schedule an appointment with an Orthopedic Spine Specialist, call (904)JOI-2000, schedule online or click below. To schedule with JOI Rehab, call (904)858-7045.


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