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Lower back pain

Simple Lower Back Stretches


A busy routine or a hands-on job can easily result in a tight lower back. Easing off this stress and staying loose and relaxed can be done with a few simple and effective stretches that target your lower back region. Using these stretches daily can greatly improve flexibility and mobility. If you are prone to becoming tight or sore after a long day’s work then these are for you. As you work through these exercises remember to breathe throughout and rest in between.


Exercise 1: ‘Side stretch’

This exercise targets your lower back by stretching side to side. This one is easy to do especially because you don’t need any fancy equipment or much space either. Remember, if you feel a sharp pain discontinue the exercise or rest until it disappears.

  • Set yourself up in a sitting position
  • Clasp both hands under one thigh
  • Gently stretch your nose down towards the floor outside the thigh you are holding
  • You should feel a stretch in your opposite lower back
  • Reach to your side and hold for 20 to 30 seconds
  • Repeat the reach with the other side


Exercise 2: ‘Knee Rocking Stretch’

This stretch is excellent if you’ve been lifting heavy objects all day and need to loosen up. Having a yoga mat or mattress beneath you is advisable for this exercise as a stabiliser.

  • Lying on your back with your knees bent and feet together on the floor
  • Hold the sides of your mat with your hands
  • Roll your knees side to side
  • For an advanced version, lower one leg flat and with your opposite hand, pull your bent knee all the way over to the opposite side.
  • Hold the stretch for a few seconds each way
  • Complete 10 rotations as a minimum as long as you don’t experience sharp pain


Exercise 3: ‘Knee to chest stretch’

This particular stretch is great for a sore lumbar region and can greatly improve hip mobility and ease lower back tension. Be careful not to ‘jerk’ your legs during this exercise, it’s best to start slow and work up from there.

  • Lying on your back with a mat beneath you
  • Bend your knees and wrap your arms around your legs
  • Gently bounce your knees towards your chest, taking care not to pull too hard
  • This should be comfortable and not cause sharp pain

All exercises where pain is present should be performed under the advice of a qualified health professional. If exercises performed increase your pain, stop and seek advice from a health professional.


Lower back pain: know the causes

Being aware of what can cause stress throughout your lower back can greatly reduce the chances of repeat injuries or even developing chronic lower back pain. Physiotherapy exercises for lower back pain are a great way of managing recovery from an acute injury or even loosening up after a day of heavy lifting or intense activity. Staying aware of your body’s limits when it comes to repetitive activities in sport can reduce the risk of injury. Even carrying a heavy bag too long can have a huge impact on your lower back. For more information on lower back pain, here’s a full rundown of potential causes and symptoms and recommended treatments.


What if my lower back is still tight and painful?

These exercises are aimed at loosening and relieving a tight lower back and should not cause or worsen any existing pain. If you are experiencing severe and sharp pain contact your physiotherapist today and get an expert opinion. Seeking good quality healthcare can reduce  recovery time and the risk of chronic pain in the future. Physiotherapists will be able to design and assist you in implementing a personalised exercise programme that will focus on your specific needs. At Integrity Physio, we have a dedicated and friendly team ready to answer all of your questions. Reach out today for expert and professional advice.


Director & Senior Physiotherapist at Integrity Physiotherapy, Leslie Trigg, has over 13 years of experience in clinical practice. He has graduated with a degree in Human Biology (Anatomy and Physiology) from Curtin University in 2001 and later completed a Masters of Physiotherapy in 2007. He has tremendous experience in musculoskeletal, orthopaedic, neurosurgical and sports physiotherapy. In his spare time, he enjoys swimming, listening to music and spending time with his family.