Having a tight lower back can make your daily life uncomfortable. Worse, a tight lower back can deteriorate into more serious problems.

Tightness in your lower back may limit your range of motion and affect your ability to do basic tasks. Whether bending over to pick something up or lowering yourself into a chair, a tight lower back can be an annoying hindrance.

However, there are ways to relieve a tight lower back. Stretching is an effective remedy for tightness in your lower back, while Massage is another option. We will outline eight stretches to relieve a tight lower back before detailing alternative therapies.


Stretching is an effective way to relieve a tight lower back. It can ease compression in the area and loosen your hamstrings, hips, and glutes. Often, constriction in these other regions can compound lower back tightness. 

1. Cobra Stretch

The cobra stretch is beneficial for stretching a tight lower back. It will help to decompress the area. More flexible people can try straightening their arms, placing all their weight on their palms. Performing the cobra stretch –

  1. Lie on your stomach with your legs extended – your toes pointed away from you.
  2. Place your palms on the ground in front of you – shoulder-width apart.
  3. Rest your forearms and elbows flat on the floor.
  4. Push your body upwards slowly, with your weight resting on your forearms. Make sure your hips stay connected to the floor.
  5. Once you feel a comfortable stretch, hold it for ten seconds.
  6. Ease yourself back to the starting position.
  7. Repeat five times.

2. Knees to Chest

This stretch helps you to loosen a tight lower back. Also, it promotes better flexibility in the area. Performing knees to chest –

  1. Lie flat on your back – legs extended and toes pointed to the sky.
  2. Bend your right knee and draw it towards your chest.
  3. Grab your shin with both hands – interlock your fingers for a secure grip.
  4. Slowly pull your knee closer to your chest.
  5. When you feel the stretch, hold the position for 20 seconds.
  6. Ease your leg back to the starting position.
  7. Repeat five times on both legs.
  8. Draw both knees to your chest – hug your legs for a secure grip.
  9. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds.

3. Cat/Cow

Cat/cow is a yoga pose that increases spine flexibility while stretching your hips. Tightness in the hips can cause a tight lower back. So, this pose offers relief to that area. Performing cat/cow –

  1. Kneel on the floor and get onto all fours – knees directly under the hips and hands beneath the shoulders.
  2. Exhale and arch your spine – look straight ahead.
  3. Hold the position for 10 seconds.
  4. As you inhale, tighten your core muscles, and round your back – you want to look like a cat with its back up.
  5. Hold the position for 10 seconds.
  6. Slowly move between both positions ten times, holding for 10 seconds each.

4. Sitting Lower Back Stretch

This stretch works well for less mobile people like the elderly. You can sit in a chair and perform this stretch without risking injury. Performing the sitting lower back stretch –

  1. Sit in a chair with your knees spread apart
  2. Slowly bend forward, bringing your face towards the floor.
  3. Stop when you feel a comfortable stretch in your lower back.
  4. Hold the position for 30 seconds.
  5. Do this stretch three times for the best results.

5. Hip Circles

Hip circles can loosen the muscles in your lower back and hips. This movement also relieves tension and increases flexibility. Performing hip circles –

  1. Place your hands on your hips and stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart.
  2. Ease your hips from side to side – this loosens the area.
  3. Slowly rotate your hips in one direction – make big circles.
  4. Do ten circles in one direction.
  5. Repeat in the opposite direction.

6. Piriformis Seated Stretch

The piriformis seated stretch helps to lengthen the piriformis muscle. This muscle is in the gluteal region and must be stretched because tight glutes can lead to a tight lower back. This stretch should be part of a long-term stretching routine. Performing the piriformis seated stretch –

  1. Sit on the floor with your back straight.
  2. Cross your left leg over your right leg – place your left foot on the floor beside your right thigh and tuck your right foot towards your buttocks.
  3. Place your right hand on your left knee.
  4. Gently pull your knee towards your stomach until you feel a stretch – make sure your back is straight.
  5. Hold the position for 20 seconds.
  6. Alternate between legs, doing both three times.

7. Child’s Pose

The child’s pose is a yoga pose that takes pressure off the lower back. It can be an effective way to relieve pain in the area. Performing the child’s pose –

  1. Get on the floor on all fours – knees can be hip-width apart.
  2. Turn your toes inwards to touch.
  3. Ease your hips backwards, bringing your buttocks towards your heels.
  4. When you reach a comfortable position, fully extend your arms in front of you – your face will move towards the ground.
  5. Hold the pose for 20 seconds.
  6. Slowly return to the starting position.
  7. Repeat three times.

8. Towel Hamstring Stretch

The towel hamstring stretch loosens your hamstrings. Tension in the hamstrings can cause tightness in the lower back. Therefore, this stretch can help relieve a tight lower back.
Performing the towel hamstring stretch –

  1. Lie on the floor with both knees bent – feet should be planted.
  2. Lift your right leg and put the towel under your foot – hold each end of the towel in your hands to keep tension.
  3. Keeping the tension on the towel, straighten your right leg – keep your left foot planted on the floor.
  4. Slowly draw your right leg upwards, keeping it straight.
  5. Stop when you feel a stretch in your hamstring.
  6. Hold the position for 20 seconds.
  7. Do this stretch three times on each leg.


Although stretching is an excellent way to relieve a tight lower back, alternative therapies are also highly beneficial.

  1. PHYSIOTHERAPY – Sometimes you need more than stretching to relieve a tight lower back. Physiotherapy can alleviate pain in your lower back, restore function, and increase mobility.
  2. MASSAGE – Massage is a phenomenal way to relieve tension in your body. And that applies to tightness in the lower back as well. Massage therapy can loosen contracted muscles in the lower back and give you relief.
  3. PILATES – If you have a tight lower back, Pilates is another way to relieve it. Pilates involves stretching and will loosen a tight lower back. However, pilates provides more benefits, including increased flexibility, stronger muscles, improved core stability, and better posture and balance.
  4. ACUPUNCTURE – Acupuncture is another therapy you can use to relieve a tight lower back. A trained acupuncturist can use this therapy to relax the muscles in your lower back and alleviate any tension. If you have pain from a tight lower back, acupuncture can help relieve it.


Not only can a tight lower back make your life uncomfortable, but it can lead to more severe issues. The eight stretches outlined in this article should help you relieve a tight lower back before that happens.
If you are beyond help from stretching, you can get relief from alternative therapies at SPHC, like physiotherapy, massage, pilates, and acupuncture. These options can help where stretching cannot.  

Please call our friendly team for further advice on 3869 1099 or BOOK ONLINE.