According to the American Chiropractic Association, 80% of the population suffers from back pain at some point in their lives. It’s also the third most common reason why people visit their doctors.
Using an orthopedic back stretcher is a low-cost but effective solution for back pain and posture correction. This type of tool can bring you significant savings in terms of time, money, and effort spent on regularly going to the chiropractor. Not to mention that a back stretcher is an easy to use, non-invasive, and drug-free option.
In this post, I’ll walk you through the best back stretchers available and everything you need to know about buying and using one.
Best Back Stretchers At a Glance
- Sunanth Back Stretcher (best overall)
- SOLIDBACK Back Stretcher (deepest massage)
- Jimugor Lower Back Stretcher (heat speeds up recovery time)
- BackBridge Back Stretcher (most adjustable)
- Sae Arc Back Stretcher (easiest to use)
The Sunanth is the most well rounded orthopedic back stretcher we’ve come across. It offers lumbar stretching at different height levels, gentle acupressure, and portability at a reasonable price.
The arch degree is adjustable, and can be raised to either 2.75″, 3.55″ or even as high as 4.35″. The strip of thin foam cradles your spine as you stretch while the small acupressure nubs relax those kinks in your back. Once you’re done, just lay the product flat for easy storage.
Finish off your relaxation session by using the bonus massage ball on your legs and feet.
- 3-level arch adjustability
- Stress and tension-relieving acupressure nubs at the sides
- Comes with a massage ball
- Folds flat, making it highly portable and easy to store
- High weight capacity of up to 440 lbs
- Comes in 6 vibrant colors
What Other Owners Say:
- I get almost unbearable pain due to my severe herniated disc and sciatica. After trying a lot of failed equipment, I’m pleased to say that I finally found this back stretcher. I’m a big guy at 6’1 and 325 lbs and this handles my weight really well. Most importantly, it has significantly reduced my back pain. Amazing!
- It does exactly what it says but adjusting it is tough due to the thick plastic. I get that this means that it’s sturdy so I don’t mind it that much. It did have an awful smell when I first opened it. Fortunately, it went away after a day.
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Boasting an ultra high profile of 3.5” and protruding spikes, the Solidback Orthopedic Stretcher is the best choice for those looking for deep tissue massages to stimulate blood circulation and break up knots as they stretch out their backs.
Though this product isn’t adjustable, what it’s designed to do, it can do really well. The 3.5” arch is just the right height and shape to support the proper curvature of your spine. Matching this are the extra firm spikes which will reach deep within your back to remove the tension from your muscles. It can be a little intense for beginners but once you get used to it, the back pain relief is significant.
- Made from molded high-density foam
- Comes with spikes for deep massaging
- Suitable for 5’4 to 6’ height and up to 300 lbs weight
- 100% money-back guarantee
- 3.5 inch arc at the highest point
What Other Owners Say:
- I have scoliosis which has given me excruciating lower back pain and poor posture. A week into using this, the pain has decreased by about 50%. It was painful the first few times I used it but I noticed improvements right away after each session. This is probably my smartest online purchase to date.
- The product isn’t adjustable and the foam barely has any give so it can be a bit too intense. It didn’t come with any instructions either.
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Boasting an impressive array of features not found in standard orthopedic back stretchers, the Jimugor adds both heat and vibration therapy to the mix. The result is a device that greatly speeds up your recovery time by soothing and increasing blood circulation to your lower back as you stretch.
Using the remote, you can control the intensity of the infrared heating function and vibration motors.
- Inflatable lower back stretcher with handheld remote control
- Adjustable infrared heat function, 3 levels – 45 to 65°C
- Reversible base plate and air traction for height adjustment
- Comes with 2 powerful vibration motors with 3 levels of intensity
- Automatic up and down traction
- 30-day money-back guarantee
What Other Owners Say:
- I have low back pain from sitting all day at work. This product does exactly what it says so I no longer have to go once a month to get a professional deep tissue massage. It’s a bit on the expensive side but definitely worth it!
- I think I got a faulty device. The vibrations and heating were too mild and the up and down function barely works.
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If you’re unsure how much arching you need in a back stretcher, the BackBridge makes it simple with its 5 level stackable design. It can go from a low of 1″ up to a 7″ arch. Combined with the ability to strap onto the backrest of a chair, and this low tech device suddenly looks mighty versatile.
Along with the product you get a pamphlet and two links to additional resources that can teach you the ins and outs of back stretching for pain relief and posture correction. More importantly, these will guide you how to safely use the different levels of the Backbridge. Finally, it comes with a strap which you can use to secure the product on your office chair or car’s backrest for added back support as you go about your day.
- Stackable design offers 5 levels of arching difficulty, up to 7”
- Locks into place
- Includes a strap for chair and car back support
- Comes with several helpful resources including a pamphlet, 2 guide e-books, and an instructional video
- 90-day 100% money-back guarantee
What Other Owners Say:
- I’ve been suffering from severe back pain for 15 years now due to standing all day at work. My visits to the chiropractor have decreased tremendously since I got this product. Definitely well worth the money I paid for it!
- The deep stretch that the Backbridge gives me feels amazing. I already feel taller since my posture has been noticeably better. Only thing I can complain about is that it doesn’t look like the material will age well.
- Ease upper and lower tensions
- Improves posture
- Relieves muscle and back aches
Last but not the least is the only wooden back stretcher on this list, the Sae Arc. Simple, amazingly sturdy, and pleasing to the eyes, it’s a worthy, reasonably-priced contender to the other products I’ve listed.
The maple wood material of the Sae Arc lends it beautiful aesthetics and a whopping weight capacity of 1000 lbs. It has a sturdy construction so you can expect years of use. For a deeper stretch, all you have to do is attach the end of the plywood to the included wedge.
- Premium maple wood construction
- 2 easy-adjust height levels
- Extremely high weight limit of 1000 lbs
- Made in the USA
What Other Owners Say:
- It’s sturdy, looks good, and feels good. I’m glad I skipped the cheap plastic ones and decided to pay a little extra for quality.
- The yoga mat material layer isn’t enough for me so I had to put a folded towel to make it easier on my back.
For a quick demonstration of the different ways the Sae Arc can be used, watch this video. Video
How Do Orthopedic Back Stretchers Work?
Back stretchers are convenient devices that are shaped to conform to your spine’s natural curvature. Often either made of plastic or wood, it starts by relaxing the back muscles and then elongating the spine. By creating just enough space between your vertebrae, you’ll be able to counteract the effects of gravity on your spine.
Temporarily increasing the space between your spinal discs allows fresh blood to flow in and provide oxygen and nutrients to the tired muscles and nerves. It also increases the amount of proteoglycans in the spine. This is a compound which plays an important role in the spine’s ability to self-heal.
How Do I Use a Back Stretcher?
To reap the full benefits of an orthopedic back stretcher, you need to use it regularly. According to a study, chronic back pain patients report pain relief within just 2 weeks of daily lower back stretching.
Fortunately, this apparatus is easy to use and will only require a few minutes of your time, up to twice a day. However, before using it, it’s best to consult your doctor especially if you have existing back conditions.
The most common way of using a back stretcher is in a flat position.
- Start by sitting on the floor with your legs bent.
- Place one end of the stretcher against your tailbone.
- Gently lay your back down onto the stretcher.
- To open up your chest and lower back more, raise your arms above your head and lengthen your legs
- Bend your knees and rock your hips from side to side
- Gently roll to your side and slowly get up.
What Are the Benefits of Using a Back Stretcher?
Regularly using a back stretcher comes with many benefits:
- Passively and therapeutically stretches the spine
- A quick, easy, and Inexpensive way to improve back health
- Fully relaxes and loosens stiff back muscles
- Relieves spinal disc compression and pinched nerves
- Speeds up healing and rehabilitation by improving blood flow
- Improves the back’s range of motion
- Helps correct poor posture
- Relieves back pain, tension, and stress
- Strengthens the back
- Helps prevent disc herniation
Who Can Benefit From Using an Orthopedic Back Stretcher?
Except for pregnant women and osteoporosis patients, almost everyone would benefit from using a back stretcher. However, it is especially beneficial for patients with sciatica, bulging discs, pinched nerves in the back, lower back arthritis, degenerative disc disease, back muscle strain, scoliosis, poor posture, and lumbar spinal stenosis.
It can also be helpful to workers who have lifted heavy weights regularly or those who are required to stand or sit for a greater part of the day.
Can Using an Orthopedic Back Stretcher Make You Taller?
Stretching has been found to boost the amount of jelly-like substance between your spinal discs, elongating your spine. However, any effect on your height is inconclusive and probably temporary.
What Factors Do I Need to Consider When Buying a Back Stretcher?
With all the orthopedic back stretchers available in the market today, it can be hard to decide which one is right for you. To make it an easier task, here are the factors that you need to consider.
A good orthopedic back stretcher will fit the curve of your spine, giving it just enough stretch without being uncomfortable. A well-padded unit will allow you to lay on it longer without feeling discomfort. If the product you bought has hard nubs that hurt your back, you can cover it with a thick towel or mat to make it more comfortable to use.
In terms of design, look for dual use back stretchers that work both on the floor and over the backrest of your office chair to stretch your back as you work. Most back stretchers on this list support dual use.
Choose an orthopedic back stretcher with adjustable levels of height. 3.5″ is a good maximum level to look for, though even higher is better as your flexibility improves.
Double check if your chosen product is capable of handling your weight. This is very important for safe usage. Using a unit with a lower capacity than your body weight can lead to injuries.
Look for an orthopedic back stretcher with a solid base for stability. A wobbly unit is not only uncomfortable to use, you might end up injuring yourself as well.
Opt for a hassle-free back stretcher that’s both easy to assemble and adjust. You should be able to use it with minimal fuss and effort.
There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to orthopedic back stretchers and you don’t want to be stuck with an ill-fitting unit. A money-back guarantee will protect you in case you’re faced with this dilemma.