The 7 Best Orthopedic Back Stretcher for Back Pain (2022)
Using an orthopedic back stretcher is an easy, drug-free, non-invasive, effective, and low-cost treatment to ease back muscle pain and relieve disc-related issues such as Sciatica and bulging discs.
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These simple, no assembly devices, are anatomically shaped to conform to your spine and realign your vertebrae – to help improve your posture and relieve compression in your nerves and discs.
There are so many back stretchers on the market. How do you choose the best one for you?
We’ve researched and found the 7 best orthopedic lumbar back stretcher devices, reviewed them, and compared them for 2022.
- How Does an Orthopedic Back Stretcher Work?
- How to Choose a Lumbar Back Stretcher
- How Much Does a Back Stretcher Cost?
- The 7 Best Orthopedic Back Stretchers
- How to Use a Back Stretcher at Home
- Orthopedic Spine Stretcher Benefits
- Are Orthopedic Back Stretchers Safe?
- Lumbar Stretchers vs. Inversion Tables
How Does an Orthopedic Back Stretcher Work?
Orthopedic back stretchers are simple arched lumbar stretchers made of wood or plastic which allow you to passively and effortlessly stretch your entire back. Back stretchers elongate your spine, creating space between the vertebrae and counteracting the effect of gravity.
This fully relaxes the muscles and allows for spinal discs to rehydrate and heal from injuries.
How to Choose a Lumbar Back Stretcher
Most arched back stretchers are made from hard plastic, with a softer padded mid-section to protect your spine. A good stretcher would have thick and comfortable padding for the spine area. Acupressure points on both sides are a great bonus, and adjustable levels are critical for safety. The more height levels the stretcher has, the more you can gradually increase your flexibility and healing – without injury.
It is also important to check for a sufficient warranty and trial period, to allow you to return the product if it’s uncomfortable for you.
How Much Does a Back Stretcher Cost?
In 2022, most orthopedic back stretchers cost between $15 to $30 – without shipping. Wooden back stretchers cost less than plastic ones. The price mainly depends on the adjustability of the back stretcher, its weight capacity, and its build quality.
The 7 Best Orthopedic Back Stretchers
Although it looks like a torture instrument, the arched back stretcher is based on the principle that lower back pain originates from stiff facet joints.
These facet joints stiffen up as you get older, so this lifting and stretching movement would encourage mobility and prevent stiffness.
Using a device like this has the opposite effect and stretches you out in the other direction.
Through our research, here are the 7 best arched back stretchers, our rating, and what we liked about them:
|Back Stretcher||Review||What we Liked||Price|
|ChiSoft Lumbar |
|Popular on Amazon||3 height levels|
|✅ $28 at Vitactivate or check Price on Amazon |
|Stoa Health Back Stretcher||Top Pick||Unlimited height adjustment|
Highest weight support
|✅ Check Price on Amazon|
|Magic Back Support||Multifunction||3 height levels|
Multifunction - back stretcher & back cushion
|✅ Check Price on Amazon|
|Jimugor Electric Lumbar Stretcher||Best Electric with Heat & Massage||Inflatable air pressure|
3 vibration massage levels
Auxiliary infrared heat (45-76 F)
|✅ $199 on Walmart|
low back stretcher
|Best for Trigger Points||High-quality dense foam|
Soft yet durable
|✅ Check Price on Amazon|
1. ChiSoft Solid Orthopedic Back Stretcher Popular
- Size – 15 x 2.8 x 4 inches
- Weight – 1.2 pounds
- Weight Support – 250 pounds
The unique quality of the ChiSoft is in its 3-level gear adjustment for different ranges in stretching your back. The ChiSoft is durable and has acupressure points for increased blood circulation and promoting healing in the area. Also, it has 2 boards you can switch and change – one without acupressure nodes.
You simply kneel on the ground and wedge the back end of it against your knees, hold both ends of it and lift it to place it in the arch level you want.
Then you can place it either on your low back, middle or upper back and slowly lay on it while you exhale. Try to stay on it for 5 minutes twice a day for the best results.
- 3 different arch angles
- Acupressure points to increase blood circulation
- Easy to assemble
- Durable, high-quality plastic
- Clear and easy instructions
- Lightweight (only 1.2 pounds)
- Can be used on a chair
- Needs some assembly
- Plastic spikes may hurt (which can be solved by placing a towel over them)
Chisoft Back Stretcher vs. Kenko Back Stretcher
The Kenko back stretcher looks very similar to the popular ChiSoft one. What is the difference (except for the price?)
Well, we found no difference between the Kenko Back stretcher and the Chisoft, other than the fact that the Chisoft can support a much higher weight (250 lbs. vs. 150 lbs) and costs less.
2. Stoa Health Back Stretcher Most Adjustable
- Size – 15.35 x 9.06 x 1.97 inches;
- Weight -1.59 lbs.
- Weight Support – 350 lbs.
The Stoa Health compact and lightweight lumbar stretcher is the most adjustable one on this list, with its steel-reinforced height adjuster that allows you (with a simple twist), to set the stretcher to any height – in unmatched precision.
This is a very important feature because many people (including my husband) find that most arched back stretchers cause too much pain during the stretch – when the height level basic option is just too high.
The spine is protected with a foam cover and the sides allow for trigger point pressure while you lie on it.
I found this back stretcher easy to use, adjust and carry around, and I felt immediate tension relief after my first 5 minutes on it.
It’s small enough to fit into an average backpack, yet supports people up to 350 pounds!
✅ Price – best price on Amazon
Lumbarc Back Stretcher vs. Stoa Health
The Lumbarc back stretcher seems to be similar to the Stoa Health one, yet costs much more. We wanted to know why, and whether this price difference is justified.
Through our research, we found that the only benefit you’ll find in the Lumbarc model is the fact that it has more acupressure nodes.
And while this may be important for you, it can’t beat the supreme adjustability of the Stoa Health stretcher, which can be set to any height and thus allows a precise, fine-tuned stretch.
3. SOLIDBACK Back Stretcher Best for Trigger Points
- Size – 12 x 11.3 x 3.7 inches
- Weight – 1.23 pounds
- Weight Support – 300 pounds
The popular SOLIDBACK low back stretcher is soft to the touch yet hard and very dense and won’t crush under any weight – up to 300 pounds.
It is made from high-quality EVA foam and the spiky arc shape allows for it to reach deep into your lumbar tissue and makes it especially effective for Sciatica, pinched nerves, scoliosis, spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, and bulging discs.
Treatment time is only a few minutes a day (most users feel significant relief after only 5 minutes), and the company offers a money-back guarantee.
The idea is that you place this on your low back, just above your tailbone area, and slowly lower your back to create the proper curvature of the spine. This stretches out the muscles and massages them.
- Made with solid and high-quality foam – won’t crush under your weight
- Stretches and massages the lower back at the same time
- Comes with instructional videos, and back stretcher exercises
- Can be used on a chair as well
- Affordable price
- It may hurt the first few times you use it, especially if you have a back injury
- Non-adjustable height
4. Magic Back Support Multifunction
- Size – 13.25 x 12.25 x 3.75 inches
- Weight – 1.46 Pounds
- Material – Full memory foam cushion over a plastic base, ventilated mesh cover
The Magic back support stretcher comes with a high-quality memory foam cushion that softens the pressure on the lumbar vertebrae and thus can be also used as an office chair and car chair back support (with the added strap).
The memory foam cushion is encased in a removable and breathable mesh cover that deters sweat and stays cool, and you can choose from 3 levels of height when you stretch your back.
Through our research, this is a highly comfortable lumbar back stretcher and a good posture corrector when you sit at your office or drive long hours in your car.
Magic Back Support Pros
- Comfortable and protects the spine when you stretch
- Versatile and adjustable
- High-quality and durable
- The cushion is removable and washable
- Easy assembly
- No acupressure spikes
✅ Price – best price on Amazon
5. Jimugor Elecgric Low Back Stretcher Best Electric with Heat
It is well established that heat and massage significantly boost the effectiveness of every back stretcher (that’s why you’ll find top-selling inversion tables with heat, and vibrating foam rollers).
If you want to stretch your lower back effortlessly, while getting a gentle heated massage to ease your back pain and sciatica, the Jimugor electric back stretcher is your best choice.
All you have to do is lie flat on the device, choose the vibration and heat intensity via the remote, and it will push your waist up and down and add auxiliary infrared heat that also massages your lower back and hips.
A great choice for muscle knots, sciatica, and bulging discs.
Jimugor Electric Back Strecther Pros
- Handheld remote control and impressive features
- Stretching, heat, and massage combined – speedier recovery time
- Adjustable deep penetrating heat (3 levels – 45 – 65 degrees C)
- 3 Adjustable vibration levels
- 30-day money-back guarantee on Amazon
No height level adjustment like the non-electric models
✅ Price – $199 on Walmart
6. North American Spine Stretcher Best Budget
- Size: 21 x 18.5 x 16.8 inches
- Weight: 2.4 pounds
- Weight support – 250 pounds
For less than $30 (most of the time – check HERE), The North American Arched Back Stretcher is one of the best and most popular back stretchers in the market today.
This device fits everyone – every height and weight – and it’s a top seller on Amazon for good reasons: It’s a low-cost device, easy to use, well built, and can be used as a chair cushion as well.
- You can easily stretch different parts of your back by shifting your position on the device.
- Firm yet comfortable (padded)
- Can be used on a chair
- You can use it to exercise
- Small, not a great fit for taller people
✅ Price – best price found on Amazon
7. Spine-Worx Back Realignment Device – Chiropractor-Developed
The Spine-Worx lightweight back stretcher was designed by an American Chiropractor and uses your body weight to apply pressure on your spinal vertebrae and bring quick back pain relief.
When you lie on it, your spine is pressed firmly against 2 padded rails – molded to fit the natural shape of your mid and lower back.
- Size: 25 x 9.5 x 4 inches
- Weight: 2 pounds
- FDA approved for back pain relief
- Lightweight (2 pounds) – fit for travel
- Supports 300 pounds and more
- Fits all heights
- Some people find it painful, but it’s effective if you stick to it 5 minutes twice a day
How to Use a Back Stretcher at Home
Here’s exactly how to use a back stretcher safely and effectively:
- Once you’ve assembled your back stretcher (which takes less than a minute), choose the level of stretch you want. It is advised to start gradually with the first level, especially if your back is very stiff or painful.
- Lay your lower back against the back stretcher, then lay back and lift your hands over your head if possible – for a full stretch. Taking deep breaths will amplify the stretch.
- If it’s your first time, do not use the back stretcher for more than 5 minutes. With time, you can gradually work your way up to 15 to 20 minutes a day. Do not use for more than twice daily.
- When you are finished, roll off the stretcher slowly by bending your knees and then rolling down on your right or left side.
How Long Should You Lay on a Back Stretcher?
Orthopedic back stretchers only require a few minutes of treatment (5-20 minutes), up to twice a day. Start gradually with no more than 5 minutes, and work your way up to 20 minutes daily, until you get results.
Orthopedic Spine Stretcher Benefits
Orthopedic back stretches to loosen your back muscles the second you lay on them. Once your muscles are relaxed, the back stretcher can start working by vertically elongating your spine, creating space between the vertebrae, and allowing full relaxation of your back muscles.
This counteracts gravity (which pulls the spine down as we age) and allows us to relieve compression in your spinal discs (or pinched nerves).
When compression is reduced, healing nutrients and pain-relieving components can flow much better to the area and speed up healing and rehabilitation.
Regular stretching with orthopedic (arched) back stretchers can help whether your back pain is caused by an injury, chronic posture-related back pain, or a degenerative condition such as degenerative disc disease.
Here is the complete list of back stretcher benefits:
- Its anatomical shape conforms to your spine
- Passive, gentle stretch – designed with therapeutic comfort in mind.
- It only takes 5 minutes a day twice a day to achieve results
- Increases flexibility and loosens muscles
- Relieves stress
- Corrects posture
- Prevent morning back stiffness when used before sleep
- Saves money by not having to go to a chiropractor as often
- Low cost
Who Can Benefit From a Back Stretcher?
Almost anyone suffering from acute or chronic back pain can benefit from a back traction device:
- Sciatica (relieves shooting pain of Sciatica by reducing compression in the vertebrae)
- Bulging disc
- Back pinched nerves
- Lower back Arthritis
- Degenerative disc disease
- Back muscle strain
- Poor posture
- Lumbar spinal stenosis
👉 If you need to do cervical traction – see our posts about the best neck traction devices for home use.
Are Orthopedic Back Stretchers Safe?
Orthopedic back stretchers are generally safe for adults and are considered safe for everyone when used on the first level. Going up to higher levels of stretch should be done gradually and carefully.
We advise you not to use a back stretcher if you are pregnant, have infused vertebrae, or have osteoporosis – without checking with your doctor first.
When you first try it, it will be slightly painful, but try to endure the initial pain, and stay on it. After about 30 seconds, your back will feel better, the longer you stay on it.
Also, if you feel your pain worsens, stop using the spine stretcher immediately.
Lumbar Stretchers vs. Inversion Tables
Other than lumbar stretchers, there are other ways to decompress your spine at home – safely. The most powerful one is using an inversion table.
Inversion therapy using a decompression table is quite different than using an arched back stretcher.
Inversion tables use gravity and your body weight to create highly adjustable traction – all the way to full inversion (hanging upside down – 180 degrees).
Upside-down back stretchers work on your entire back (lower area, mid and upper area, and the neck area as well) and have many more health benefits, including improved blood circulation, cognitive abilities, and more.
👉 Related: the 3 best inversion tables under $120
To your health and happiness,
The Back Pain Relief Products Team
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Khalil TM, Asfour SS, Martinez LM, Waly SM, Rosomoff RS, Rosomoff HL. Stretching in the rehabilitation of low-back pain patients. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 1992 Mar;17(3):311-7. doi: 10.1097/00007632-199203000-00012. PMID: 1533060.