The 6 Best Orthopedic (Arched) Back Stretchers
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.
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 8 best orthopedic lumbar back stretcher devices, reviewed them, and compared them for 2023.
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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 the 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 2023, 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 6 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, testing, and trial, here are the 6 best arched back stretchers, our rating, and what we liked about them:
|Back Stretcher||Review||What we Liked||Price|
|Cosy Life||Top Pick||Unlimited height adjustment|
Highest weight support
|✅ $22 on Amazon|
|Neoathlete||With 2 Pads||3 height levels||✅ $22 on Amazon|
|Magic Back Support||Highest Weight Support||3 height levels|
320 lbs. support
|✅ $24 on Amazon|
|Jimugor Electric Lumbar Stretcher||Best Electric with Heat & Massage||Inflatable air pressure|
3 vibration massage levels
Auxiliary infrared heat (45-76 F)
|✅ $80 on Amazon|
|SOLIDBACK ||Best for Trigger Points||High-quality dense foam|
Soft yet durable
|✅ $35 on Amazon|
1. Neoathlete Back Cracker – With 2 Pads
The Neoathlete Spine Deck back stretcher is the only one that comes with two spine cushions – a regular one and an upgraded silicone acupressure cushion that will gently massage the spine.
The device has no less than 96 massage points to boost your blood circulation even more, while you stretch your lower and mid back on it.
It has 3 height levels and it even comes with a belt strap so you can use it as lumbar support when you sit at work or in your car and stretch your back for 5-10 minutes daily.
We like that it gets us a few good back cracks each time we use it and that it can support up to 220 pounds.
✅Available on Amazon ($22)
2. ChiSoft Back Stretcher Popular
The unique quality of the ChiSoft is in its chair attachment, which allows you to use it for posture-fixing while you sit.
The 3-level gear adjustment is standard, but the ChiSoft has extra durable acupressure points for increased blood circulation and promoting healing in the area.
However, this one only supports up to 200 lbs. users.
✅ Available on Amazon ($17)
Chisoft vs. Kenko Back Stretcher
The Kenko back stretcher looks very similar to the popular ChiSoft. so, what’s 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 Kenko can support a higher weight (310 lbs. vs. 200 lbs.) and costs a lot more.
In fact, the Kenko seems to be the most expensive arched back stretcher on the market, and we couldn’t justify this price with any special benefits other than the high weight support.
For a more powerful stretch, consider the back stretcher wheel, the innovative upgrade to the regular foam roller!
3. Cosy Life Back Stretcher Most Adjustable
The Cosy Life compact and lightweight lumbar stretcher is the most adjustable one on this list, with its steel-reinforced height adjuster which 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, and the large acupressure points seem to make a difference for trigger point release on my mid back.
✅ Available on Amazon ($22)
4. SOLIDBACK Back Stretcher Best for Trigger Points
The popular SOLIDBACK back stretcher is soft to the touch yet hard and 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.
The mid section is designed to align the spine and does not cause pressure on it, and the treatment time is only a few minutes a day (most users feel significant relief after only 5 minutes).
The idea is that you place this on your lower 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.
However, this one does not allow height adjustment and may be too intense for some people.
✅ Available on Amazon ($30)
Best Alternative – The LTUMHGCR Back Stretcher
Currently the number one best seller in back stretchers on Amazon, the LTUMHGCR Back Stretcher is almost the same as the Solidback, but offers 3 adjustment levels to choose from and is made from a durable material.
5. Magic Back Support Highest Weight Support
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 height levels 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.
The high weight support proves this one is durable and won’t break under your back after a few months.
✅ Available on Amazon ($30)
6. Jimugor Electric 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.
- 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
✅ Available on Amazon ($101)
How to Use an Arched 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 lie 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 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) and have many more health benefits, including improved blood circulation, cognitive abilities, and more.
Related: The 3 best inversion tables under $150
To your health and happiness,
The Back Pain Relief Products Team
Dreyer SJ, Dreyfuss PH. Low back pain and the zygapophysial (facet) joints. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 1996 Mar;77(3):290-300.
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.