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The 7 Best Orthopedic (Arched) Back Stretchers

Have you ever tried using orthopedic back stretchers to quickly relieve your back pain and stiffness?

If not, you should know:

Using an arched spine 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.

orthopedic back stretchers

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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.

But:

There are so many back stretchers on the market. How do you choose the best one for you?

In a Hurry?

We’ve researched and found the 7 best orthopedic lumbar back stretcher devices, reviewed, and compared them for 2021.  Below the table, you’ll find their pros & cons.

How to Choose a Lumbar Back Stretcher

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.

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:

  What we LikedPrice
ChiSoft Lumbar
Stretching Device


Top Pick
3-level gear adjustment
Acupressure points
Sturdy
Check Price on Amazon
Stoa Health Back Stretcher
Most AdjustableUnlimited height adjustment
Highest weight support
Check Price on Amazon
Magic Back Support

Multifunction3 height levels
Multifunction - back stretcher & back cushion
Check Price on Amazon
ChiFit arched
back stretcher

ChiSoft-like
for lower price
3-level gear adjustment
Acupressure points
Sturdy
Check Price on Amazon
SOLIDBACK
low back stretcher

Best for Trigger PointsHigh-quality dense foam
Soft yet durable
Check Price on Amazon
Spine-Works
back stretcher

Chiropractor-DevelopedFits all heights
Contoured
Check Price on Amazon
North American
back stretcher

Best BudgetLowest price
Padded
Check Price on Amazon

1. ChiSoft Solid Orthopedic Back Stretcher Top Pick

back stretcher reviews

ChiSoft back stretcher – check price on Amazon

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.

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 best results.

  • Size – 15 x 2.8 x 4 inches
  • Weight – 1.2 pounds
  • Material – plastic & memory foam mid cushion
  • Weight Support – 250 pounds

Price – ChiSoft has a fair price tag and when I watch this page on Amazon I often find great deals.

chisoft back stretcher used on a chair

Chi-Soft Pros:

  • 3 different arch angles
  • Acupressure points for increased blood circulation
  • Easy to assemble
  • Durable, high-quality plastic
  • Clear and easy instructions
  • Lightweight (only 1.2 pounds)
  • Can be used on a chair

Cons

  • Needs some assembly
  • Plastic spikes may hurt (can be solved by placing a towel over them)
For a more powerful stretch, consider the back wheel, the innovative upgrade to the regular foam roller!

wheel back stretcher

2. Stoa Health Back Stretcher Most Adjustable

adjustable back stretcher

The Stoa Health compact and lightweight lumbar stretcher is the most adjustable one in 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.

stoa health lumbar stretcher

Fair price tag – on Amazon

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!

  • Size – 15.35 x 9.06 x 1.97 inches;
  • Weight -1.59 lbs.
  • Weight Support – 350 lbs.

Price – great value for the price – check today’s price on Amazon

3. SOLIDBACK Lumbar Back Stretcher Best for Trigger Points

Solidback lumbar stretcher review

Solidback – best price on Amazon

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 tail bone area, and slowly lower your back to create the proper curvature of the spine. This stretches out the muscles and massages them.

  • Size – 12 x 11.3 x 3.7 inches
  • Weight – 1.23 pounds
  • Material – Dense EVA Foam
  • Weight Support – 300 pounds

solidback stretcher

SOLIDBACK Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • It may hurt the first few times you use it, especially if you have a back injury
  • Non-adjustable height

4. Magic Back Support Back Stretcher Multifunction

magic back support back stretcher

Magic Back Support – comfortable stretch and posture corrector – check price on Amazon

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.

magic back support car cushion

  • 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

 

magic back stretcher review

Through our research, this is a highly comfortable lumbar back stretcher and a good posture corrector when you sit at your office or driving 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

Cons

  • No acupressure spikes

Price – check today’s price on Amazon

Working from Home?
We’ve researched and found the top 5 ergonomic mesh office chairsfor back pain and sciatica – of 2021!

5. North American Healthcare Thoracic Spine Stretcher  Best Budget

North American back stretcher

North American back stretchercheck price on Amazon

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, and well built, and can be used as a chair cushion as well.

  • Size: 21 x 18.5 x 16.8 inches
  • Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Weight support – 250 pounds

north american health + wellness back stretcher

North American Back Stretcher Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • Small, not a great fit for taller people
  • Non adjustable

✅ Price – best price found on Amazon

6. Spine-Worx Back Realignment Device – Chiropractor Developed

spine worx back stretcher

Spine-Worx back stretchersee today’s price on Amazon 

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

Spine-Worx Pros

  • FDA approved for back pain relief
  • Lightweight (2 pounds) – fit for travel
  • Supports 300 pounds and more
  • Fits all heights

Cons

  • Some people find it painful, but it’s effective if you stick to it 5 minutes twice a day

Bottom Line

The Spine-Worx is a budget-friendly, well-built, effective back stretcher.

How to Use an Arched Back Stretcher

Here’s exactly how to use a back stretcher safely and effectively:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. When you are finished, roll off the stretcher slowly by bending your knees and then rolling down on your right or left side.

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
  • Scoliosis
  • 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 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

back stretcher vs inversion table

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 

Spine Decompression Alternatives

Arched back stretchers, while effective and low-cost, are not the only way to decompress your spine at home.

Take our short quiz below to figure out what is the best spinal decompression home device for your needs and lifestyle:

 

Back Stretchers FAQ

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 counteract the effect of gravity. This fully relaxes the muscles and allows for spinal discs to rehydrate and heal from injuries.

How long should you use 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.

How Much Does an Orthopedic Back Stretcher Cost?

Most arched (orthopedic) back stretchers cost between $15 to $30 and can last for many years. Wooden arched stretchers cost even less than that.

We hope we’ve saved you some time and some money with this guide, and as always, we wish you all the best and pain-free life.

We check the comment section frequently so please feel free to post any question or comment you may have.

To your health and happiness,

The Back Pain Relief Products Team

Studies

Dreyer SJ, Dreyfuss PH. Low back pain and the zygapophysial (facet) joints. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 1996 Mar;77(3):290-300. doi: 10.1016/s0003-9993(96)90115-x. PMID: 8600875.

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.

Meital James
 

Meital James, Founder and CEO of 4 healthy living blogs, has a background in Naturopathic medicine, research, journalism, and nutrition. Her blogs are the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and experience and all the posts are verified by scientific findings.

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