The Top 3 Yoga Wheels for Back Pain Relief (& Best Exercises)

Using a yoga wheel is one of the easiest, fastest and most effective ways to relieve lower, mid-back and upper back muscle pain – without emptying your wallet.

A durable yet comfortable yoga wheel can relieve back pain from muscle tightness, back muscle spasms, sciatica and more  – in less than 5 minutes.

yoga wheels for back pain plus exercises

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However:

It’s important to buy the best yoga wheel since it has to be sturdy yet flexible enough to support your weight and allow for quick muscle pain relief.

In a hurry?
Jump to the top 3 yoga wheels for back pain – in 2019 👌

How Does a Yoga Wheel Help with Back Pain?

how does a yoga wheel help with back pain

Image from gochirp.com

The yoga wheel is an innovative upgrade to the traditional foam roller, designed to stretch and massage the muscles around your spine – using a canal that protects your spine.

What does that mean?

Well, the core of the yoga wheel is made with solid and durable plastic, covered with thick padding.

The wheel is firm yet soft enough for your pressure points, allowing for a 4-way stretch to open up your back.

A channel in the middle of the wheel is designed to fit around your spine and fits perfectly between your shoulder blades.

👉 Unlike the foam roller, this design allows to stretch and massage your muscles – without putting direct pressure on your spine.

It can be very helpful for scoliosis, spinal disc degeneration, spine arthritis, sciatica, pinched nerves, bulging disc, back muscle pain and more.

Yoga Wheel vs. Foam Roller

Foam rollers are usually longer, and much less sturdy. They tend to soften and break down over time. This won’t happen with a yoga wheel.

(This is why the popular Plexus wheel comes with a 10-year warranty, and others come with a lifetime warranty).

Also, using a yoga wheel is one of the best ways to get in between your shoulder blades – without applying unnecessary pressure on your spine.

The yoga wheel is much nimbler, and you can use it to roll hard to reach areas that the foam roller just can’t reach.

A yoga wheel can also be used for a variety of home exercises, including yoga, core exercises and more.

The 3 Best Yoga Wheels for Back Pain Relief  (+Reviews)

Through our research, here are the 3 best yoga wheels, and below you’ll find exactly how to use a back stretching wheel to relieve lower, mid and upper back pain – in minutes.

 Our RatingReview
🥇Plexus Wheel (Chirp)
chirp yoga wheel
4.9Jump to review
UpCircleSeven
4.8Jump to review
UpCircleSevenCork Wheel
4.8Jump to review
Risefit
4.8Jump to review

1. Plexus Wheel (Chirp Wheel) 

chirp plexus wheel review

Plexus (chirp) wheel$45 – $65

The Plexus wheel (now known as Chirp) is probably the best selling yoga wheel in 2019,  even though it’s not the cheapest yoga wheel on the market.

The Chirp wheel follows the natural curve of the spine to fit perfectly between the shoulder blades.

When you roll your back over it – it stretches your back muscles, massages them and at the same time – provides spine traction and takes the pressure off the discs.

This helps with:

  • Posture correction
  • Flexibility
  • Mobility
  • Muscle tension release
  • Core strengthening
  • Expanding the chest area

It can also be used in the neck area – for quick relief from neck pain and tension headaches.

👉 The Plexus wheel comes in 3 sizes:

  • 12 inches – for gentle pressure
  • 10 inches – medium pressure
  • 6 inches – deep tissue pressure, plus back support and massage while sitting in a chair

You can get each one separately or all 3 in a set.

which size yoga wheel do I need

👉 See more Chirp wheel reviews HERE.

Weight limit – 500 lbs

Material – rigid core made of an injection-molded ABS plastic, wrapped in EVA foam.

Warranty – the Chirp wheel comes with a lifetime warranty and 100 day trial with free returns. Also, you’ll get free shipping on orders over $75 – on the official website.

We recommend using any yoga wheel for at least 30 days before returning, to allow the body to go through some correction and to get properly aligned and past the initial mild soreness you may experience.

2. UpCircleSeven Yoga Wheel

upcircleseven yoga wheel review

UpCircleSeven yoga wheelsee on Amazon

The UpCircleSeven yoga roller wheel can support high weight (550 lbs) and has the thickest padding (8 mm) of all back stretch wheels on the market.

You can safely use this yoga wheel for deep backbends, gentle inversion, decompressing your spine, for tight muscles in your hips, thighs, and hamstrings as well.

It’s durable, sturdy and hundreds of Amazon users have reported a significant reduction in their back pain after using it.

👉 Check today price on Amazon

Sizes: 12X5 inches/ 10×5 inches / 6X5 inches, or the whole set.

Material: Closed Cell Sweat Resistant Padding + ABS Frame

Padding: 8 mm

Warranty: 10 years.

We highly recommend the UpCircleSeven yoga wheel, and hundreds of users on Amazon have rated it very highly as well.

  The Cork Yoga Wheel – The Ecofriendly Version

UpCircleSeven has an ecofriendly and sustainable version of a yoga roller wheel you may want to consider:

cork yoga wheel

UpCircleSeven Cork Yoga wheel – eco-friendly & sustainable

The cork wheel material (tree bark) is both renewable and recyclable, yet durable and can support your back, palms, and feet while in motion over it.

It’s easy to clean, and will not accumulate moisture.

3. Risefit Dharma Yoga Wheel – Supports 1000 lbs

risefit dharma yoga wheel review

Risefit Dharma yoga wheel – check price on Amazon

The Risefit back bend wheel supports up to 1000 lbs and is made with ecofriendly foam TPE and Strong inner ABS tube that ensures you roll on the wheel with ease, safety, and support.

We chose this wheel because we think it will support people of all sizes and weight safely.

Size: 13 x 5 x 3/4 inches

Material: foam TPE and Strong inner ABS tube

Warranty: 3 years

Weight limit: 1000 lbs (safety test results on the product page)

👉 See price on Amazon today

How to Use a Yoga Wheel for Back & Shoulder Pain

how to use yoga wheel for back pain back bend

The basic and best way to use a yoga roller wheel for back and shoulder pain relief is by doing a deep back bend.

Position the yoga wheel in the center of your back, between your shoulders, and lay over it. Bring your arms out to the side (or up over your head) and then let your head hang back.

Here’s a short video demonstrating how to prepare for the backbend:

Another highly effective stretch is the child’s pose:

Get into the child’s pose with your knees wide apart and place both hands on the sides of the wheel at the front of your mat.

Keeping your head down and roll the wheel forward slowly as you press your chest to the ground. This stretch really opens up the shoulders.

The Childs pose is a classic, restful pose that is proven to help stretch the hips, thighs, and low back in a gentle and relaxing way.

yoga wheel childs pose

Yoga Wheel for Back Pain – Is It Safe?

If you are a beginner, start with less deep stretches. When using it for backbends,  having some extra props handy, such as blocks or blankets, can be helpful and prevent injuries.

Also, people with osteoporosis and osteopenia have to be careful when doing extreme spinal movements. In the case of severe osteoporosis, forced spinal flexion can result in a fracture.

Start gradually and work your way up. If you feel more than mild pain and discomfort – it’s time to stop.

👉 For a more gentle spine stretch, see the top 5 arched back stretchers in 2019.

Yoga Wheels FAQ

What size yoga wheel should I get?
Each wheel size provides a different pressure. The larger wheels are better for beginners as they help ease into the stretch without over-stretching tight muscles. The smaller ones are better for deep tissue and muscles that need extra pressure and for posture correction while you sit.
Can you crack your back using a yoga wheel?
Rolling on the yoga wheel and massaging the muscles around your spine can definitely help you crack your back. You may also feel your vertebrae pop back into place (in a totally feel-good way). This will be a good sign that your spine is flexible and getting movement.
Can you use a yoga wheel for neck pain?
Yes. You can use a small yoga wheel to roll over your neck muscles, massage and stretch them while decompressing your cervical spine.

What’s your experience with yoga wheels? Share with us in the comments below.

To your health and happiness,

The Back Pain Relief Products Team

References

Front. Psychol., 11 May 2017 | https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00752

Yoga or Stretching Eases Low Back Pain – https://www.nih.gov/news-events/nih-research-matters/yoga-or-stretching-eases-low-back-pain

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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