What Is A Low Back Stretcher And Why Do You Need One

If you suffer from low back pain, as I do, you may want to check out a low back stretcher.  You may have seen one of these devices but not really known what they are used for. Well keep reading, and we will take a closer look and see how you may benefit from using one of these back pain tools.

Back pain is no fun, as anyone who suffers from it can attest, myself included.  I have been dealing with back pain for most of my adult life. There are a lot of different treatment options available and a low back stretcher a cost-effective way to get some much-needed back pain relief. low back stretcher

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What is a lower back stretching device?

First of all, the mechanism is a half-moon shape and fits the contour of your spine.  Typically these can be used for upper as well as lower back, but this post will focus on the lower back. Some of the stretchers are adjustable to different angles, providing more magnificent stretch, and some are fixed.

The basic purpose of this is to perform decompression which will relieve pressure on the spine. Using a back stretcher gives the muscles that support your spine a chance to relax, and the spine can elongate. By elongating the spine, you are helping to reverse the effects of gravity, and the compression on the disc space that happens as we get older.  Creating space between your vertebrae helps to ease the stress on the discs in your back.  Discs act as shock absorbers between the vertebrae (bones) in your spine.

A stretcher can help with a herniated disc, help to relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve or help relax tight muscles.

Who is this for?

Back pain comes in many forms and adults of all ages are able to use the low back stretcher.  Anyone who suffers from back problems, including but not limited to:

  • Lumbar back pain
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Herniated or bulging discs
  • Pinched nerves
  • Poor posture
  • Sciatica
  • Tight lower back muscles

A back stretcher is a gentle way to help with some of these conditions.

Of course, different treatment options work for different people, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to treating back pain. It’s best to check with your doctor, chiropractor or another healthcare provider to see if a back stretcher is a good option to use in conjunction with other treatment programs.

Some individuals have acute back pain, which is short-lived, or chronic pain, as I do, which is long term.  People use a stretcher as a preventive measure, or to deal with immediate back pain.

The benefits of the low back stretcher are:

  • Can help correct your posture
  • Helps to loosen tight muscles
  • Creates space between the vertebrae helping the discs to recover
  • A gentle and affordable way to relieve back pain
  • Improved circulation, which can help the body heal itself

How to use the low back stretcher

You can use the mechanism 1-2 times per day for about 5 minutes each.  The stretcher can be used while you are lying down on the floor, or as you are sitting upright in a chair with a back.  This would be great to use at the office and again when you get home at night.  You can also use it on your commute to work.  This is a mild way to stretch your lower back and works well for a lot of people.

If you have not used one of these stretchers before, you may have to find your sweet spot.  Maneuvering the unit around to find where it is comfortable for you is key.  Try different positions, like knees up, or down, maybe higher or lower on the lumbar curve. You should know when you find the right spot.

Using the back stretcher should not hurt, but it may be uncomfortable until you get used to it.  Please stop using the stretcher if it hurts.  That is why it is critical to work with your doctor to know if you are a candidate.

Tips for use:

If the stretcher feels too hard, try using it on a mattress, or another soft surface.  You can also try a towel or blanket to help with any discomfort.

When you should use it

Ideally, you should use the device as a preventive measure to keep your back properly aligned, but you can certainly use it when back pain rears its ugly head.  Be consistent with your usage, whether it’s every day or every other day.  Try for a few minutes to start and work your way up from there.

Where to use it

  • At home
  • At the office
  • In your car on the way to work
  • Use it when you are sitting in a chair with a back, or when you are lying on the floor

Why you need one

This is a practical way to rid yourself of back pain potentially.  If you have tried other options to treat your back pain, and have not experienced the pain relief you desire, you may want to give a back stretcher a shot.

The back stretcher is a small enough item that you can take it with you which is another added benefit.  As I mentioned, you can take it with you in your car, or when you are traveling.  Use it at the office, or at home.  This is a gentle yet effective way to find some much-needed pain relief.

So, let’s get right into it!

SOLIDBACK Lower Back Stretcher

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First of all, this is the model that I own and use frequently.  I love the feel and the rigidity it provides.

This model is made from extra firm EVA foam.  EVA foam is used in products like exercise mats, and

kickboards. This stretcher provides a unique bumpy surface that is designed to dig in and help loosen those tight muscles in your upper and lower back.  These bumps act as an acupressure treatment. I will tell you it is very firm and may take some warming up to. I do believe there is enough “give” to make it comfortable though.

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Last update on 2019-10-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The center cut of the unit is designed to support and hug the natural shape of your spine. This contour can help to align your spine correctly and does not put pressure on your spine.

With a 300-pound user weight capacity, the EVA foam will not crush under pressure, yet it will remain soft to the touch.  This combination of dense and comfortable foam will suit most users just fine.

Although using the back stretcher may feel slightly uncomfortable at first, this should be short-lived, and you can receive some much-needed pain relief.  It may take a little getting used to this if you have not used it before, and you will need to find just the right spot.

Hint: Please read the product information sheet that comes with this product, it’s beneficial.

Pros:

  • 300-pound user weight capacity
  • Extra-firm EVA foam for spinal support and comfort
  • Durable foam nubs
  • Does not put pressure directly on your spine

Cons:

  • Some users may find it uncomfortable to start since it is very firm
  • If only it were available in a variety of cool colors

Overall, there are a lot of positive reviews for this product, and people have really benefited from using it.  I think this is a well-priced model and definitely deserves consideration.

 


ChiFit Lumbar Back Stretcher

This model from ChiFit offers some customization options that you don’t find with all stretchers.  First of all, you have the opportunity to choose from three different adjustment levels so you can get just the fit.

You can choose from Level 1 – 3, with one being the least intense and three being the most intense.  This also means that you can grow into this unit if you are not quite ready for the full stretch right off the bat.

The actual platform that you lay on comes with a foam cushion for comfort, as well as acupressure points.  These 94 pressure points help to give you a massage-like feel and also work to increase blood flow to the area.  Acupressure points can take some getting used to, but, I really like them.

The adjustable height settings and lightweight materials make it simple to pack up and take with you.

The ChiFit stretcher will support up to 200 pounds, so it is not as heavy-duty as some other models, but will work well for a variety of people.  This unit is available in three different colors which is a nice little added bonus.

Pros:

  • Three-level adjustable sizing
  • Comes with 94 acupressure points
  • Three color options available, blue, green and black
  • Overall customer reviews are very favorable for this model

Cons:

  • 200-pound maximum user capacity will limit the prospective customer base
  • May take some getting used to the acupressure points

I think this is a reliable option if you are in the market for a stretcher that will allow you to ease into the process.  The three different levels of stretching are great.  The only real downside to this is the maximum user weight of 200 pounds.  That will be a limiting factor for some people.

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  • ChiFit Lumbar Back Stretcher Massager with Acupressure grants your back with the relaxation and relieve those aching muscles.
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Magic Back Stretcher Lumbar Support Device

This multi-angle device is a pretty basic, but helpful model. With a groove cut out down the middle, for your spine, you will find this unit comfortable and practical.  I really think you will like the three levels of adjustment, so you can start out small and work your way up depending on your situation.  This also makes the Magic Back usable for different people.  Everyone has a different body shape and different needs, so this unit is very versatile.

Take it with you to the office, or use it in the car on the way to and from work.  The Magic Back doesn’t take up much space, so it’s easy to carry with you wherever you need it.

I highly encourage you to read the instruction manual for a full explanation on how to properly use this back stretcher so you can get the most benefit for your aching back.

This model, unfortunately, does not have any cushion, which may be a deal-breaker for some people.

Pros:

  • Lightweight, so you can take it with you just about anywhere
  • Three adjustment levels are helpful for easing into use, or for use by different people
  • Center cut groove provides comfort for your spine
  • This model comes with a DVD

Cons:

  • Does not have a pad for the arch of your lower back
  • Some people find the plastic too hard on the back

For me, the jury is still out on this no-nonsense model.  This is a pretty inexpensive back stretcher, but for a few extra bucks, I think there are better options available.  The reviews are mostly positive, with a few people saying it didn’t help, or it’s too hard.  This is to be expected since everyone is different and there is no cure-all for back pain.

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Magic Back Stretcher Lumbar Support Device Posture Corrector for Upper and Lower Back Pain Relief
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  • Helps relieve back pain & posture correction: preventive care for your lower back and posture. daily activities involving extended use on the computer, sitting all day, or physical activities can lead to spine and posture imbalances. the back stretcher and lumbar support is uniquely designed to help correct and improve posture.
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North American Back Stretcher

North American Back StretcherOne of the most popular models on the market, this back stretcher is well priced and very simple.  The back stretcher is covered with firm, yet comfortable foam for excellent lower back support.  If you are looking for help with flexibility and pain relief from those aches, then this unit from North American Health and Wellness needs to be on your list.

This is the least expensive model on this list, and that is probably why so many people have tried this model.  Overall customer reviews are very positive. The negative reviews are mostly people who have said it does not work for them.  This is to be expected as there is no one treatment that will work for all back pain.  Again, most of the reviews are very positive.

If you find this model to firm or hard, you may want to give it a shot laying on your bed, or another soft surface for starters, that can help to provide a little more cushion.  The center cutout is designed for your spine to fit.

I think you will like the padded arch and the gentle stretch it provides.  It is not as portable as some of the other models, so traveling, or using it in the car may not be recommended like some of the other stretchers are.

Pros:

  • Thick padded back stretcher
  • Provides a gentle lower back stretch
  • Center cutout for added spine comfort
  • Very affordable
  • Very positive customer reviews

Cons:

  • Not adjustable like other models
  • Harder to take with you when you are traveling

I think this unit is a great option for a lot of people. If you are looking for an inexpensive and effective way to stretch your lower back, definitely keep this one on your list.

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ZenGuru Back Support Stretcher

 

This highly rated model has a couple of extra features not included with some of the other models.  The adjustable lumbar support has a three-step arch adjustment so you can ease into using the stretcher.

Also, the adjustable settings are very helpful if different people will be using the unit, and provide versatility for these additional users.

As for the extra features, this model does include a memory foam cushion that will cover the hard plastic and make your experience more comfortable if you need that.  Also included is a belt that can be used in conjunction with the seat in your car, or office to keep the stretcher in place while it is upright.

Another fascinating feature of this model is that there are ten high strength therapeutic magnets placed on the back support. Some people are big supporters of the healing properties of magnets.

And finally, this bundle includes a foot massage roller.  No one ever says anything bad about a good (and free) foot massage.

This stretcher is mobile, so you can take it with you in the car, use it at work, or wherever you have a chair with a back on it.  With the different angle adjustments, you are able to find the right fit for you.

Pros:

  • Three-step adjustable angles
  • Removable memory foam cushion if you need it
  • Magnet therapy is built-in
  • Come on, it comes with a foot massage roller
  • Portable so you can take it with you

Cons:

  • I am not sure everyone will want the magnets
  • It doesn’t have the acupressure points like some of the other models

If you are looking for a great way to improve posture, relieve pain, help improve flexibility, take a look at this stretcher from ZenGuru.

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114 Reviews
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U.S. Jaclean USJ-560 Orthopedic Stretch Mate

So, this back stretcher takes a little bit different approach with their design and style.  Stretch Mate is a wave-shaped ladder design that is meant to stimulate your spine while loosening tight muscles.  The shape or contour is different than the other models in that it is not entirely symmetrical and has a high and low end.

This open-air design will definitely allow for your back to breathe. A sweaty back could be in the cards with some of the other models on this list.

Now, the spines on this unit are hard plastic, but don’t let that scare you off.  Some people have complained that it is too hard, but you certainly can not please everyone, and there is no one back pain product that will work for everybody.  It may be a bit of an adjustment, especially if you have not used one of these before.

Pros:

  • Ladder shaped design is made to conform with your spine
  • Open and airy so you won’t sweat
  • The spines are hard plastic, so you don’t have to worry about washing a cushion

Cons:

  • Some people have said the unit is too hard
  • Not customizable to different angles

Well, I think this is a unique and different approach, that is why I wanted to include it on the list.  Some people have complained the stretcher is too hard while others have had no problem.  I think it depends on each person, again this isn’t a one-size-fits all pain relief device.  It is priced higher than most of the back stretchers, but I think it is worth a look.

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Spine-Worx Back Realignment Device

This is a different and unique model that uses a similar concept to the others in this review.  The Spine-Worx uses your body weight to align your vertebrae.  I highly recommend reading the instructions with

this device, as it will provide you with the best opportunity for the intended benefit of this unit.  This article by Livestrong also provides some very helpful tips.

With this model, you will set the unit on a hard, flat surface.  Sit down with your back toward the end with the highest point.  Gently lower yourself onto the Spine-Worx.  Now if you need more or less pressure, you can adjust your body accordingly.  For instance, you can fold your arms across your stomach, or put your legs closer or farther apart.

This unit is lightweight and easy to take with you, and it’s FDA approved for relieving back pain.

Pros:

  • There are a lot of positive customer reviews
  • Helps to realign the vertebrae, relieve muscular pain
  • Easy to use and very portable, only weighs 2 pounds
  • Works with your bodyweight to realign the spine

Cons:

  • Some people complain the edges are too hard
  • Tall people (over 6’4”) have said it was not appropriately sized for them

Well, I think this is a very interesting device and different than the others presented here.  This spine realignment device has shown some good results for a lot of customers.  I think it is definitely worth a try.

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1,568 Reviews
Spine-Worx Back Realignment Device
  • Simple to use. You can adjust the pressure in different areas by changing the positions of you
  • Realign vertabrae to natural position
  • Helps to relieve muscular pain, pressure and irritation
  • Portable and lightweight (2 lbs.)
  • It's like a chiropractor in your home

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CHISOFT Deluxe Lower Back Stretcher

This device offers the same great stretch, but with a couple of different features that we have seen on some of the other models.  First of all, you will find just the lumbar support you need with three different levels of stretching.  Different levels are great for easing into stretching out your lower back.  It is also fantastic if this unit will be used by different people, as not everyone will require the same level.

The stretcher has built-in magnets which some people really like.  The stretcher will help to ease built-up tension due to tight muscles, poor posture, or spinal alignment.

What sets this model apart from others on the list is the different sized knobs that are available with the acupressure points.  The stretcher is molded with medium-sized knobs for people who like that feel, and it also comes with a large silicone cover with much larger knobs that are easier on the back.  So, it’s up to you if you like the smaller or larger knobs.

This back stretcher is all about versatility!  You can select the acupressure points that you are comfortable with as well as the height of the stretcher.  This should really be a stretcher that will suit a wide variety of people.

Pros:

  • Three height adjustment levels of stretch available
  • A silicone cover with larger acupressure nodes
  • Magnet therapy
  • Small acupressure nodes if you prefer
  • Many positive customer reviews
  • Portable so you can take it with you

Cons:

  • It is not padded, but the silicone cover can help with that

This model was introduced as an upgrade to the original with the smaller acupressure points.  Customers complained that the acupressure points were painful.  So, the company decided to revamp and add the silicone cover.  I think this is a viable option and is customizable.  The choice is yours, but I think this is definitely a viable option.

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  • SEEN & RECOMMENDED BY DR. OZ: 5 minutes twice a day of using this back stretcher is able to help relieve tension in your lower lumbar. CHISOFT back stretcher (2nd Edition) is the ONLY AUTHENTIC device recommended at doctors TV for an effective and simplistic way to reduce back pain.
  • HELPS RELIEVE CHRONIC BACK PAIN & POSTURE CORRECTION: Preventive care for your lower back and posture. Daily activities involving extended use on the computer, sitting all day, or physical activities can lead to spine and posture imbalances. ChiSoft Back Stretcher and Lumbar Support is uniquely designed to help correct and improve posture.
  • STRETCH AWAY BACK PAIN with CHISOFT BACK STRETCHER (2nd Edition) Helps relieve back pain & posture correction: preventive care for your lower back and posture. daily activities involving extended use on the computer, sitting all day, or physical activities can lead to spine and posture imbalances.
  • IMPROVES FLEXIBILITY: stretching your back on a daily basis enables you to strengthen the muscles of your back. In this way, your body can then be better prepared to take in the stress of your profession or lifestyle. ChiSoft back stretcher and lumbar support is uniquely designed to help correct and improve posture.
  • MULTI-LEVEL DESIGN: 3 DIFFERENT STRETCHING ARCHS that will exercise your back in a healthy way. EASY INSTALLATION: designed for people of all ages. simple installation and ease-of-use. lightweight and portable. perfect for accompanying you as you travel, at home or even at the office!

Last update on 2019-10-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Versus an inversion table

Now if you are looking for a more aggressive option for decompression, you may want to check out an inversion table for lower back pain.  There you will find a variety of different options to choose from if you are in search of a more dynamic stretch.

Conclusion: Low Back Stretcher

Well, that about covers it, and we covered a lot of ground.  I will say this again, back problems are unique to each individual, and there is no one fix that will work for everyone.  A lot of people have had success with back stretchers as a way to loosen tight lower back muscles.  I enjoy laying on mine.

My #1 recommendation is the Solidback model.  This is the one I own, and I really like how it feels.  It is firm, but not too hard, and I love the textured acupressure points.

If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below, and I will get back to you as soon as I can.

As always, thanks for taking time out of your day to stop by, I appreciate it.

Steve@BuildingStrongerBodies.com


Disclosure: Some of the links in this review are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.  Click here for details.

2 thoughts on “What Is A Low Back Stretcher And Why Do You Need One”

    • Hi Jon, you would need to check with the manufacturer to see if these units are FDA approved. It’s tough to say if these back stretchers are better than an inversion table. Based on my experience, these stretchers work differently than an inversion table. I own a Teeter inversion table and I use it regularly and I feel like it’s a different kind of stretch and I prefer my inversion table. Of course, everyone is different and my son loves laying down on the back stretcher. I know that isn’t a definitive answer, and I wish I could be more specific, but it is up to the individual. I prefer my inversion table. I can control the inversion angle, and it’s just more comfortable for me. Please let me know if you need an inversion table recommendation. Thanks for stopping by.

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