Tight Lower Back? The Best Back Stretchers to Improve Posture & Relieve Back Pain

Stretching your back is a simple way to improve the health of your spine and release tight back muscles. By increasing circulation and lengthening the spine, low back stretchers can help relieve your low back pain.

You can get the benefits of a safe, deep lower back stretch without needing to go to a physical therapist when you use a low back stretcher.

Just 10 minutes a day devoted to stretching can protect your back, fight chronic pain and improve your range of motion. You’ll also get better posture and may even gain height.

One of the best aspects of this equipment is that it’s durable and long-lasting, and you generally only need to invest once to get long-term benefits.

This guide will tell you everything you need to know about low back stretchers, including how they work and the benefits you can expect to gain from using one.

Then, we’ll review 7 low back stretchers and choose the one that tops them all.


What Are Low Back Stretchers?

Low back stretchers are equipment designed to stretch your back while you maintain a comfortable position, typically lying on the floor.

Whereas stretching your spine on your own generally requires your back muscles to contract, the stretcher does the work for you so that your muscles can fully relax. This lets you get a deeper stretch for more therapeutic benefits.

Low back stretchers come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Although they can range widely in appearance, they generally have the same mechanism of action to produce the same intended results.

How Do They Work?

Back stretchers are designed to sync with your spine’s natural curvature and be comfortable enough for you to relax and stretch passively.

In other words, as long as you’re positioned correctly on the stretcher, you don’t have to do anything to reap the benefits of it.

When you use a low back stretcher, you decompress your spine, taking the weight off of it. You also increase the space between the vertebrae, allowing fresh blood to circulate your spinal disks.

Spinal disks need the oxygen and nutrients this fresh blood provides them in order to heal the spine and relieve pain. Stretching the spine increases a substance found in your spine called proteoglycans, which play a role in the spine’s self-healing mechanism.

You need to use a back stretcher on a regular basis to see the full results it can offer, but people with chronic low back pain have experienced relief within 2 weeks of daily low back stretching [1].

What Are the Benefits of Using a Low Back Stretcher?

Aside from the main benefit of reducing low back pain, low back stretchers improve your spine’s flexibility by loosening muscles around the spine that have become tight and stiff over time.

They also strengthen your back and boost circulation so that damaged muscles can heal.

Using a back stretcher improves your posture by simultaneously strengthening and loosening your back muscles. This helps prevent chronic back problems and acute injuries caused by misalignment, such as sciatica, slipped disk and bulging disc.

Stretching your spine with a low back stretcher could potentially even increase your height by lengthening your spine and improving your posture.

In addition to these long-term benefits of back stretchers, they also relieve short-term tension and stress, and they boost blood circulation.

A boost in blood flow can uplift your mood and improve your energy levels, and promote better health and well-being overall.


Low Back Stretchers vs Inversion Tables: What’s the Difference?

An Inversion Table

While low back stretchers and inversion tables offer similar results, there’s a significant difference between them.

Whereas inversion tables give you all the benefits of inversion therapy, low back stretchers work simply by stretching the spine.

Low back stretchers offer a more straightforward way to relieve tension from your spine and they cost less.

However, a fully upside down position uses your body weight and gravity to decompress your spine, giving you a more powerful stretch.

Although back stretchers promote better circulation by stretching out tight muscles, inversion tables are even better at boosting blood flow–especially to your head–because you’re literally turning upside down.

Inversion tables also stimulate flow in your lymphatic system, which helps your body eliminate toxins and waste.

On the other hand, inversion tables aren’t for everyone. If you have eye problems, a heart condition or other medical issue that makes inversion dangerous, a low back stretcher is the best way to get similar benefits [2].


What to Look for When Choosing a Low Back Stretcher

If you decide a low back stretcher is what you need, here are the features you want to look for when choosing the right one.

Comfort

A good back stretcher fits the curvature of your spine and lets your lower back muscles relax naturally when you lay on it. Although you should feel a stretch, you shouldn’t feel too uncomfortable.

Look for a back stretcher that is well padded so that you can hold a stretch for longer without discomfort.

Adjustability

With regular stretching, your lumbar back will get more flexible. It’s important your back stretcher lets you adjust the intensity of your stretch.

This way, you can use a lower intensity when you’re first starting off or on days when you have more stiffness. You’ll want to be able to deepen your stretch to keep getting the same benefits when you’re more flexible.

Easy to Store

If you’re using your back stretcher regularly, you’ll want to be able to move it around easily.

Look for one that’s not too heavy or bulky if you want to be able to easily put it away and take it out again when you need it.

Warranty

There’s no one equipment that works the best for everyone, so if you’ve purchased a back stretcher that wasn’t comfortable for you, you’ll want to return it.

If you choose a stretcher with a money-back guarantee warranty, you can get your money back if it doesn’t work out.


The Best 7 Low Back Stretchers

Whether you suffer from lumbar back pain or simply want to improve the health of your spine, trying a low back stretcher is worth the investment.

Let’s take a look at some of the best low back stretchers.

1. CHISOFT Lower Back Stretcher

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Top Back Stretcher As Seen Doctors TV + Extra Comfy Silicon Cover - CHISOFT (3rd Edition) Lower Back...
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Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Acupressure knobs
  • Comfortable silicon material
  • Magnetic therapy


Cons

  • Difficult to adjust

The ChiSoft stretcher gives you three intensity-level options by letting you increase or decrease the arch. Whereas many back stretchers are smooth, the ChiSoft has acupressure knobs that align along the muscles on either side of your spine to help release tension.

It’s made of silicon so that it’s soft but hard enough for the acupressure knobs to penetrate muscle tissue. Another unique feature it offers is magnetic therapy. Its magnets improve cellular repair and blood circulation while you stretch your back.

Weighing in at just 2 pounds, the ChiSoft is lightweight to move around easily. Its drawback is that it takes a lot of strength to adjust it.

Also, the acupressure knobs can be too painful for people just looking for a comfortable stretch without the added acupressure feature.


2. Multi-Level Back Stretching Device

Back Stretching Device,Back Massager for Bed & Chair & Car,Multi-Level Lumbar Support Stretcher...
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Pros

  • Can be used whilst in a chair
  • Small and lightweight


Cons

  • Acupressure knobs can feel too hard and cause pain

This stretcher not only stretches your back at different adjustable levels of intensity, but also is designed for lumbar back support when you’re sitting in a chair.

Weighing in at just 1.4 pounds, it’s one of the most lightweight, small and portable back stretchers on the market. However, it’s durable enough to last no matter your weight or how frequently you use it.

Its drawback is that the material may be too hard for lasting comfort. It has small knobs that aren’t as large as the ones on the ChiSoft, but they can make the equipment too uncomfortable for those looking for a simple stretch they can relax in.


3. SOLIDBACK Lower Back Pain Relief Treatment Stretcher

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SOLIDBACK | Lower Back Pain Relief Treatment Stretcher | Chronic Lumbar Support | Herniated Disc |...
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Pros

  • Durable and long-lasting
  • Lightweight


Cons

  • Spikes make it uncomfortable
  • No adjustability

What makes the Solidback stretcher unique is that it’s made of foam, similar to a foam roller, weighing just 1.3 pounds.

It gives you some padding but it’s firm enough to be durable and provide support without losing its shape. Its spiky design is made to release muscle tension, but many users find these spikes too hard and pointy to be comfortable.

If you’re expecting the Solidback to be softer because it’s made of foam, know that it’s no softer than plastic, silicone, wood or any other material.

Some users find the Solidback painful while using it, but find back pain relief afterwards.

Unlike the ChiSoft and Multi-Level Back Stretcher, the Solidback stretcher doesn’t adjust, so if it’s not at the right intensity level for you, that’s another cause of discomfort.


4. Magic Back Stretcher

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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:...
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Pros

  • Can be used in chairs
  • Easy to adjust
  • Comfortable


Cons

  • Reported to break easily

Like the Multi-Level stretcher, the Magic Back stretcher is designed for low back support in chairs as well as for stretching on the floor. It even has a strap you can use to attach to your chair.

The acupressure knobs on this stretcher are small enough that they don’t cause discomfort while they apply pressure to release muscle tension.

It’s small and thin, which makes it easy to take with you for long car rides or for use at your office chair.

However, its material is thin and users have suggested that it can collapse or break when used on the floor as a back stretcher.

On the other hand, this makes it easier to adjust between intensity levels compared to a product made with firmer material like the ChiSoft.


5. True Back Stretcher Device


Pros

  • Covers a larger area on your back
  • Comfortable


Cons

  • Less portable
  • Doesn’t adjust

What makes the True Back stretcher unique is that it has a slightly different arch shape than most low back stretchers.

Like the Lewonde back stretcher (reviewed below), it has more contact area so that you can decompress more of your spine in one stretch.

It has an opening in the centre so that the spine doesn’t press against the stretcher. On either side of this opening, there are ridges that apply pressure into your back muscles to help them relax as you stretch your spine. Beyond those ridges, on the outer edges of the stretcher, there’s padding to protect your shoulder blades and provide better comfort.

The True Back stretcher weighs 4 pounds, so it’s a little more difficult to pack into a suitcase, and it costs more than most back stretchers.

However, it’s shown to be effective for many people with back injuries, so its unique shape may be worth a try.


6. BackBridge Lumbar Support

Dr. Todd Sinett Backbridge – Lumbar Support and Pain Relief for Lower and Upper Back –...
  • Life's too short to live with back pain. Find...
  • In just minutes a day, gently realign your spine...
  • Learn about the causes and symptoms of various...

Pros

  • Money back guarantee
  • Highly adjustable and easy to adjust
  • Gives you a very low-intensity level to start out with


Cons

  • More expensive

Like the True Back, the Backbridge is on the more expensive side. However, if you need a back stretcher that is more adjustable and lets you stretch at a very low intensity to get started, this is the one for you.

Whereas other adjustable back stretchers generally have 3 intensity levels, the Backbridge stretcher gives you 5. Plus, it’s easier to adjust, because instead of squeezing the equipment to change the arch shape, you simply stack or unstack the layers that create the arch.

If you’re not very flexible, starting with the first arch that acts as the base for the equipment will provide you with a very small arch you can’t find elsewhere. As your flexibility grows, you can increase the arch little by little.

Unlike many back stretchers, the Backbridge comes with a money back guarantee.

Another benefit is that it covers a very large area compared to most back stretchers, allowing your spine to curve from the tailbone to the neck bone.


7. LEWONDE Back Stretcher

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LEWONDE Back Stretcher, Lumbar Support, Neck Relaxer Pillow for Lower Back Pain Relief with 3...
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  • IMPROVES YOUR POSTURE.It physically prevents you...

Pros

  • Larger product incorporates more of your spine into the stretch


Cons

  • Hard to adjust
  • Too hard
  • Less portable

The Lewonde back stretcher has an adjustable curve for stretching, and you can use it in a chair for back support as well.

It’s made of plastic, which may feel hard on the back and can become deformed over time with regular use. Because it lacks any sort of padding and has hard nobs, it may be uncomfortable for longer periods of use, whether you’re stretching on the floor or sitting in a chair.

The Lewonde stretcher also lacks a comfortable groove for your spine and instead has slots that aren’t ergonomically designed with your spine in mind.

It takes a lot of strength to adjust it and it can break in the process, so it’s probably not for people who like to change their intensity level on a daily basis.

On the plus side, if you find other back stretchers to be too small, the Lewonde stretcher covers a greater surface area and gives you a larger overall stretch in your back.

On the other hand, this makes it a little less portable than smaller stretchers.


The Backbridge: #1 Low Back Stretcher

Dr. Todd Sinett Backbridge – Lumbar Support and Pain Relief for Lower and Upper Back –...
  • Life's too short to live with back pain. Find...
  • In just minutes a day, gently realign your spine...
  • Learn about the causes and symptoms of various...

The Backbridge is the best back stretcher because it gives you the ability to customize your stretch better than any other.

It’s made of durable material but is easy to adjust at the same time. If you need a back stretcher because you’re looking to relieve back pain, you may not have much flexibility.

If you have a back injury, stretching too far can worsen your condition. The lower intensity levels the Backbridge provides lets you safely and slowly work your way to better back flexibility.

Although it’s pricier than most back stretchers, it has a money back guarantee, so you can’t go wrong giving it a try.


Take Care with Your New Low Back Stretcher

Stretching your back with a back stretcher is safe in general, but using it incorrectly could cause injury. Be sure to read the instructions provided with your back stretcher before you try it out.

It also helps to consult with a physical therapist or chiropractor to make sure you’re stretching properly and getting the most out of your equipment.

If you have a spinal injury or severe pain, consult with a professional before trying out any new equipment such as a back stretcher.

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