Best Orthopedic Back Stretchers

If you’ve ever experienced back pain you will know it can be debilitating. We take our back for granted a lot of time but bad posture, sitting for long periods of time without correct support and sometimes old sporting injuries can leave your back aching.

In an ideal world, we’d never experience back pain, but in reality back pain can strike just about anyone at any time, regardless of age or fitness level. Did you know, “Nearly 65 million Americans report a recent episode of back pain ?” The good news is that with a combination of precautionary measures, medical guidance and adding some simple strengthening exercises to your weekly exercise routine, you can alleviate back pain and decrease the severity of your condition.

A highly recommended practise in preventing back pain is regular use of back stretches and exercises that strengthen the muscles surrounding the spine supporting the back. We have written a comprehensive guide to back stretchers and you can do these exercises via yoga poses or specific exercises assigned by your chiropractor or doctor.

There are specific products available that can be beneficial to use when stretching out your back, the key is knowing which products are best suited for your specific needs. It can be overwhelming but not to worry, we’ve done the research and compiled a list of some of the best back stretchers in the marketplace to date, with a range of prices and functions. You’re sure to find the right product for you with the budget and functionality to match.

When looking to purchase a back stretcher it’s important to firstly get advice from a doctor, physiotherapist or chiropractor. They will be able to assist you with choosing the right product to support your back stretching and strengthening journey

Things to consider

Needs

Looking at why you have back pain is going to be critical here and choosing a back stretcher that targets the correct area for you. For example, you might have a specific medical reason for your back pain such as a ruptured disk – in which case you’ll benefit more from a back stretcher with lumbar support such as the Naipo Back Massager which will relieve the pain with heat as well as strengthen the back with rhythmic and dynamic traction movement.  Or, you could be looking for something to help you with mild temporary back pain during pregnancy or due to picking something up incorrectly, in which case, a simpler back stretcher such as the ChiFit Lumbar Back Pain Relief device would suit your needs best. We will feature all types in our list.

Type

Once you start looking for back stretchers you’ll notice there are three broad types of back stretchers: manual (non-electric), electric or handheld. Each has its positives and negatives, so you’ll need to consider which type is right for you, depending on your needs, preferences and budget. For instance, manual back stretchers are generally smaller, lightweight and cheaper, but they don’t offer a lot of the features that electric ones will, whereas more advanced ones are packed with technology, but are generally bigger, heavier and more expensive.

Size

Back stretchers come in a variety of sizes from the small belt type stretchers such as the Invertabelt  which is an elastic band style stretcher that can be rolled up into a convenient bag for travelling and only weighs 7.4 ounces. All the way up to the large A-frame style stretchers such as the KT Folding Stand Frame that take up 44 inches width x 48 inches length and weigh approximately 37.5 pounds. If you live in a small apartment or don’t have much space these are all elements that you’ll have to consider.

Budget

How much are you willing to spend? This is something you need to ask yourself pre purchase as there’s a wide range of back stretchers in the marketplace at the moment and they range in price drastically. Generally the more you spend the more technology, features and quality materials are used, if you’re looking for something on a budget though we have chosen some back stretchers under $100 that we found were very effective and value for money.

Function

The functionality of the product will be a major consideration when purchasing a back stretcher as some products specifically target areas of the body ie upper back, lower back, spine and/or neck. You’ll need to pick a product that specifically targets the area that you’re feeling pain. Most back stretchers stretch out the whole back but some back stretchers will stretch, relax and soothe the area. Whereas some products such as the PASLWSSY stretching system will stretch the neck, lumbar and cervical spine.

Portability

The functionality of the product will be a major consideration when purchasing a back stretcher as some products specifically target areas of the body ie upper back, lower back, spine and/or neck. You’ll need to pick a product that specifically targets the area that you’re feeling pain. Most back stretchers stretch out the whole back but some back stretchers will stretch, relax and soothe the area. Whereas some products such as the PASLWSSY stretching system will stretch the neck, lumbar and cervical spine.

Ease of use

Ideally you want an easy to use machine. All of the choices we have reviewed come with an intensive user manual. Some of these machines are difficult to set up in the first instance but with practice and regular use tend to be easier to use as you understand your body and the machine. YouTube is always a good reference and guide if you want a visual aide or explainer video.

Customization

If you are a shorter, taller, bigger build or smaller build than average it’s nice to have a device that can be customized to your specific body type. Some of these machines can be adapted to height and weight. We’ve mentioned these features in the comments.

Our top choices

Before we get into the details of our recommendations, here’s a handy table and guide that provides an overview, if you just want the details at a glance. You’ll notice that there is a wide variety of back stretchers on the market at the moment so we’ve tried to describe the different types and their benefits to give you a helping hand in finding the right product for you.

Buyers guide

Name and linkTypePrice rangeOne-line reviewBest for:
1.Naipo Back MassagerOur top pick!Electrical$79.99Great for if you need heat to relax muscles or vibration for pain as well as a stretch.Our top pick, that’s great for people with chronic back pain that want extra features to help soothe the pain.
2. HoMedics Fitness Stretching Mat – Our runner-upElectrical$249.99High-tech and packed with options, perfect for the person who likes features and technology. Our runner-up that’s great for people who want a stretcher with some cool features and functionality.
3. ChiFit Manual$26.95Great design. Perfect for the person who likes no fuss, well designed products over high tech devices.Perfect for the budget conscious this well designed system is for people who prefer no frills products over high tech products. 
4.SOLIDBACKManual$28.60Another no fuss, manual product that’s big on design, and less on technology features. Perfect for the budget conscious. This product is ideal for the low fuss purchaser.
5.InvertabeltManual$34.99   This product uses a belt and band system to create resistance while doing over 50+ exercises to strengthen and stretch the back muscles using the McKenzie Method Treatment Approach for back pain relief.Compact and portable this product is great for resistance training and strengthening exercises in your home and on the move.
6.The WhaleManual$479A beautiful maple hardwood crafted product that assists in stretching by using moves inspired by yoga.People using yoga to assist in pain relief. It’s a great home model for the days you can’t make it into the yoga studio.
7. Precor 240i Manual$695A larger “gym style” stretcher that stretches the lower back, hamstrings, inner thighs, groin and upper back. Great at home gym addition.Perfect if money isn’t an object or you want to spend a bit extra or if you have pain in multiple areas. 
8.Teeter P2 Manual$39.99This product is the perfect product or gift for the traveller. It’s lightweight and compact. People looking for a stretcher that’s ideal for travelling. It’s lightweight and portable, perfect for the gym, office or hotel room.
9.Exerpeutic 100Manual$191.10This product is a stretch traction table designed to decompress your back and stretch your spine with a crank and pulley system. People with compressed vertebrae issues, herniated disks or issues that require spine decompression.
10.KT Folding Stand FrameManual$278.00This is a product that uses an A-frame  to stretch, elongage and decompress the spine.Ideal for people with a lot of space that require a full body stretch.

Product Reviews

Our top pick – The power house Naipo Back Massager

Our top pick is an ergonomically designed, and feature-rich back stretcher that does everything that the average person needs and everything that all the other back stretchers in the market do with one exception. It doesn’t just stretch the back it heats and vibrates the back too, so you’re relaxing and relieving pain while also stretching and strengthening the muscles. It’s multifunctionality at its finest.

This outstanding product comes with adjustable traction height meaning it has airbags that inflate and deflate with an adjustable handheld remote to the height that you require. It features three modes; a vibration mode that massages either side of the back. A heat mode that’s located in the centre of the back and effectively warms the lumbar vertebra for stress relief bringing enjoyable lumbar massage experience and lastly a stretch mode that stretches the lumbar vertebra with rhythmic and dynamic traction movement.

The Naipo Back Massager is our top pick, because the price is right, and the quality is good plus the added features really cemented the deal for us.

Let’s take a little closer at the features:

What you get

  • An ergonomic design with three modes heat, vibration and stretch.
  • Adjustable traction height with a maximum height of 8cm.
  • Adjustable strap.
  • Easily operated with a handheld remote.
  • 15-minute auto shut-off function.

Specifications

  • Shipping Weight: 3.6 pounds
  • ASIN: B07C5VWQCC
  • UPC: 720355411756
  • Item model number: MGBK-Q1

What we think

Pros

Perfect for office use or use out of the house.
Ideal amount of features without being overly complicated.
Ideal amount of features without being overly complicated.
Makes an excellent gift.

Cons

Needs to be plugged in to power to operate.
Only works on the lower back not suitable for neck, shoulders or upper back.

Our runner up – The hi-tech choice HoMedics Fitness Stretching Mat

If you’re looking for a back stretcher that has loads of technology, features and settings, the HoMedics is the best choice for you. With heat, air compression, massage therapy options and three levels of intensity to choose from it’s a close runner up in the best back stretcher race. The ergonomic design and high technology gives this product a really professional feel to your back stretch that might even rival those you might find at the physiotherapy office or yoga studio.

As well as a robust heat function, this stretcher features air chambers that inflate and deflate to emulate yoga styles and increase your flexibility. The product also allows you to choose between four pre-set programs to customize your massage experience as well as three different levels to control the intensity of your stretch. All the controls are within easy reach on the included programmed remote.

The HoMedics air compression back stretching mat allows you to lie back and relax while the tension and pain in your back muscles is being released. It’s a great way to relax at the end of a long day and is close to a professional experience that we could find.

What you get

  • PRE-SET PROGRAMS: The HoMedics air compression back stretching mat allows you to choose between four pre-set programs to customize your massage experience as well as three different levels to control the intensity of your stretch.
  • Cool remote control: Keeps all settings within easy reach.
  • ADJUSTABLE INTENSITY: The HoMedics air compression back stretching mat allows you to choose from three intensity levels to control and customize your stretch.
  • RELAXING RELIEF: The HoMedics air compression back stretching mat allows you to lie back and relax while the tension and pain in your back muscles is being released.
  • CONVENIENT RECOVERY: The easy folding design of this fitness stretching mat makes it perfect for any area. It can be stored flat under a bed or raised dresser as well as neatly folded up and tucked into a closet or besides a cabinet. Make sure the device is turned off, unplugged and completely deflated before storing and you are good to go until your next use.

Specifications

  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • ASIN: B071PFK79K
  • UPC: 723740800067

What we think

Pros

Ideal for someone who wants loads of features and functions.
Needs a large flat surface to function properly.
Convenient touch buttons to control with your hands while lying on the mat.
Adjustable massage intensity for a personal experience.
Makes an excellent gift.

Cons

Needs to be plugged in to power to operate.
Maybe overcomplicated for people who want something straightforward.
The price may not be attractive for entry-level users.

The no frills back stretcher ChiFit

Sometimes, a great design is all you’re looking for – and if you’re looking for no fuss then this is the product for you. You don’t need to plug it in, there’s no hassle of re-charging, batteries or wires, there’s just simple, great design.

Using it couldn’t be simpler. All you need to do is place your back from the base of your spine and lay along with the product. There are three levels of adjustment so you can choose your desired stretch; less intensity / moderate intensity/ strong.

We’ve chosen this one, because of its simplicity, it uses gravity and elements of acupressure to stretch your back up and over its ergonomically designed form, while its specially designed nodes begin to relax the muscles, and gently decompress the intervertebral discs in the vertebrae. It readjusts the spine and relieves tension and pain effortlessly.

What you get

  • An effective, simple design with three adjustable levels of stretch.
  • Made from high grade material.
  • Small, lightweight and compact.
  • Comes with easy to follow instructions.
  • Made in USA

Specifications

  • Product Dimensions: 24.1 x 5.1 x 21.6 inches ; 14.65 pounds
  • Shipping Weight: 14.6 pounds
  • ASIN: B07N1FJ3CJ
  • UPC: 031262089243\
  • Item model number: BM-AC105

What we think

Pros

Perfect for the beginner if you’re just starting back stretching.
Budget friendly.
Easy to use with no power needed.
Uses elements of acupuncture to reduce back pain.

Cons

Has been known to cause temporary discomfort until the muscle and lumbar spine adjust.
Made of plastic, and is not solid.

The basic back stretcher SOLIDBACK

Not too dissimilar to the ChiFit the Solidback is also a great design without the fuss of power cords and cables. The difference here is in the material it’s made from, and it’s great design. The Solidback is made from solid high quality foam unlike the ChiFit which is made from non-solid plastic.

Both are easy to use by just laying over the top with the base of your spine at one end and laying over the stretcher until you glide over to the other end.

The Solidback has a unique, simple design and uses a mix of gravity and perfectly designed nodes to stretch your back up and over its base. Its unique spiky arc shaped design effectively reaches deep and stretches upper and lower back muscles completely contouring along the center and has been designed specifically to help align the spinal cord.

It’s ideal for the no-fuss person in your life with major spinal issues such as chronic lumbar pain, upper and lower back pain, lower neck pain, sciatica, spinal stenosis and herniated disks.

What you get

  • An effective, solid product with a high quality design.
  • Made from the highest quality EVA foam available.
  • Designed to cradle and support the spine.
  • Solid base designed to hold any weight.
  • Safe and easy way to get pain relief.

Specifications

  • Package Dimensions: 13.5 x 12.2 x 4.2 inches
  • Item Weight: 1.18 pounds
  • ASIN: B01A4WL5B6
  • Item model number: SB01

What we think

Pros

Easy to use.
Perfectly designed.
Made from high quality materials.
Solid base that can hold over 300lbs of weight.

Cons

Has been known to cause temporary discomfort until the inflamed area adjusts.
Can’t be slept on as the foam is very hard.

The belt back stretcher Invertabelt

The Invertabelt system was developed by experienced and licensed physical therapists trained in the McKenzie Method of treating back problems. The McKenzie Method uses both extension (bending backward) and flexion (bending forward) to treat back problems. The Invertabelt uses the exercises from the McKenzie Method and creates a resistance with a belt and band system.

It’s great for clients already undergoing treatment with a licensed professional trained in the McKenzie Method of treating back pain as they can continue doing the exercises while at home.

What you get

  • A belt and band that creates resistance so you can perform over 50+ strengthening exercise.
  • Instructional DVD that guides you through the exercises.
  • Machine washable.
  • Made with a high durability tension band and easy adjustable straps.
  • Can be used sitting, standing, lying or on your stomach depending on where you want the stretch.

Specifications

  • Item Weight: 7.4 ounces
  • Shipping Weight: 7.4 ounces
  • ASIN: B01MUGN2ZY
  • UPC: 710051997135

What we think

Pros

Backed by medical professionals.
Portable and easy to bring with you.
Made from high quality, durable materials.
Loads of instructional YouTube clips and an instructional DVD is provided.

Cons

Only recommended if you’re already familiar with the McKenzie Method.
Difficult to initially adjust

The Yogi’s assistant back stretcher The Whale

This product named affectionately “The Whale” is a yoga based product that assists the user gain the stretch and strength of some back yoga poses. Yoga is a mind-body therapy that’s often recommended to treat back pain and the stress that accompanies it. The appropriate poses can relax and strengthen your body and counteract some of the posture issues associated with back pain.

Working at a desk all day at a desk, we are often hunching forward, after a number of years this forced posture begins to take its toll on the back particularly the spinal column. The spine begins to lose its graceful S-curve and instead becomes rounded or humped. The Whale provides a way to counteract these problems by positioning the body in a gentle backbend. This way the spine is stretched; reversing this tendency to round the shoulders and slump the spine.

It’s the perfect item to place in your home yoga studio or it’s made of such beautiful hand bent maple plywood that you might want to make a feature in your home.

What you get

  • Incredible back and forward spine stretch.
  • Easily adjusted hand grip for deeper stretches.
  • Effortlessly stretches upper and lower back, hamstring, shoulder, neck and arm.
  • Made from beautiful hand bent maple plywood.
  • Made in the USA.

Specifications

  • Item Weight: 25 pounds
  • Product Dimensions: 59 x 12 x 20 inches

What we think

Pros

Made from hand bent maple plywood it’s beautifully handcrafted and designed.
Comes fully assembled.
Perfect for regular yoga attendees who have a yoga studio or want to practise in their home.
Can be used for multiple ailments and areas such as upper and lower back, hamstring, shoulder, neck and arms.

Cons

Some complaints from shorter than average and taller than average people that the product is too small or large for them.
It’s on the higher end of the price range.

The deluxe back stretcher Precor 240i

If you’re lucky enough that money is not a consideration for you, then the Precor is just the product. It’s a perfect addition to the home gym with over 8 different stretches you can try. Featuring commercial grade quality, cushioned seat and knee pads the stretch is comfortable and deep. The instructional placard based permanently in front of the machine shows you eight essential stretches to target key muscle groups – lower back, hamstrings, gluteal/hips, hips/legs/back, inner thighs/groin, upper back, shoulders and quadriceps.

This product is an exceptional way to start off a training session in a home gym to prevent injury, it’s the perfect home gym companion or warm up companion before a workout.

What you get

  • Instructional placard showing you eight essential stretches to target key muscle groups.
  • The biomechanical design places you in ergonomically correct stretching positions for maximum warm-up and cool-down benefits.
  • Padded seat, kneepads and handlebars allow for added comfort in each stretch.
  • Light weight and small size to fit conveniently in your home.
  • Made from commercial grade materials; it won’t break easily. 
  • Manufacturer’s warranty: Frame-five years; parts-two years; upholstery-90 days.

Specifications

  • Item Weight: 60 pounds
  • Dimensions: 52 inches x 28 inches x 36 inches (L x W x H)

What we think

Pros

Made from commercial-grade materials means it’s sturdy, lightweight and strong.
Easy to use with easy to follow instructional graphics.
The comfortable seat and knee pads help you to sit comfortably and the padded handlebars allow you to control the intensity and duration of each stretch.
It can be used for 8 different stretches.
Loads of 5 star reviews.

Cons

Assembly needed.
It’s pricey.

The travellers companion Teeter

Often after a long haul flight or drive your lower back can start to ache. Whether it’s from sitting for a long period or the prolonged side to side movement that can come with transport it can be a shortfire way to ruin the start of a great holiday. This is why we’ve chosen the Teeter as the ideal travelling companion. It’s ideal for travelling as it disassembles easily and is lightweight, perfect for sliding into your travel bag. It’s easy to use in hotel rooms and portable to bring you back relief on the move.

What you get

  • Easy-to-use lower back stretching device.
  • User-controlled traction helps relieve lower back pressure and pain.
  • Portable and durable design weighs under 4lb.
  • Adjustable and movable lap pads.
  • Foam-covered handles and large, foam roller supports deliver optimal comfort and support.

Specifications

  • Item Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Shipping Weight: 9 pounds
  • ASIN: B01G9GAA76
  • Item model number: P21001

What we think

Pros

3 stretches available from light through to deep.
Easy to use.
Easy to dismantle and pack away.
Minimal assembly needed.

Cons

Stretch doesn’t go as deep as some other products.
Made of plastic.

The traction table Exerpeutic

Traction tables are a common device found in chiropractic offices, lucky with the changes in technology traction tables are now more affordable and easily accessible. Traction tables allow for a long and deep back stretch and decompression of the spine while lying down and relaxing. The Exerpeutic is no exception with over a million already sold in America it’s a tried and tested product.

What you get

  • Adjustable arm positions with 4 point adjustable settings.
  • Multifunctional crank wheel.
  • Soft foam backrest.
  • Removable lumbar pillow and soft foam backrest.
  • Heavy duty steel frame construction.

Specifications

  • Product Dimensions: 64.5 x 27.5 x 17 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 35 pounds
  • ASIN: B081R3D922
  • Item model number: 4510

What we think

Pros

Great for more serious medical needs.
Easy adaptable and convertible to suit your specific needs.
Easy to stow away.
The padded lumbar pillow and back rests make it a comfortable stretch.
Can withstand up to 300lbs in weight.

Cons

Somewhat bulky which can affect portability.
Assembly required.

The standing frame stretcher KT Folding Stand Frame

The KT Folding frame is an A frame similar to what you would see at a gymnastics event where you can hold on top of the frame and let gravity stretch you out. You do get quite a good stretch out of this product with the force of your body vertically being stretched. It’s an easy product to use and adjusts to accommodate different heights and weights.

What you get

  • Foam grip handles.
  • Adjustable A- frame suitable for 68.89’’ – 94.48’’ (175cm – 240cm) and users less than 6 ft (183cm) and 264.5 lbs (120kgs).  
  • Versatile product. You can easily add or remove elements such as aerial yoga hammock, swings for kids, TRX straps or complete “pull up” exercises on it.
  • 5 years warranty.
  • Made of high strength alloy steel.

Specifications

  • Shipping Weight: 37.5 pounds
  • ASIN: B07GR5KY4K

What we think

Pros

No drilling into doorways or damaging door frames for installation.
Folds away for easy storage.
It’s versatile and multipurpose so you can attach rings, hammocks etc for other exercises or just to relax
Very sturdy and safe.
Can withstand up to 485 lbs (220kg)

Cons

It’s big when in use, not ideal if you don’t have a lot of space.
Assembly required.
It’s a bit pricey.

You can’t get it wrong!

So there you have it – a good range of back stretchers for you to choose from. We’ve tried to choose our favourites from a wide range of types of back stretchers, in order to give you some guidance on which back stretcher would be best suited for you. We’ve included links to the Amazon pages that you can buy these products from so you can see what other customers are saying and ultimately make an informed decision in your purchase.

Some things we didn’t mention

There is a huge range of back stretchers in the market and in order to make this review as succinct as possible there are a few massagers we would like to mention but unfortunately couldn’t review in depth. These are foam rollers, yoga wheels and inversion tables. These products also alleviate back pain, so we may review them in future!

FAQ

Why do you need a back stretcher?

The purpose of a back stretcher is to elongate your spine. This creates space between the vertebrae and counteracts the effect of gravity, bad posture and back pain. This fully relaxes the muscles and allows for spinal discs to rehabilitate and heal from injuries. Back stretchers are normally suggested or recommended from a health care provider such as a physiotherapist or chiropractor to aid in the healing or assist in the pain maintenance of back problems.

How do I choose the right back stretcher for me?

Firstly ask for guidance from a medical professional, your medical advisor should be able to suggest a product that will suit your specific needs.

Before buying a back stretcher, there are a number of questions you should ask yourself to ensure you are purchasing the right product and model for your needs. Some questions to ask yourself include:

  • How comfortable is the device after extended use?
  • Does it provide heat or massage functions?
  • Is there a timer or shut off mode?
  • How long is the power cord?
  • Is the product easily transported?
  • Are the controls intuitive and easy to use?
How do I use a back stretcher?

That all depends on the type you get. Most of the time the stretcher works by lying directly over the top of the machine but electric stretchers work slightly differently from manual ones as they need power to control the settings so you’ll need to read up on the one you ultimately choose. However, we recommend setting a certain time and place every day for your back stretching session,as just like going to the gym the more you regularly do it the more you’ll feel the benefits.

Where do I buy a back stretcher?

There are many outlets that sell back stretchers, but in our list we’re going to make recommendations that you can find on Amazon – so that you can read user reviews and have the convenience of quick and safe delivery.

Our Verdict

Back pain can be debilitating and frustrating, especially if you are prone to having long periods of pain and discomfort. If you experience back pain, using a product like a back stretcher means that you can complete stretching exercises that strengthen the back muscles and reduce tension on your vertebrae in the convenience of your home. Strengthening the back muscles potentially reduces the need for medical treatment, minimises pain and helps reduce the duration amount of time you’re experiencing back problems.

Back stretchers vary in price, but like most things the more you spend the more features, better quality and more use you will get out of the machine. We recommend the Naipo Back Massager, which is a high-quality product that comes with adjustable traction height; meaning it has airbags that inflate and deflate to the height that you require. The Naipo also has added benefits such as heat, vibration and stretch, at a value price.

Enjoy!