How Do Back Stretchers Work?

Back pain can be debilitating. Every time you bend over, every move you make comes with a cringe. Back pain is nothing to joke about. And many people take painkillers just to get through the day when they suffer from back pain.

It’s not fun when your back is aching and throbbing at all hours of the day.

But there is relief.

Back stretchers can help.

What Are Back Stretchers and How Do They Work?

teeter inversion table

Back stretchers are easy to misunderstand. These machines stretch your back, but they provide a stretch in a very gentle motion. In fact, there is no awkward pulling on your back at all. These devices span a large category of consumer products and vary by type and model, but the main difference for most models is comfort.

When you use a back stretcher, you’ll be using a passive stretcher that helps to realign the spine.

A lot of stretchers require you to lay down on a small table-looking device or on a slightly arched surface. Table-like devices can be pushed backward, and allow you to essentially invert yourself. Your head will be facing the ground while your feet are in the air.

This position allows your body to start relieving its own pain through passive stretching.

While you’re inverted, your body will:

  • Gently pull apart each vertebra
  • Start to relieve the pressure on the spine and neck

Essentially, you’re in a position that allows all of the misalignment in your back to correct itself.

You don’t need a chiropractor.

You don’t have to take pain killers.

You simply lay in an inverted position allowing gravity to help gently pull apart the vertebra and realign itself.

It’s a method of back pain relief that works really well.

When you allow gravity to pull apart these vertebra, you’re forcing your body to naturally heal your back. This method of back pain relief is nearly effortless, and it will relieve a lot of your pain.

What Pain Back Stretchers Relieves

Back pain is complex. The pain can be caused by:

  • Muscle tightness
  • Misalignment
  • Pinched nerves
  • Inflamed discs

The problem is that a person’s everyday life involves a lot of sitting. If you sit too long, you’ll find that your back will often begin to hurt. You may find some relief from this pain when standing, but you’ll eventually need to sit again leading to the pain coming right back.

Since the gentle stretching of the back and pulling on the vertebra occurs, it will help you to relieve pain from:

  • Pinched Nerves: When the nerves in the back are pinched, they will cause shooting pain. This often happens in the neck, and it’s very painful. When the vertebrae are separated, the pressure on these nerves will subside allowing for additional comfort and pain relief.
  • Muscle Tightness: Massage and stretch therapists are in business because of tight muscles. When the muscles in the back become tight, you will have aches and pains. The muscles can become so tight that alignment issues occur, too. Stretchers will help slowly lengthen these tight muscles and provide relief from muscle tightness.
  • Bulging Discs: Disc bulging occurs in the upper and lower back, and people often don’t have any symptoms until there is a compression of the nerve root of the spinal cord which leads to immense pain. Physical therapy and back stretchers can help to alleviate the pain and possibly correct the issue. The other alternative is surgery, so many people opt for back stretchers for obvious reasons.
  • Arthritis: As people age, there’s a chance that they’ll suffer from arthritis. This pain and aching can occur when it rains, or it can occur on “bad days.” You can find some relief from these pains with a back stretcher.
  • Spinal Degeneration: Disc and vertebrae degeneration can be very painful, and the added downward pressure on other discs can lead to an accumulation of pain that doesn’t seem to go away. Back stretchers alleviate this downward pressure and allow the discs to have some relief. Stretchers won’t stop the degeneration, but they can help you find relief from the aches and pains.

Back stretchers are a form of pain relief, and they can help correct many back-related issues a person is suffering from. But, a back stretcher will not correct the root cause of some of your back issues either. A person with a bulging disc may have muscle weakness or other problems that are causing the bulging.

Stretchers will help relieve the pain while you take other corrective measures to put an end to the root cause of the problem.

In general if your pain is caused by any form of compression, a back stretcher can help. The idea behind a back stretcher is that it will lengthen and stretch the spine and back. Since this lengthening and stretching occurs, the stretcher will allow for space to be created between the vertebrae.

With this in mind, bulging discs can lead to herniation.

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And there is some proof that using a back stretcher may help stop the bulging before it gets to the point of total herniation.

Back stretchers create freedom and space in the spinal column to help you alleviate aches and pains. It sounds simple, but it’s one of the best forms of pain relief possible – the body does all the healing while you nudge it along.

While we’ve talked a lot about inversion back stretchers, there are also other types of back stretchers which can alleviate pain, too. There are “arc” stretchers which you place under your back when laying down to help alleviate some of the pressure and pain.

The good news is that these arcs can be strategically placed to help reduce pressure and stretch the back.

Even just a slight arc can help you stretch out the back muscles and pull apart the vertebrae that are causing you to suffer from compression, tightness and alignment issues.

Your back is comprised of 33 vertebrae with each joint having a disc that prevents all of vertebrae from rubbing together. These discs are more of  gel-like material, so they allow for the discs to stay nice and separated and can absorb some impact, too.

A person that has suffered from a back injury in the past, is older or has a degenerative disease will often lose this gel-like material. The discs may thin causing the vertebrae to rub together resulting in pain and inflammation.

Nerves, ligaments and muscle go up and down the back.

Stretching devices and inversion tables help alleviate the pressure on the discs and vertebrae which is present all of the time – when you sit and stand.

Who Can Benefit from a Back Stretcher?

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The Teeter Ep 960 Is Top Rated Inversion Table Style Back Stretcher

Everyone has their own back issues, so it’s difficult to say what’s the right choice for your back. But, when compression has caused you back pain, a stretcher can definitely help. A person that has bad back posture, rounded shoulders or has a tendency to slouch often is at a much higher risk of suffering from back pain.

And this pain can be dreadful.

You want to stop the pain before it even occurs if possible, so if you fall into any of these categories, it may be a good time to buy a back stretcher:

  • You have a job that requires you to sit for long periods of time
  • Your family has a history of back problems
  • You have poor posture
  • You suffer from muscle weakness on one side of the body
  • You slouch when you sit
  • You play high impact sports often

If you already have a herniated disc, you’ll want to discuss a back stretcher with your doctor because it may put pressure on the affected disc causing more pain. But this is less of a problem with an inversion table than an arc-type stretcher.

Pains in the back that aren’t herniations can be relieved with a back stretcher.

If you use a back stretcher along with a solid exercise plan or routine to strengthen weak muscles in the back, you may be able to reverse the damage, too.