Stories from Active Recovery

This $30 tool will give you the best back stretch of your life after a day full of sitting

Zoe Weiner

Zoe WeinerApril 24, 2020

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Photo: Getty Images/ PeopleImages

We all know that sitting slumped over at a regular desk means crappy things for your posture and lower back. And when you’re slumped over on your couch, bed, or kitchen table? Worse. Now that WFH is the norm (and not all of us are #blessed with home office spaces), you may have already started to feel the effects it has on your spine—and subsequently, your posture. The good news? All you need to release that tension is a few free minutes and the SOLIDBACK Lower Back Pain Relief Treatment Stretcher ($30).

The tool looks like a textured foam roller that’s been cut in half, and placing it under your body can work wonders for stretching out your back. When you hunch over your laptop all day, your spine starts to curve outward into something called kyphosisThis tool helps reverse that.  “As the spine curves outward [when you sit], it causes the head to fall forward while the chest and shoulder cave in, and much of the upper body falls into flexion, aka leaning forward,” says Jeff Brannigan, Stretch*d director of programming. “By placing this device across the back, perpendicular to your spine, you can begin to reverse some of that curvature.”

While lying on the tool will feel nothing short of heavenly, it’s still important to keep to the rest of your stretching routine. “Tools like this are best used as a supplement to a more corrective exercise like stretching,” says Brannigan, who explains that it isn’t going to change the resting state of your muscle the same way an active stretching regimen will. Combining a lounge-sesh on top of the tool, along with some solid back stretches, will ensure better posture and a pain-free back… even after a long day perched in a less-than-ideal WFH space.

To use the device, place it on the floor directly beneath your spine and relax your body on top of it so that your head waterfalls down to the ground. If resting it on the floor feels too challenging, you can place a pillow underneath your crown for more support (and eventually graduate to getting rid of it). “Make sure you are never forcing your spine into a position that is uncomfortable,” says Brannigan. “This is not one of those “no pain, no gain” situations.” So get comfy, pop on an episode of Tiger King, and get ready for the best back stretch of your entire life.

back stretcher
Photo: Amazon

SOLIDBACK Lower Back Pain Relief Treatment Stretcher, $30

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