This compact little fellow on the image below, is the True Back stretching pad. Another controversial device with great repute dating back to 1996.
Priced in the higher range, the True Back can be a very wise choice for fellow back-painers who want to spare themselves a handful of visits at the chiropractor.
Still in doubt?
You’ll be surprised how well it actually performs – for a fair type of back dysfunctions.
Let’s examine this back stretcher closer in an extensive True Back review.
Overview of the True Back stretching device
|Things you'll going to like||Things you won't like|
|Easy to use, can replace daily exercises to some extent||Painful to use, especially for seniors|
|Promotes a healthy, aligned spine||Effect is not the same for everyone|
|Can cause relief with the first usage|
A new way of accupressure treatment
Made by Morcent Inc. in Clearwater, Florida, the True Back is more than what it looks: a heap of molded plastic with rails.
Medical grade as it is, it’s been registered with the FDA and classified as Class 1 by doctors and chiropractors.
Although the Spine Worx system beats on it in terms of lightweightness, the True Back still counts a lightweight product at 4 lbs. However, dimensions are where it genuinely outperforms its competitor, being only 24″x10″x4″.
Made of hard plastic, the True Back somehow feels more safe to lie down on, compared to its rivals. What feels a bit awkward and – in my opinion – lack good design is the foam straps on the sides.
Why would I need foams on the side when the greatest pressure will be near my spinal column? I wouldn’t say that this makes this stretcher useless, but True Back could have been improved in this aspect.
Its operation as easy as it gets: it uses gravity to its advantage. The central part of True Back is fitted with 2 rigid rungs running through the whole length of the device itself.
Knobs make it something special. As you lie down on it, you’ll feel a kind of an accupressure-type effect on your spinal muscles.
Ahh. That feels so good.
Well sort of. At first, many of True Back’s users report crackling sounds coming straight out of their vertebrae. Although I haven’t heard of serious injuries being happened there, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
That is, you need to pay attention, relax and do the whole exercise very slowly & gently.
Due to its rigid and bulky construction, compared to Spine Worx, this little guy lies more secure on the ground, providing greater stability and a lower chance to get injured. This is great, because you can truly get relaxed, not having to constantly check if you’re in a good posture or not.
If I don’t use it everyday, my pain returns so the pain of using it outweighs the pain it prevents. Great invention – highly recommend but be prepared for it not to be comfortable.An Amazon.com customer
A better stretching experience – the benefits of using True Back
While I love doing back stretching and strengthening exercises, there are days when I get overwhelmed by my tasks and don’t have the time for it.
This is, when the True Back comes into play.
As I mentioned above, there’s not much of doing with this device, really. If you’ve 5 minutes a day, you can achieve great success with your back pain management.
And I know this is the main reason, why most users – albeit its letdowns – still admire this product.
Another remarkable benefit of True Back is its versatility.
You know it too. There is a long list of reasons while your back can hurt:
- Skeletal irregularities
- Spinal stenosis
- Bulging discs
Good news is that all the above can be addressed with persistent exercising and the usage of True Back.
If you’re a fond believer of massage techniques, you’re in the right place. Being the only stretching pad with wider bumps, makes it feel like real accupressure is aligning your vertebrae. And this is what I call relaxing.
A major advantage, if you’re considering to buy the True Back is its portability. Like I said, it weighs no more than 4 lbs, what makes it easy indeed to carry it even to your office.
Lie down and relax – And look out for these
There are some major concerns you’ll need to look out for when using the True Back, if you don’t want to get injured.
First of all: you need to do some warm up. Any aerobic exercise or running for 5-10 minutes will do the job.
Then, you need to be cautious, and extremely slow.
Give your body some time, and don’t do the exercises in a hurry:
- Put True Back right after your bottom
- With the aid of your arms, slowly let down your back on the device
- Pay attention if you’ve placed your spine between the 2 rails with bumps on it
- Relax for 2-5 minutes
- Important: if you’re finished roll onto your tummy, and lie there for 2 minutes, and then slowly get back onto your knees
- You can stand up now
If you’re done, flip the device so that heap gets on the other end of it. Repeat the above steps and listen to your body closely: if one stance proves to be too much, just stop.
Start by using it once a day, for about 5 minutes. If you feel comfortable, you can increase exercise time, but I suggest you don’t exercise on the pad more than 20 minutes.
And if you truly get a hang of what it takes to practice, I recommend you increase the number of daily exercises to 2, especially if you suffer from sciatica or stiffness. And believe me, that’ll be more than enough.
Don’t forget to consult with your chiropractor if you feel uncertain about it. She’ll surely suggest you to use the True Back, and reassure you of its safety.
Some letdowns of the True Back
Like I used to say, there’s no real magic solution to back pain (at least none that I heard of on my long journey). Being said that, you won’t be able to just stop doing those tiring exercises, though this little machine will definitely spare some hours for you per week.
Also, expect that typical crackling noise by your vertebrae as soon as you place your back on the bump. This can be torturous to some extent, but believe me, it’s not that hard to get used to. If you manage to get past the pain at this point, you’ll find light at the end of the tunnel.
Although younger people can adjust to this more easily, I believe this can be a real pain in the …back for senior users.
Spine Worx vs True Back
In one of my previous reviews, I had gone in-depth with True Back’s main competitor, the Spine Worx.
The two look similar if you look at them:
The main difference lies in the shape, what affects not just the appearance but the functionality of the products.
As you can see, Spine Worx is somewhat flimsy, compared to its rival. On the positive side, this makes the Spine Worx a more lightweight device.
Its advantage is also its disadvantage, speaking in terms of stability and sturdiness. Although I haven’t heard of such, but It’s more likely to crack underneath you compared to the more durable True Back.
Moreover, the knobs on the True Back are way more comfortable lying on than the Spine Worx’s teeth-like spine aligners.
Apart these, the two stretching pads are almost identical, but still there’s a major difference when it comes to comfort.
True Back is, overall, a great back stretcher device for people seeking to get relief of back pain. It lives up to its reputation and can be perfect for you, if you:
- Manage to bear with the uncomfortable vertebra cracklings
- Seek for something that’s relatively easy to use
- Don’t want to spend too much time exercising daily
- Want a carryable pain relief device
That said, I recommend you to give Spine Worx a thought too. It’s a bit cheaper, though not as effective as the True Back. Just remember: both models have the common downside of causing some discomfort when lying down on them.
But as I said, there’s no perfect product for alleviating back pain entirely. It’s a numbers game, and you are the one, who’ll need to test what works.
Although being a bit pricey, the True Back still gives you a new hope to manage your back pain – without too much effort. Happy stretching!