Too many people suffer from chronic back pain, and even fewer address the root causes.
Decompression belts are a tool for back pain that work by helping you improve your posture and decompress your spine.
They are simple to use devices with a vast range of benefits.
In this post, we’ll help you decide if a decompression belt is right for you.
Then, we’ll weigh the pros and cons of the top 7 decompression belts on the market.
What’s a Decompression Belt?
A decompression belt braces the alignment of your back much like a back brace.
Whereas back braces wrap around your shoulders to help lift your chest, decompression belts work by compressing around your torso like a belt to help hold your spine in a neutral position.
Like a blood pressure cuff, they inflate when pumped with air, which is either a hand-operated pump or electronic air pump.
This way, and you can adjust the belt to your desired level of support.
According to a research study, wearing a decompression belt helped restore spinal height in young healthy people .
What are the Proven Benefits of Spinal Decompression?
Spinal decompression has been shown in studies to have a host of benefits, especially for people with back problems.
Here are the major advantages it offers:
1. Helps with Chronic Back Pain
If you have back pain caused by muscle strain or pressure on your spinal discs and nerves, spinal decompression could give you relief.
Chronic back pain can result from age-related changes of the spine.
Spinal decompression rejuvenates your spinal health by bringing in better circulation and retracting the vertebrae from their compressed positions .
2. Prevents and Relieves Neck Pain
By fighting thoracic kyphosis, spinal decompression can help prevent or reverse forward head posture, or “text neck”—a leading cause of neck pain and cervical spine issues.
By retracting your spine and creating space between the vertebrae, it helps your spine recover from bad postures you held throughout the day as you used devices and completed tasks.
3. Protects Your Spinal Discs
Spinal decompression therapy is shown to heal degenerative spinal discs more effectively than traction treatment .
Bulging or herniated disks can potentially improve over time with regular spinal decompression.
It works by boosting circulation and helping misaligned discs retract.
4. Improves Your Posture
By taking the pressure off your spine and stretching it, spinal decompression helps correct the muscle imbalances that misalign your posture.
It gives your spine the chance to recuperate a more healthy position by activating its healing.
As fresh blood enters parts of the spine and surrounding tissue that are typically cut off from adequate blood supply, toxins are flushed out.
The stiff, tight muscle tissue around your spine softens and gains more flexibility.
This helps you correct your posture by getting your spine out of the curvature it’s been stuck in.
5. Alleviates Headaches
Spinal compression and postural stress can restrict blood flow to your head, causing painful headaches or migraines.
A buildup of muscle tightness from postural stress can lead to persistent tension headaches.
Regular spinal decompression could potentially reduce this occurrence by reducing postural stress.
The Features of a Great Back Decompression Belt
Not sure what to look for when shopping for a back decompression belt?
Here are the top characteristics of top-rated, high-value belts on the market:
Easy to Inflate
You want the process of inflating your belt to be comfortable and easy.
Some have electronic pumps, while others require you to squeeze the pump with your hand.
Some back decompression belts feature a heating option so that you can loosen up the muscles surrounding your spine as you decompress it.
While some back decompression belts aim to be “one size fits all,” a belt that comes in various sizes tends to have a better fit.
Made with Quality Material
If you plan to wear your decompression belt frequently, it’s important to find one made with durable, high-quality materials that won’t break down over time.
Top 7 Back Decompression Belts
Based on buyer feedback, popularity and brand reputation, we’ve rounded up the top 7 back decompression belts you should compare:
1. HailiCare Decompression Back Belt
The HailiCare back decompression belt is a one-size-fits-all belt adjustable with velcro. It inflates with a hand air pump.
You can safely use it during sleep or while active.
Users have given the HailiCare high ratings because of its high quality, ease of use, comfort and effectiveness in reducing pain.
The exterior is an easy-to-clean artificial leather, and the inside is a soft cotton lining.
The only complaint some users have had was that it wouldn’t inflate to their desired level of firmness to be effective enough.
Meanwhile, most users have reported pain relief after they started using the belt regularly.
The problem with it being a one-size-fits-all belt is that it doesn’t fit everyone to their height.
People with shorter waists may feel it’s too constrictive, and people with longer waists may feel it’s not high enough.
Pros: Made with high-quality materials that make it comfortable and durable, easy to inflate, adjust to your exact width with a velcro closure, gentle enough to use during sleep
Cons: May not fit all sizes height-wise, the inflation capabilities may not be enough to satisfy some customers
2. LEAMAI Standard Decompression Back Belt
The LEAMAI back decompression belt comes in 2 sizes and 4 different colours.
Anyone who finds that other back decompression belts lack the intensity they need should try this one.
When inflated, it expands 6 centimetres outward in either direction, pushing up and down on your spine to stretch it out.
It’s so intense that LEAMAI advises customers to limit their use in the first week as their body adjusts to the therapy.
This concept may be appealing for those who want to get more out of their decompression belt in less time by wearing them for shorter periods.
It inflates with an easy-to-use pump that only requires a few pumps to get fully inflated.
The most common complaint among customers not satisfied with the LEAMAI was that it hurt at the tops of their hips by rubbing on them.
Pros: Decompresses your spine at a higher intensity, achieving results in less time, inflates easily with a high-quality pump, comes in different sizes and colours
Cons: Too intense for some users, stretching 6 centimetres out when inflated, not gentle enough for use during sleep, may cause pain at your hips
3. Leawell Decompression Back Belt
The Leawell comes in 3 different sizes, plus you can get an extension belt that adjusts it to a larger fit.
It has an intelligent inflater controller for a more precise control of the belt’s inflation level.
As an electric pump, it inflates for you to the level you choose on the controller.
It’s FDA-approved, made with high-quality, durable materials and it inflates and deflates very quickly.
Most buyer feedback points to both its effectiveness and durability.
In addition to choosing a size, you can also adjust with velcro for the perfect fit.
Some users felt the Leawell was too restrictive and deemed it better suited for people with debilitating pain who need brace-like support.
Others have reported better posture and reduced pain from wearing the belt.
It is indeed brace-like in the support it provides, so if you sit for long periods in chairs that aren’t well-supportive, this brace could help keep you in better alignment.
Pros: Provides firm support like a brace, inflates quickly and electrically, FDA-approved, durable, highly adjustable
Cons: May feel too restrictive at the waist
4. HONGJING Cordless Heating Decompression Back Belt
The HONGJING heat decompression back brace is higher in the price range of most decompression belts, but it has a heating feature that can add to the pain-relieving effects of spinal decompression.
By adding another method of increasing circulation, this device has the potential to relieve pain faster.
Not only does this model provide heating, but it is also cordless.
This means you can use this decompression belt as you move around your home, giving you 60-90 minutes of use on a full charge.
It’s made with high-quality materials that give it both comfort and durability.
Customers who gave the Heat Therapy brace a thumbs up for effectiveness were surprised by how quickly the device began relieving back pain.
The main complaint from customers seems to be that some of the units stopped working quite soon into ownership.
On the bright side, this decompression belt comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee and they will replace any broken units within 6-months of your purchase date.
Pros: Provides heating, cordless, reduces back pain effectively for many users, works at a high-intensity level to decompress the spine
Cons: Some units become faulty quite quickly
5. DDS G2 Lumbar Decompression Belt
The DDS G2 back decompression belt comes at a price point much higher than other decompression belts.
What makes it different is that it offers 6 different belt sizes and uses the technology backed by 4 different patents.
It’s machine-washable, which is a rare feature for spinal decompression belts. It’s also more discreet when worn under clothing, compared to others.
It’s inflated with a hand pump and includes a pressure gauge to measure your intensity setting.
Another differing feature is that instead of being a rigid cylinder shape, it hugs inward where the lumbar spine is, to match its natural curve.
This gives it a more ergonomic shape for better comfort.
According to DDS, over 1400 patient surveys have determined that their belt works effectively.
Based on most customer feedback, the DDS G2 does a great job relieving pain and helping you improve your posture.
Pros: Offers 6 sizes, looks more discreet under clothing, ergonomic design for comfort and accuracy, machine-washable
6. DR-HO 2-in-1 Decompression Belt
Dr. Ho’s decompression belt is considered a 2-in-1 for providing traction and decompression at the same time.
It helps lift the upper body weight off of your lumbar spine, allowing the vertebrae and discs to space out.
Its intensity level makes it a true stretch for your back, and most customer feedback points to it working excellently.
Because it works at a high intensity with its two-pronged approach to back pain relief, you only need it 30 minutes one to three times a day to make rapid gains with daily use.
However, you can wear it as much as needed to relieve pain.
While it’s highly praised for its ability to alleviate pain, some users have complained they couldn’t find a large enough size between the 2 “small” and “large” sizes the model offers.
Pros: Includes several extras including a heating pad, foot therapy pads, travel bag and more, works at a high-intensity level by providing both traction and decompression, you may have more results in less time
Cons: Expensive, not big enough for larger users
7. HONGJING Spine Decompression Belt
The HONGJING spine decompression belt is at the more affordable end of the decompression belt price range.
With its lumbar pressure control gauge, you can pump-inflate the belt accurately.
It’s made with artificial leather and has an inner cotton lining for comfort.
The overwhelming amount of its customer feedback pertains to the HONGJING belt’s effectiveness in relieving pain.
Some customers with experience using a back brace found the HONGJING belt comparable to their back brace, but more comfortable.
Plus, you can control the air pressure and change it as needed to raise or lower the intensity level, which is harder to achieve with a back brace.
Some customers, nonetheless, did find that the HONGJING was uncomfortable for them, or not breathable enough.
Others reported on its inconvenience because it moves out of place and doesn’t stay inflated.
You can afford to take your chances with this belt, however, because it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee and a 6-month replacement warranty.
Pros: Affordable, pressure gauge for accurate inflation pressure reading, money-back guarantee and warranty included
Cons: May move out of place on your back as you move around, material not breathable
Bottom Line: The Best Back Decompression Belt
The 2-in-1 heat therapy and spinal decompression belt from HailiCare is the top choice on this list, given both its therapeutic value and value-for-money.
It has a high rate of effectiveness, yet it’s more affordable than many on the market.
Through its combination of heat, compression and spinal decompression, it’s able to relieve pain fast.
Users have reported it to improve conditions of sciatica pain, bulging spinal discs, and chronic lower back pain.
HailiCare is thought to have great customer service, based on remarks from customers with experience with them.
Whether you’re new to spinal decompression belts or you want to find one that’s more effective than the one you have, the HailiCare 2-in-1 heat therapy decompression belt is the all-around best choice.
Back Pain Relief: What Are Your Options?
Besides spinal decompression tools, there are also other tools for drug-free therapy to help relieve back pain.
Here’s a glance at the different types of tools available to help you decompress your spine at home.
Massage pillows are small pillow devices with typically 2 or 4 mechanical nodes that apply kneading pressure to your muscles when you lean them against the pillow.
These can be useful on chairs to place behind your lower back, upper back or neck.
Related: Best massage pillows
A back stretcher helps you decompress and stretch your spine when you lay on it. It’s simple to use and it’s affordable.
When used regularly every day over time, it improves back health and helps correct postural misalignments.
Related: Best back stretchers
Maintaining an upright position while you have excessive curvature in your back can cause strain and tightness in your back, which lead to chronic back pain.
Wearing a back brace helps keep you upright so that your muscles don’t tighten to brace your spine in a misaligned posture.
Related: Best back braces
Lumbar Chair Supports
Chair lumbar supports are designed to improve your posture as you sit in a chair or at your desk.
They give your lower back support so that can maintain a neutral position to support the alignment of your upper body.
Related: Best lumbar supports
A knee pillow is a foam-like pillow you sleep with between your knees as you lay on your side.
It’s designed to help relieve chronic back pain and sciatica pain by correcting the alignment of your legs with your back.
Related: Best knee pillows
Inversion tables work by shifting your body’s gravity and using the help of body weight to decompress your spine as you hang at varying angles or even directly upside down.
Related: Best inversion tables
Do you suspect that your misaligned posture is behind the back pain or tightness you’ve been experiencing?
If so, you could probably benefit from using a spinal decompression belt, which takes some of the weight off your spine and the muscle tissue supporting it.
You should also consider adding some spinal decompression techniques to your everyday routine.
It helps lengthen the space between vertebrae and improve the health of your spinal disks.
Given their ease of use and affordable price, a spinal decompression belt for back pain relief could be well worth a try.