Inversion tables are becoming an increasingly popular treatment tool for individuals suffering from chronic back pain. Inversion tables work based on the principles of inversion therapy. In this therapeutic practice, patients’ bodies are hung upside down or “inverted” at an angle for the purpose of relieving back and shoulder pain. The treatment process is based on the theory that spinal traction can counteract the compression of the spinal column caused by gravity. Though spinal decompression can be achieved manually through handstands or other such methods, most patients choose to treat their pain with inversion tables, which are designed to easily facilitate spinal traction and decompression.
There are many great inversion tables for sale today. Affordable inversion tables are generally available for under $200, whereas more premium inversion tables with special features may cost up to $1,000.
Are you interested in learning more about inversion therapy and inversion tables? We’ll help you find an inversion table that meets your needs!
Do Inversion Tables Work for Back Pain?
Many individuals respond positively to inversion therapy. Inversion tables are particularly recommended for individuals suffering from a variety of back and spinal conditions, including (but not limited to):
- Lower back pain
- Middle or upper back pain
- Shoulder and neck pain
- Hip pain
- Spinal stenosis
- Degenerated discs
- Herniated disc/slipped disc (See Do Inversion Tables Work for Herniated Discs?)
- Nerve pain in the back or spine
- and more…
Patients should note that an inversion table is generally regarded as a treatment tool rather than a permanent solution to back pain. Inverting relieves compression-related spinal pain, which generally reoccurs after many hours spent on one’s feet. Though some individuals report long-lasting results after a few inversion sessions, most patients feel that inversion tables can only provide them with temporary relief. Using an inversion table a few times a week is generally regarded as the ideal method for managing chronic pain.
Inversion tables are not the ideal treatment option for all individuals. It is best to speak with a doctor before beginning inversion therapy. Inversion therapy may be considered unsafe if you suffer from certain health conditions or take certain medications.
You should talk to your doctor before purchasing an inversion table, particularly if you have any of the following health conditions: heart or circulatory problems, acid reflux, hernias, eye conditions such as glaucoma, osteoporosis, serious fractures, or severe back or spinal injuries. Individuals who are obese or pregnant are not ideal candidates for inversion table therapy, either.
How to Choose the Right Inversion Table
It is important to choose an inversion table that is best for you. Consider asking yourself the following questions to help you determine which inversion table you should purchase.
How much am I willing to spend on an inversion table?
For those who are budget-conscious, purchasing an inversion table can be a stressful decision. Mid-range inversion tables generally cost $300 to $500. Less expensive inversion tables generally offer basic spinal traction features, but may not be as customizable as more expensive options.
Individuals who cannot afford an inversion table may choose instead to opt for an inversion sling. These stretchy fabric slings can be used for inverting and for performing a variety of yoga stretches. Affordable yoga slings can generally be purchased for under $100, making them a good choice for back pain sufferers on tight budgets.
What features am I looking for in an inversion table?
Nearly all inversion tables are the same in their basic construction and design. A patient will lay on an ironing-board-shaped backrest and will be strapped into boots or ankle clamps. A person can generally lower themselves into an inverted position using handle bars located near the table’s fulcrum. Most individuals can pull themselves upright again using these handle bars as well. Beyond this, however, many inversion tables vary in their specifications and additional functions.
Some inversion tables are designed to provide spinal decompression while also encouraging physical fitness. Sturdier, higher-priced tables like the Ironman ATIS 4000 are ideal for fitness gurus looking to perform exercises while achieving back pain relief.
Other inversion tables offer features that emphasize the therapeutic effects of inversion. The Ironman 1000 Infrared Therapy Inversion Table, for instance, uses FIR carbon-heating fibers in the table’s backrest to soothe muscles and increase blood circulation in the back and neck. Other tables, like the Teeter EP-560 Ltd Inversion Table, offer additional lumbar support and acupressure nodes for improved back pain relief.
Ultimately, it is most important to consider whether you want a fitness-oriented or comfort-oriented inversion table. Once you’ve decided which type of table meets your needs, you will be better prepared to make a purchase.
Will I be comfortable using an inversion table?
Inversion tables can put a lot of strain on the body. For users who are older, weaker, or suffer from certain health conditions, an inversion table may not be the most practical tool for spinal decompression. It can be easy to get stuck upside-down or in an awkward position with many inversion tables. If you feel that you may be susceptible to these problems, you may want to use the inversion table only when in the presence of others. A partner can more easily help you sit up, lie down, or adjust the tilt of the inversion table. For those who need an easier-to-use inversion table and wish to use it alone, the Body Power IT9910 Seated Deluxe Inversion System may be worth considering. This inversion table starts with the user in a seated position and gradually flattens as the user reclines, making it easier for those with serious back problems to invert.
For patients who feel that full inversion might put their health at risk, there are other inversion options available. Inversion chairs like the Health Mark Pro Inversion Chair are ideal for those seeking a less vigorous inversion method. This chair allows individuals to stay in a seated, bent-knee position as they invert. The inversion chair reclines only 70% as far as standard inversion tables, too, putting less stress on the body.
The Top 5 Inversion Tables for Back Pain
Though there are many excellent inversion tables out there, these five tables have proven themselves to be better than the rest. Purchasing one of these top rated inversion tables will almost certainly relieve your back pain.
The most popular inversion table on Amazon is the Ironman Gravity 4000. This incredible inversion table is well-built and has received excellent reviews from thousands of customers.
Unlike other inversion tables, the Ironman Gravity is incredibly easy to assemble. The table is ideal for larger individuals, as it can handle weights of up to 350 pounds, a higher top weight than most inversion tables offer. Users rave about the table’s effectiveness and praise its sensible design. The table includes a memory-foam backboard and a lumbar cushion for optional use, making the table particularly comfortable and supportive. The table’s molded ankle clasps are more comfortable that the gravity boots sold with many other inversion tables, too.
Users must be aware, however, of the Ironman Gravity’s weight. The table can be folded but it is extremely heavy, weighing over 80 pounds. Those who buy this inversion table may prefer to leave it in just one location in the home.
The Ironman Gravity is an excellent inversion device. For those who struggle with compression-related pain, this device is the perfect choice.
The Teeter Hang Ups EP-560 Ltd Inversion Table is an especially versatile inversion table. The EP-560 is one of the best inversion table models offered by the Teeter Hang Ups brand. Perhaps the most useful feature of this table is the acupressure nodes that can be attached to the table’s backrest. These nodes increase blood flow to muscles throughout the back, relieving pain faster than inversion alone.
The EP-560 also comes with an adjustable lumbar bridge. The arch of this bridge can be adjusted to meet the needs of the user. Other benefits of choosing this inversion table package include a complimentary stretching and exercising DVD and the 5 year warranty included with the device.
Whether you crave an inversion-based workout or simply a therapeutic stretching experience, this Teeter Hang Ups inversion table will meet your needs. Acupressure and stretching can be used to relieve tension and generate spinal traction. Fitness buffs can practice sit-ups and crunches on the sturdy inversion table as well.
Easy to assemble and guaranteed to stand the test of time, the Teeter Hang Ups EP-560 is an inversion table worth buying. Beginners and expert inverters alike are sure to enjoy stretching out on this excellent inversion device.
The Innova ITM4800 Inversion Therapy Table is the most comforting and therapeutic inversion chair in existence. With a removable headrest, cushioned foam backrest, and a heated, vibrating lumbar pad, the Innova ITM4800 is guaranteed to have you feeling better after a few minutes of inversion.
Long-time inversion table users rave that the Innova ITM4800 is the most impressive inversion device they’ve ever used. The heating massage lumbar pad is a favorite feature amongst users, who claim that the feature provides them with superior back pain relief. The foot clamps on the table are comfortable, too, making it possible to invert comfortably for long periods of time.
The assembly of the Innova ITM4800 is simple and straight-forward, and the device’s parts are sturdy. The power cord for the lumbar pad is particularly long, making it possible to invert anywhere.
The Innova ITM4800 is designed for individuals of many heights. Even so, some users noted that the device is a bit short for individuals over 6′ tall. In general, however, users note that the Innova table is a good fit, particularly due to its adjustable head rest and lumbar pad.
For those who are looking for a truly soothing spinal traction device, the Innova ITM4800 is the perfect choice. This inversion table is sure to help you decompress and relax, too!
The Body Champ IT8070 Inversion Therapy Table is one of the most affordable inversion devices available for purchase. The Body Champ doesn’t come with any special features; it is, however, an excellent entry-level inversion device. Users as short as 4′ 7″ and as tall as 6′ 8″ can use the device with comfort and ease.
The Body Champ comes with padded ankle braces, which are more comfortable than the gravity boots used by many competitors’ inversion tables. The table also features basic handrails and a safety strap that allows for easy control of inversion angles.
At just over 40 pounds, the Body Champ is one of the lightest inversion tables on our list. Though this makes the device easier to fold, move, and store, it also prevents the device from supporting weights over 250 pounds.
People who are looking for an affordable, effective inversion table will appreciate the simple practicality of the Body Champ IT8070.
The Ironman ATIS 4000 Inversion Table is an excellent inversion device for those seeking a workout while inverting. The ATIS 4000 emphasizes core strength training, making it a more athletic alternative to standard inversion tables. This table isolates the abdominal muscles even more effectively than bench training, making it easier to build up ab strength in just minutes a day.
The ATIS 4000 can support heights of up to 6′ 6″ and weights of up to 320 pounds, making it one of the most accommodating inversion tables on Amazon. Athletes in particular will appreciate that the table can be inverted in 10 different locking angles, allowing for maximum fitness training and stretching.
Whether you’re looking for a fitness-oriented table or simply seek a well-built inversion table from a respected brand, the Ironman ATIS 4000 is sure to leave you both happy and pain-free.
You cannot go wrong by purchasing one of the great inversion tables listed above. Though inversion tables can be costly, spinal decompression is far more affordable than many other treatment options for chronic back pain conditions.
Spinal traction has provided thousands of people with the relief they deserve. Purchase an inversion table to start your journey towards a more pain-free life today!