inversion table for back pain

Inversion Tables for Back Pain: Benefits, Risks, and More

Inversion treatment is a technique that includes holding a person upside down for several minutes to relieve back pain.

Inversion therapy works by relieving pressure on the spine, improving circulation, and opening up the vertebrae. However, there is mixed evidence of its effectiveness, and it may not be appropriate for everyone, especially people with high blood pressure or glaucoma.

Our Top Back Pain Relief Inversion Tables in a Quick Overview:

If you are in a hurry – here is a quick look of the best inversion table for back pain by Teeter. Here are my top picks:

1. Teeter FitSpine –  Inversion Table LX9

2. Teeter FitSpine – Inversion Table X3

3. Teeter FitSpine – Inversion Table X1

While inversion and other traction therapies do not appear to be harmful in healthy persons, the American College of Physicians (ACP) 2017 clinical guidelines state that there is little good-quality evidence that they are more effective than other techniques.

In this article, we will be looking at how inversion therapy works and the possible benefits and drawbacks of this treatment.


How Does Inversion Therapy Work?

The concept behind inversion therapy is that gravity’s influence on the body can be reversed by inverting a person’s body so that their feet are above their head.

Inversion Tables for Back Pain: Benefits, Risks, and More

Gravity causes the muscles, joints, and bones of the spine to compress over time, which can sometimes result in chronic back pain.

Inversion therapy, like gentle massage or manual manipulation, aims to decompress the spine, allowing people to find relief from back pain and other ailments.

Inversion treatment should only be used under the supervision of a doctor, and you should not attempt to do it at home by yourself.

Devices and Techniques Used in Inversion Therapy

There are several ways of carrying out this treatment.

1. Inversion Tables

You can use an inversion table to stretch your back for a few minutes by standing upside down strapped to this device.

Inversion tables, depending on the brand and type, can also be used for exercise. Some people prefer a model that lets them rotate their torso and crunch their abs so they can get in a quick workout.

This is my Teeter Inversion Table - I use it daily and get great results!
This is my Teeter Inversion Table – I use it daily and get great results!

An inversion table’s price varies depending on how many features it has, but even higher-end models rarely cost more than $500.

Read My Full Article on the Teeter Inversion Table Review!

2. Inversion Chairs

Inversion chairs and tables operate on the same principles, except that you get to sit rather than stand on an inversion chair.

You sit on the chair and buckle yourself up, and then the chair is turned upside down. Some people believe that sitting in this position is healthier than being strapped on a table since there is no pressure on the leg joints.

Depending on the brand and type, these might cost anywhere from $150 to $450.

3. Gravity Boots

Gravity boots are a sort of ankle footwear that you can use to hang from your feet upside down. In comparison to previous inversion devices, they provide more flexibility and maneuverability.

A pair of gravity boots can cost anything from $50 to $100.

4. Alternative Methods – Yoga

You can benefit from certain yoga stances as part of inversion therapy. A few examples are:

  • Headstands
  • Plow Pose
  • Shoulder Stands
  • Handstands

For such poses, it’s important that you’re coached by a certified yoga instructor. A yoga class can cost as little as $15, while one-on-one instruction can cost up to $100 per session.

Another option is aerial yoga. Aerial yoga, sometimes known as “gravity-defying yoga,” employs circus-style equipment to assist you to achieve greater length and safety in your poses.

Instructors are on hand to help you understand the positions better. This type of yoga should never be attempted at home by yourself, especially if you are a beginner.

Consult your insurance and healthcare providers before purchasing a table or enrolling in classes. Many insurance companies do not pay for inversion therapy since there is little clinical evidence to support it.

Related Post:  Do Inversion Tables Really Work For Neck Pain?

Potential Benefits of Inversion Therapy

Supporters of inversion therapy claim that it can help treat and prevent back problems. They also believe that stretching and circulation can help prevent future health issues. However, the evidence on inversion therapy’s effectiveness is mixed.

Here are a few of the supposed advantages of inversion therapy.


1. Improved Spine Health

The spine and back muscles supporting the body are strained by gravity, causing the spine to compress with time.

Physical manipulation of the spine, such as muscle-strengthening treatments or massage (also check out my article on the best massage gun for lower back pain), is routinely used to relieve compression. Holding the body upside down can give you the same benefits as these treatments.

Daily use of inversion equipment or certain yoga postures can help improve the health of the spine and ligaments while also relieving pressure on the surrounding muscles. You may also like to read my other article will an inversion table straighten my spine

In the long run, this could lead to more pleasant results and a more flexible body.

2. Reduce Chronic Pain

Many people who use inversion therapy to treat chronic back pain want a non-invasive, gentle procedure. Inversion treatment may improve weight-bearing joints by relieving pressure and allowing them to rest and recuperate.

The decompressive effects of inversion therapy may help with a number of back pain issues, including disc and joint discomfort. Back muscular spasms may also benefit from decompression.

3. Reduce Need for Surgery

According to a 2012 study published in Disability and Rehabilitation, using an inversion device reduced the need for surgery in certain people with lumbar discogenic disease, which causes the discs in the back to become thin and fragile.

However, more research is needed because this study only involved 26 people.

When it comes to the best therapies for specific back problems, you should always listen to your doctor or chiropractor’s advice.

Risks of Inversion Therapy

The biggest risk of inversion therapy is that when hanging upside down, your blood pressure will increase while your heart rate decreases. This can also put a lot of pressure on your inner ears and eyeballs.

Inversion Tables for Back Pain: Benefits, Risks, and More

Because of the many risks associated with inversion therapy, it is not recommended for people who have any of the following conditions:

  • A history of strokes
  • Hernia
  • Obesity
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Broken bones
  • Osteoporosis
  • Eye problems, such as glaucoma or retinal detachment
  • Ear infections

People who suffer from conditions that affect the head and neck should avoid this type of treatment. Even if you only have pink eye, you should not try this type of therapy.

Finally, inversion therapy is also a risk to pregnant women and people taking blood clotting or blood pressure medications.

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For people with back pain, inversion therapy may provide an effective short-term method to relieve pain. While it is inexpensive, only a few insurance carriers will pay the cost of the equipment.

Inversion therapy, like other alternative therapies, should not be used in place of medical guidance from a doctor, but rather as an addition to it.

Anyone who employs inversion therapy must do so under the guidance of a medical professional. Stop using this therapy if you’re experiencing side effects or your symptoms are getting worse.

Inversion therapy should not be considered a long-term treatment choice or a way to avoid medical care. Easy back pain solutions, such as at-home exercises, could be much more effective than this treatment.