Do you find yourself cracking your back regularly? Do you continuously rub soothing creams on your neck to ease chronic pain?
If you have a herniated disc, sciatica, or any other chronic back problems, the lack of solutions and relief can be frustrating.
Fortunately, there is a proven way to reduce chronic back pain without medications or endless visits with physical therapists.
Inversion therapy can help. By going upside down on an inversion table, you change the way gravity compresses your spine.
You let gravity elongate your spinal column and increase the amount of space between your vertebrae.
But if you’re looking to buy an inversion table, understanding the benefits and risks of different models can make a big difference in your ultimate satisfaction.
What Makes a Good Inversion Table?
When deciding whether to purchase an inversion table, knowing what to look for can make the search easier and reduce any buyer’s remorse, you might otherwise feel.
It’s vital to read inversion table reviews. Still, even the best inversion table on the market might not be the best inversion table for you.
It’s important to consider what you like, what you want, and what you need as much as the standard qualities of a “good” inversion table.
There are several indicators of what makes a high-quality table. If you purchase a poor-quality inversion table, you’re likely to get rid of it before too long.
Please consider the following features and specifications when determining which inversion table to purchase.
Sturdiness / Durability
Your inversion table must be able to support your weight.
You will be hanging by your ankles, and if the inversion table cannot support your weight, you may fall and injure yourself.
Your head will be closest to the ground, and concussions or neck injuries may occur.
Ensure that the materials of the inversion table are reliable, safe, and substantial. Most recommend that inversion tables be made of high carbon steel. Cheaper models made of plastic may be hazardous.
Investing in a higher-quality steel inversion table is likely to save you money in medical bills in the long run.
Some inversion tables include back pads on the flat surface of the table. Especially if you suffer from back pain or muscle tension, you may want an inversion table outfitted with particularly soft padding.
Thicker pads tend to be the most comfortable. Some inversion tables even come with upholstered memory foam!
If you wish to invert face-down on the table, some tables resemble those found in massage parlors.
A notch or a hole in the top of the table will allow you to breathe while you rest with your face down.
These tables will also allow your feet to attach in both directions.
Some table boards are flat, while others contour to the curves of the human body. You should determine which feels more comfortable for you, especially if you suffer from chronic back pain.
Inversion table reviews are a great way to determine how comfortable one machine may be compared to another.
Ease of Use
Inversion tables come with straps or handles that help you to pivot from an upright position to an upside-down position.
If an inversion table is difficult to use, you may find yourself stuck upside-down.
Handles tend to be more comfortable to use than straps. They require less upper arm strength, they tend to be stable, and they’re unlikely to move out of reach.
The best inversion tables allow smooth and gradual inversion, with switches or pins that help you reach the angle of inversion you desire.
If you are using an inversion table for the first time, and you’re uncertain whether you’ll be able to return to an upright position, enlist the help of a friend or family member.
Have someone stay with you while you give the table a test.
Deluxe or premium inversion tables are motorized. Instead of lowering yourself down or pulling yourself back up, motorized inversion tables allow you to push a button or flip a switch.
The power inversion table will reposition you all on its own!
In our inversion table reviews, the prices range between $90-$250. Costs can rise to as much as $450 or higher.
More expensive inversion tables come with more features, more padding, more accessories, and higher-quality materials.
Cheaper inversion tables tend to be made with plastic or low-quality metals. These tables can increase the risks associated with inverting, as they may not support you or your weight.
As previously discussed, sturdiness and durability matter. If an inversion table breaks due to poor quality, you risk serious injuries and possibly severe medical bills.
Inversion table frames come in several orientations. Some are static, meaning they cannot fold or be easily transported.
Others can be folded, moved, and stored away without any trouble. If you have ample space, static inversion tables tend to be sturdier.
However, if you need to save some room or put your inversion table away when you’re not using it, the folding inversion tables may help you save space.
Inversion tables also come in different sizes, so make sure your space can accommodate the height, width, and depth of the inversion table. And that those measurements can help you!
Inversion must be done gradually. For this reason, it’s essential that your inversion table is flexible and allows for a range of inversion angles.
If possible, start with an angle of 20 or 30 degrees. Once you’re able to relax, advance to 45 or 60 degrees.
Most experts agree that a 60-degree inverted position is a perfect angle for your spine to decompress without pulling harshly on your leg and ankle joints.
Many inversion tables even go up to 90 degrees or 180 degrees—a full inversion! Though full inversion can be hard on legs and ankles, many inversion table users enjoy the effects.
No matter how far you anticipate you’ll prefer to invert, a more extensive range of options is ideal.
Add-Ons & Extra Features
Inversion tables may ship with exercise mats, extra padding, headrests, or instructional exercise videos.
Premium, deluxe, or high-priced inversion tables may even be motorized, eliminating the need for you to invert or return to an upright position manually.
Vibration padding is a particularly attractive additional feature. These electric pads attach to the inversion tables, massaging your sore muscles while you relax and use gravity to your benefit.
If you’re interested in an inversion table for meditation purposes, vibration pads may be worth the investment.
Inversion tables must be able to support your weight. Depending on the materials used to construct the table, their capacity may or may not accommodate you.
Tables made with higher quality, sturdier materials will boast a higher weight capacity.
Always check the weight capacity of an inversion table before purchase. In our inversion table reviews, the weight capacity ranges between 300 and 350 pounds.
Because lower-quality inversion tables may easily break, it’s essential to research the warranty options available to you from the inversion table manufacturer.
A five-year warranty from the manufacturer is less likely to break than a table with a one-year warranty.
Nothing is more important than the quality of the materials used to make your inversion table.
Protect yourself from defective machines—pay attention to the warranties offered by the manufacturer.
Most inversion tables will require some degree of assembly. For the most part, this assembly should be uncomplicated. It should be described clearly in an included instruction manual.
In the case of some more advanced machines—especially the motorized tables—assembly may be more complicated.
If you are unfamiliar with inversion tables, it may be worthwhile to purchase expert assembly from the table vendor.
Do not take any risks when assembling your inversion table. If put together improperly, you may void your warranty. Even worse, you may injure yourself.
If you already suffer from back pain, there’s no need to risk more. Take care when assembling your inversion table.
After you purchase an inversion table, you may face difficulty when assembling it. You may find it broken or defective. You may decide that the inversion makes you too light-headed.
If you face any problems with your table, or if you want to return it, you’ll want an excellent support team behind the manufacturing company.
Buy your inversion table from a company with highly-rated customer service. Helpful and dutiful customer support can make the difference between a positive experience and a negative one.
Read inversion table reviews, and identify whether previous consumers have faced any trouble communicating with the company’s support team.
Which Inversion Table to Buy?
Deciding which inversion table to buy depends on your needs and budget.
If you experience back pain, an inversion table geared for relieving pain will serve you better than one equipped for exercise.
If you prefer the idea of meditating on an inversion table, you might want to avoid models with potentially distracting massage components.
Most tables can accommodate users between 5′ and 6′ tall. If you are taller or shorter than that, check the height capacity of the inversion table.
Inversion tables tend to be adjustable to accommodate users of varying heights.
If you get light-headed quickly, you may want to avoid inversion tables that allow a full 180-degree inversion.
If you have weaker leg muscles, you may prefer an inversion table with ankle straps or shackles to a table with bars that require you to hold on with your ankles.
No matter your needs, do not compromise on quality. A poor-quality inversion table will inevitably result in more harm than spending a few extra dollars.
If you’re trying to determine which inversion table to buy, look no further:
Innova ITM4800 Advanced Heat and Massage Therapeutic Inversion Table
If you’re here to find out what is the best inversion therapy table, the Innova ITM4800 is your answer.
This inversion table offers a full complement of amazing features.
From heated massage pads with multiple settings to ergonomic ankle holding cups that cause less ankle discomfort than the classic bars.
The Innova ITM4800 offers several flexible inversion degrees and folds for secure storage.
Innova ITX9600 Heavy Duty Inversion Therapy Table
As the first runner-up, Innova ITX9600 is not only the best-selling inversion table. It is the best inversion table for a tall person, accommodating users over six-feet-tall.
The headrest pad and the large, padded backrest make inverting more comfortable, even on this high-quality, heavy-duty table.
The Innova ITX9600 offers three different adjustable features: an adjustable headrest, torso, and footrest.
Most inversion tables only adjust in one place. By changing three, this model helps you find your perfect, most comfortable center of gravity.
We particularly like the adjustable inversion angles.
With this machine, you can invert to angles of 15 degrees, 30 degrees, 45 degrees, 60 degrees, and 85 degrees.
We don’t like the design of the footrest.
The cups beneath your ankles seem comfortable, but the bars that secure you in place may cause discomfort.
IRONMAN Gravity 4000 Inversion Table
As the best-rated inversion table reviewed here, the IRONMAN can easily be recognized as the best fitness inversion table.
Its weight capacity of 350 pounds is the highest available, appropriate for bodybuilders and athletes committed to their health.
But anyone with back pain would also enjoy the IRONMAN. Its memory foam backrest and lumbar pillow cover a sturdy steel frame outfitted with a one-year warranty.
We like that the it can be folded for secure storage, and the angle of inversion is controlled by extra-long safety handles.
The inversion table’s easily-adjusted ratchet ankle locking system secures your feet between ergonomically molded ankle cushions.
Though it doesn’t adjust in as many places as we’d like, its comfort and its durability make it an excellent option for an inversion table.
Exerpeutic Inversion Table with Comfort Foam Backrest
Exerpeutic’s inversion table is easily the best value inversion table considering its price and its features.
This model prioritizes safety, offering an adjustable tether strap for safe and comfortable inversion and return to upright.
The heavy-duty 1.5-inch square steel construction of the frame helps to prevent any instability when you invert.
Foam rollers and ankle cushions keep you secured in place.
We love the extra-long safety handlebars and accommodates users between 4’10” and 6’6″.
It has a weight capacity of 300 pounds and comes with a soft, padded backrest.
We don’t like that the Exerpeutic does not offer flexible inversion angles.
Though it does invert fully, you control the degree of the inversion angle with the full-loop handles.
Teeter EP-970 Ltd. With Back Pain Relief Kit
With its back pain relief kit, the Teeter inversion table ranks as the best inversion table for back pain.
The contoured table bed flexes beneath you, ensuring optimal comfort. Its smooth surface encourages your body to slide, stretching your spinal column even further than tables with soft padding.
It offers adjustable inversion angles of 20 degrees, 40 degrees, and 60 degrees.
This Teeter inversion table would be the best inversion table for a short person, as it accommodates users 4’8″ tall. It has a weight capacity of 300 pounds.
It comes with a five-year warranty, guaranteeing no manufacturing defects for the first five years of use.
We love the extended handle for the ankle lock, which makes it easy for you to reach the mechanism that secures you to the table.
The wrap-around ankle cups ensure that you’ll remain inverted without falling off the table to the ground.
You can even adjust the height of the footrests beneath the ankle cups!
We do wish that the acupressure nodes and the lumbar bridge weren’t sold separately.
These useful additions attach to the table bed to aid decompression at specific trigger points in your back.
Frequently Asked Question(s)
What is “Inversion Therapy”?
Inversion therapy is a form of spinal decompression that involves hanging upside down to “invert” gravity’s pull on you.
Inversion therapy removes the gravitational pressure and increases the space between your vertebrae. By inverting, you use gravitational forces to stretch your spinal column.
With inversion therapy, you put yourself in “traction.” Traction is the application of a sustained pull on a limb or muscle. In this case, traction is created by gravity rather than by active pulling or tugging on your spine.
Inversion therapy benefits those suffering from back pain, neck pain, and pinched nerves. If you have sciatica, scoliosis, or a herniated disc, reversing the pull of gravity on your spine may temporarily relieve complications associated with compression.
A regular regiment of inversion therapy can relieve symptoms of chronic pain and supplement your exercise routines. If you’re interested in inversion therapy, it’s essential to consult with your physician.
As helpful as inversion can be for some, it can cause severe problems for patients with particular health conditions. Do your research, but most importantly, talk to your doctor.
What is an “Inversion Table”?
The safest way to experience inversion therapy is with an inversion table. These flat fitness aids are designed to allow you to go from reclining upright, to lying horizontally, to being complete upside down.
Though inversion tables do not use weights, they are often classified as weight machines. Your ankles will typically be locked into place as you recline against a flat board. After inverting, the weight of gravity pulls on you, releasing the pressure on your spine.
Inversion tables may or may not be padded. They may or may not be motorized. Some include vibrating massage pads, and some fold flat for secure storage. The best inversion tables allow you to invert gradually, increasing the angle of inversion by degrees.
Other machines for experiencing inversion therapy include gravity boots and inversion chairs. Though inversion chairs may be safer and more comfortable for the elderly or those with severe or chronic pain, inversion tables are more versatile.
After a relaxing round of meditation in your inversion table, you can also use it to strengthen your core while you perform inverted crunches or sit-ups.
What Does an Inversion Table Do for You?
Learning to use an inversion table can be tricky without the right guidance. It’s essential to understand the benefits and risks of inversion therapy before you start.
The benefits of inversion table therapy tend to be short-term. Many find the traction temporarily helpful, especially for relieving chronic pain. Some say that stretching the spinal column can even help you gain a few inches in height!
Inversion therapy releases pressure on nerves pinched between your vertebrae. It elongates your spine and helps realign your back against the flat table board. For herniated discs, the decompression helps minimize the pain while guiding the disc to a more comfortable position.
Inversion also changes the direction of the flow of blood in your body, helping to pull toxins from your system. The change in blood flow to your brain and the upside-down perspective can also be useful for meditation.
If you want to relax and step outside of yourself for a moment, an inversion table can turn things around! The inversion table therapy benefits for back pain and relaxation combined with other benefits make inverting well-worth your consideration.
However, it is worth noting a few of the inversion table risks. Remaining in an inverted position with your head down might cause problems if you have high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, or glaucoma.
Inversion presents strain on the ocular nerve and the circulatory system. Because your heart beats to drive the blood through your veins with gravity pulling at you from the top. Inverting the gravitational pull can irritate heart conditions or cause your heartbeat to feel more labored.
If you suffer from acid reflux or heartburn, inversion therapy may be uncomfortable or even dangerous. Stomach acid may leak into your esophagus or trail into your throat and mouth.
Inversion tables can also be difficult or dangerous to use. If the straps around your feet fail, you might fall and injure yourself.
Because your head and neck will be closest to the floor, this can be a significant hazard. In 2015, Dick’s Sporting Goods recalled the Fitness Gear Inversion Table because some customers fell out of the ankle locks and injured themselves.
Before any attempt at inversion therapy, consult with a physician. Talk to your doctor. Make sure that inversion therapy complements your existing exercise, meditation, or therapeutic regimen.
And for all beginners, it is crucial to have someone with you the first time you attempt inversion. If you get light-headed quickly, or if you’ve had any blood pressure concerns in the past, make sure that someone watches you invert. You may pass out or find yourself stuck in an inverted position.
How Long Should You be on an Inversion Table?
As previously stated, if you’re a beginner, it’s essential to have someone nearby the first time you use an inversion table. You may find that it makes you light-headed or dizzy, and if so, you may require assistance to return to an upright position or to release yourself from the table.
It’s recommended that you only use an inversion table for two to three minutes as a beginner. When you become comfortable with inversion, you might gradually work yourself up to staying on the inversion table for 10 to 20 minutes.
There is some disagreement on the upper limit for the time spent inverted. Some experts recommend not exceeding 10 minutes. Others suggest that you can stay inverted as long as you feel comfortable. Everyone will react differently to inversion.
Pay attention to how it affects you, and increase your time spent inverted carefully and gradually. Proceed with caution and remain aware of its impacts on you.
How Often Should You Use an Inversion Table?
The frequency of use is more important than the duration of use. The benefits of inversion increase with regular use, giving your spine more opportunities to stretch and breathe. As with any good habit, frequent repetition is more beneficial than occasional binges.
Experts recommend inverting once or twice a day when possible. The process can be a great way to wake up in the morning and prepare for the day. It can also be an excellent method of winding down before bed or relaxing after a long day of work.
Gauge how inversion therapy affects you, and incorporate it into your routine as it makes the most sense to you.
You might also use an inversion table as part of your daily exercise routine. If you enjoy doing crunches, try doing crunches upside-down on an inversion table!
If you prefer sit-ups, an inversion table allows the pull of gravity to act as a weight, increasing the amount of effort required to do the sit-up.
When you perform exercises that require you to bend at the abdomen while inverted, you’ll stretch your spine even further than with inversion therapy alone!
How Do Inversion Tables Work?
You might ask, “Are inversion tables worth it?” And unless you have any of the previously noted health problems, the answer is a natural, “Yes!”
Usually, gravity pulls the weight of your head down into your spinal column, compressing the vertebrae together. Since you first learned to sit up and to walk, you’ve spent every day of your life with gravity crushing your vertebrae.
Gravity compresses the spaces between the building blocks of your spine, creating back and joint pain as well as nerve damage in some cases.
When you go upside down during inversion therapy, gravity pulls your head away from your spinal column. Inversion tables release the pressure that builds up throughout the day.
In a way, inversion therapy allows your spinal column to breathe.
An increase in the amount of space between the discs in your back can:
These methods have existed for centuries. They work. And they can work for you, depending on your circumstances and needs.