Buying guide for best inversion tables
Walking upright all day puts undue pressure on our backs, necks, and spines, which can escalate to back pain, pinched nerves and restricted mobility. Inversion tables have become a popular home solution to back pain. Cheaper than a visit to a chiropractor’s office, an inversion table places you in an upside down posture to relieve pressure on your spine’s discs.
Before you pick an inversion table, here are some features to keep in mind: weight capacity, degree to which the table inverts, comfort, extra support such as hand grips and lumbar support, ease of storing the table, and ease of moving the table. We cover all of these important qualities, and pricing, in our reviews.
We’ve recommended the best inversion tables on the market once you’re ready to make a purchase. For more information, keep reading to learn about the deciding factors to consider.
Inversion table benefits
Inversion therapy is considered to be an alternative health treatment along the lines of chiropractic care and body vibration therapy. Any claims of health benefits from inversion therapy have not been verified through scientific studies. Some benefits, especially pain relief, may be temporary.
Many inversion table users experience muscular relaxation and a gentle stretching of the spine at minimal inversion settings. The experience is akin to that of a chiropractic adjustment. Flexibility is restored, and the pain from pinched nerves or back spasms is noticeably reduced.
But the claimed benefits of inversion therapy stretch beyond simple back massage and spinal “popping.” Some people say that a deeper inversion of 60 degrees encourages the vertebrae to decompress, allowing fluids to flow back into the soft discs between them. Herniated or bulging discs may reduce in size after several inversion sessions.
Some therapists recommend an inversion table for older children suffering from scoliosis. The act of stretching the spine under controlled conditions may help scoliosis patients halt, or even reverse, the spinal curvature that leads to mobility issues later in life.
Headache sufferers may find meaningful relief through inversion therapy. The relaxation and stretching of head, neck, and back muscles may reduce the triggers for some tension-based headaches. Increased blood flow to the head can also improve circulation and calm the nerves that trigger migraines. Even sinus and eustachian tube drainage are said to be improved during inversion sessions.
Some people with knee pain have also claimed to experience relief both during and after inversion therapy. No longitudinal studies exist to prove this claim, and we can’t say that this would work for everybody. Still, we believe this it’s worth noting.
Q: How long can I safely remain inverted?
A: There is no established time limit, but your body should tell you when it’s time to end an inversion session. Beginners should only remain inverted for one to two minutes during the first few weeks of therapy, increasing the duration slowly as time moves on.
Q: What is the protocol for using my inversion table safely?
A: We recommend that you consult your physician before beginning an inversion table regimen, especially if you have high blood pressure or other health issues.
Q: Do I need to become completely inverted for maximum benefits?
A: No. Most people start to feel a gentle spine stretch and muscle relaxation at 20 or 30 degrees past horizontal. Many practitioners never push past 60 degrees.
Inversion therapy experts say that 60 degrees of inversion should provide maximum benefits for average users. A 90-degree inversion could be beneficial for an elite athlete in training or an experienced home user who wants to perform calisthenic exercise.
Q: Is inversion therapy safe for everyone?
A: Consulting with a physician is always a good idea before starting a new exercise regimen. While most people in reasonable health should feel an improvement in flexibility and a reduction in neck, spine, or leg pain with short inversion sessions at 20 to 30 degrees past horizontal, it’s not an ideal practice for everyone. Checking in with a professional who knows your personal health history is a wise precautionary measure.