According to his idea, an inversion table review is a board with an adjustment of the angle of inclination, lying on which a person easily and safely changes the natural position of his body to “unnatural”, i.e. hanging upside down. This condition back pain called complete inversion and is believed to have a beneficial effect on the body.
It is useful for stretching the spine and relaxing. In this guide, we will analyze who needs an inversion table, how to use it to reduce back pain and how to do it correctly. You will find out whether the purchase of the best inversion table for back pain is justified by the result, what doctors say about it and will make the Top 5 best inversion tables in terms of configuration and price.
How does an inversion simulator work?
Fans of inversion therapy indicate the antiquity of this healing technique, which was allegedly used by Hippocrates 2500 years ago. However, the real interest in inversion arose only at the end of the 20th century. Gymnast Christopher Harrison came up with anti-gravity yoga – exercises on the “hammocks” suspended from the ceiling. Gravity boots created for hanging upside down, which were used by the hero of the movie “American Gigolo,” came into fashion.
Then, in the 1980s, an active study of the effect of procedures on patients with certain diseases began. Proponents of the inversion methodology attributed to its wide healing properties: an increase in growth, treatment of varicose veins, improvement of the cerebral circulation and lymph flow.
Of course, the wider the list of indications, the more doubts arise about the effectiveness of the device, because one tablet cannot treat everything. The test results did not really convince skeptics. But there was evidence of side effects: blurred vision, detachment of the retina, headaches, increased blood pressure.
So far, researchers have proven for certain the benefits of an inversion table review for treating the back only.
Research and proven effectiveness
Patients with lumbosacral radiculitis were able to avoid surgery due to a combination of physiotherapy and inversion methods, according to a medical article from James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough. The researchers divided the patients awaiting surgery into two groups: the first group (13 people) was prescribed physiotherapy and an inversion simulator, and the second group (11 people) attended the only physiotherapy. After 6 weeks, it turned out that most patients from the first group (10 of 13) no longer require surgical intervention, because their condition has improved significantly. The results of the examination of the second group were not so impressive: out of 11 people, only two did not fall under the scalpel of the surgeons.
Another study examined the effects of an inversion simulator on patients with chronic lower back pain. Participants in the experiment for 8 weeks used an inversion table at different angles. The best results were found in the group that used the simulator at an angle of 60 degrees: in these patients, the elasticity of the lumbar spine increased, pain and discomfort disappeared.
It is believed that the inverted position of the body removes the load from the spine, which suffers from the force of gravity and our evolutionary “habit” of upright posture. The pressure on the intervertebral discs decreases, and the space between the vertebrae increases. As a result, lower back pain disappears.
The question remains, for how long. Skeptics believe that the inversion table is more likely to not cure, but relieves unpleasant symptoms. The simulator stretches the paravertebral muscles and ligaments, temporarily relieving muscle spasm, says expert Celeste Robb-Nicholson, M.D. Editor in Chief, Harvard Women’s Health Watch. According to the doctor, the merits of inversion therapy in the healing business have not been proven, in addition, she has many contraindications (eye disease, hypertension, heart disease, pregnancy). However, classes on the inversion table can still be recommended for the complex treatment of back pain under the supervision of a physiotherapist.
If you summarize the words of experts, it will become clear that stretching on the inversion table will not cure the disease, but can remove the symptoms and, consequently, reduce the use of painkillers.
How to choose an inversion table review: factors and functions that should be considered when buying a back simulator
As in the case of an orthopedic mattress, the inversion table review is selected individually, depending on your height, weight, state of health and needs for loads. Here are a few points by which you can evaluate the quality of the inversion table.
Sustainable steel frame
Reliable ankle mounts (“open” in the form of foamy rollers or “closed” – ergonomic)
Smooth swivel mechanism
Rubberized corners and handles
There is an angle adjustment or mechanisms that help with inversion (electric motor, belts)
Large range of height adjustment (if you set the growth 4 inches larger than your real height, you can engage with a slight slope)
Expanded rubber handles for quick horizontal return
Lack of pressure points, adjustment of fastenings
Padded headrest and adjustable
The presence of a lumbar pillow and a softback, in case you do not practice hanging upside down (full inversion)
Top 5 inversion table review
The price of the best inversion table review can go up to $ 3000. Dear models allow you to adjust the angle of the table and combine the functions of a simulator for different muscle groups. We have selected the most interesting models for price and functionality. There are no very expensive inversion tables – with an electric drive – but there are simulators popular and in-demand among users at affordable prices from $ 150 to $ 329.
The most budget inversion table with a cost of ~ $ 150. But this is the case when the word “primitive” in relation to the product does not mean bad, but reliable and easy to maintain. Hence the title of bestseller and more than 4,500 reviews on Amazon.
The tilt angle of the simulator (from 15 to 85 degrees) is manually adjusted using a movable pin, which is screwed into one of five slots. Most inexpensive inversion tables do not have this feature, and the adjustment is carried out only with the help of a belt.
The adjustment system itself is hidden under a gray plastic box, so the design looks minimalistic. This inversion simulator is designed for growth from 4ft-10in to 6ft-6in and weighs up to 300 lbs.
Despite the low cost, the simulator is stable and durable. That’s because its frame is made of steel, and not of plastic, as is the case with cheap counterparts.
In the Russian market, similar functionality is represented by the DFC SJ6100 model.
The best inverse device for n
Before us is a very similar model from the same Innova brand, but with an important addition for those who are looking for the best simulator for lower back pain. The lumbar zone is highlighted here with a special roller that supports the back and provides heating and massage. Outgoing vibration is rather weak but noticeable, users write. The disadvantages of the product include the noise with which the massage pillow works. For this reason, some customers over time ceased to include it and use only the inversion table itself. Other customers, on the contrary, fell in love with the pillow so much that they adapted it even for shoulder massage.
The massage pillow is controlled by remote control. It is fastened with Velcro, so if desired, it can be shifted to other areas of the back. The price of this simulator is still ~ $ 150.
In the Russian market, similar functionality is represented by the DFC IT002 model.
The lightest inversion simulator to relieve back pain
Teeter has been manufacturing inversion tables for over 30 years and, unlike its competitors, is FDA certified. This is one of the market leaders, so brand products often fall into reviews of the best inversion tables. According to a study conducted in 2013 at the School of Dynamic Systems of the University of Cincinnati, the Teeter Fitspine model was the most popular in the price range up to $ 400.
Now Teeter inversion tables look different: the slippery material of the back, lying on which the person crawled forward, was replaced with thin plastic with holes. Perhaps because of this, the Teeter EP-560 has become more compact than its competitors (its weight is 58 pounds). More colorful plastic elements appeared in the lumbar area for acupressure and a removable plastic roller. Otherwise, the functionality of the Teeter EP-560 loses to the more budget Innova models. So, there is no way to adjust the angle of inclination. The only thing that can be done is to fix the table at an angle of about 30 degrees using a belt. There is also no headrest adjustment function.
In general, the Teeter inversion table looks light and high-quality. Ergonomic ankle mounts have received special praise from users. The price of a light inversion table from Teeter is ~ $ 329.
In the Russian market, similar functionality is represented by the Body Sculpture model.
The heaviest and largest inversion table review simulator
Another well-known brand among inversion tables. A feature of the IRONMAN Gravity 4000 is an expanded softback and increased carrying capacity. This is the most “hardy” simulator in our Top: it can withstand weight up to 350 lb. Extra-long handles help you quickly return to a horizontal position. A soft lumbar pillow allows you to comfortably lie on the table, in case you do not practice a complete inversion (turn upside down).
The backbone of the simulator is not just made of steel, but also powder coated for added protection. Ergonomic ankle mounts are also here, like the Teeter EP-560, while cheaper models usually only have foam rollers.
In general, the IRONMAN Gravity 4000 is not inferior in quality to Teeter products and at the same time costs significantly cheaper.
For a surcharge of $ 26, you can order a special mat for the simulator for better sound insulation. The cost of the simulator without an additional mat is ~ $ 199.
In the Russian market, similar functionality is represented by the DFC 75303 model.
The best fitness inversion simulator
A model that claims to be the best inversion table, because the functions of a home exercise machine and a table for treating the back are combined here. The robust steel structure can withstand weights of up to 220 pounds, and the height range for inversion is from 4’10 “to 6’3”. Pay attention to the width of the assembled simulator (44 “x 29”), as it may not be enough for large users.
Removable armrests and rubber handles allow you to train your biceps, forearms, chest, abdomen and upper back muscles. With its small dimensions (82 lbs), this sports equipment can replace several stationary simulators at once.
No doubt the idea is good, but the performance is poor, some users say. They note that the simulator is difficult to assemble and disassemble, so it cannot be removed somewhere after training. Chips appear on plastic handles over time. Since inversion is only one of the functions and not the main component, it is difficult to adjust it perfectly – there is simply no subtle mechanism for this. On the other hand, if the Conquer were more perfect, it would cost several times more. And so, its current price of ~ $ 189 is almost half the price of the most simple table from the Teeter brand.
In the Russian market, similar functionality is represented by the DFC 75306 model.
Comparison table of inversion tables
The advantages of inversion tables
All people sooner or later have back problems. Long sitting at the computer, driving a car, lifting weights – all this negatively affects the condition of the spine. The intervertebral space is reduced, and the spine itself is shortened like a compressed spring. Due to the pinched nerve endings between the vertebrae, a person feels pain.
That is why stretching works so beneficially: all tissues are straightened, it’s easier for us to keep our backs, easier to breathe. In fact, the same effect arises as from yoga classes or stretching.
What back problems does the inversion table solve?
Elimination of back pain (proven)
Improved posture and flexibility (more likely than not)
A possible alternative to surgery (in some cases)
An inversion table really helps to relieve pain in chronic back problems. Here is, for example, Nicole user writes in reviews of Innova ITM4800 inversion table: “Many years ago I had a car accident, and since then I have been suffering. I constantly feel pain. I recently met a new doctor, and he recommended an inversion table because of the compression of my spine. After receiving the caudal epidural system, I started treatment. I felt a huge difference! I am gradually reducing painkillers! I feel my spine lengthen and the pain goes away! ”
In addition to therapeutic functions, any inversion table plays the role of a fitness simulator. On it you can do the deflection, pull-ups on the hands (holding the racks of the inversion table with your hands), tilts to the right and left, exercises for the press. There is one trick to increasing intensity: set your height a couple of inches smaller than your actual height. If you do not need a complete inversion, growth on the simulator, on the contrary, is set less than real. So you can’t roll over without extra effort.
Questions – answers about inversion simulators
How to use an inversion table?
The usage algorithm is simple: lie down, fix the ankles at the bottom of the table, slowly lower to a comfortable angle of inversion, return to a horizontal position, lie down for several minutes, return to the rack.
Before you lie down on the table, check to see if it lowers smoothly enough. The table should stand far from the wall so that you do not hit your head. Be sure to wear sneakers for the duration of classes. other shoes do not fit well in the braces.
During a complete inversion, you should hang freely on your feet without touching your back to the simulator. Allow yourself to relax. In this position, you can also do twisting and other exercises.
How long can I use the inversion simulator?
This is the most popular and at the same time controversial question, as everything is very individual. There is a recommendation to observe the cycle: 30 seconds of inversion, 3 minutes of rest. However, you can increase the interval at your discretion if this does not cause discomfort. When you are on the inversion table for the first time, do not turn upside down immediately. Stop at a 60-degree angle and listen to your feelings. It is recommended to practice daily for 10-20 minutes. You can start with two-minute workouts in the morning and evening.
Should I roll over completely?
It is believed that the maximum effect occurs if you do not touch the back of the simulator. You need to relax, close your eyes to feel how the spine stretches under the weight of your body.
However, each organism has its own “inversion index”. You should focus only on your health. For some people, complete inversion is a pleasant and fun state, and for others, it is real torture. The main rule is no sudden movements and extremes. First, practice only slightly lowering your head and only then proceed to complete inversion. If at this moment you feel pain, dizziness, nausea, urgently return back.
How to check if the inverse method is right for me?
Before ordering a simulator, you can check the comfort of the method at home. To do this, lie down so that the body is below the legs – the angle of inclination should be at least 25 degrees. It is believed that starting immediately with a complete inversion is wrong, and there is a positive effect even from a slight slope.
Are there any side effects?
The upside-down position loads the vessels, so blood pressure may increase. Some patients experience a headache.
Are there any contraindications?
The list of contraindications is large. First of all, it is hypertension, all eye diseases, obesity, the rehabilitation period after a stroke, as well as injuries of the spine and brain. Using inversion tables is not recommended for children and pregnant women. Height above 6.6 feet is also an obstacle, because you can hit the floor with your head.
In general, classes are contraindicated in diseases that may worsen due to pressure drop. If you have any chronic illnesses, be sure to consult your doctor.
We found that the inversion table can be useful for diseases of the back, such as sciatica, chronic lower back pain, spinal stenosis, facet syndrome, degenerative changes in the spine. Classes on the inversion table help relieve muscle spasm and remove pain. The device can also play the role of a simulator, thanks to which you strengthen the abs and muscles of the back. However, as with other therapeutic methods, caution is required in the case of inversion. Consult your doctor to find out if the inversion table is right for you, and don’t start training from the maximum angle.