Did you know that lying upside-down can help reduce back pain? If you have back problems and often feel spinal discomfort, you should try inversion therapy with an inversion table.
Inversion tables are the best equipment for taking the gravitational pressure off your body. People that are prone to back pain use them to stretch out their spine and back. Some people even use them to intensify their workouts.
However, choosing an inversion table isn’t as simple. Low-quality models can cause cardiovascular disorders and spinal injuries. Considering these risks, it’s quite easy to see why some people find the search to be a bit overwhelming.
We’ve researched the market and reviewed the seven best inversion tables. In the text below, you’ll find our buyer’s guide following some benefits and FAQs. We’ll also talk about crucial factors you should consider before making a decision.
Why an inversion table can help with sciatica
Sciatica is a condition that appears as a result of the sciatic nerve damage. The nerve runs down the lower spine and into the upper legs.
The most common symptoms are shooting pain, weakness in your buttocks and legs, and burning sensation in those areas.
Using an inversion table might relieve some of these symptoms if you’re looking to avoid pain medication or surgery.
The way it works is by taking the pressure of the lower back, so the sciatic nerve decompresses. The pain and discomfort should reduce. Yet, it’s recommended you go slowly by allowing your body to get used to the feeling of being upside-down.
Top Inversion Tables in 2019
Ironman Gravity 4000
If you’re looking to stimulate circulation and reduce back pain, the Ironman Gravity 4000 is definitely worth considering. It’s sturdy, ergonomically designed and most importantly, easy to use.
It features a removable lumbar pillow that provides enough comfort for your lower back. The backrest also provides superior comfort as it’s covered with 2.5-inch memory-foam vinyl. It’s non-slippery as well which is especially convenient when you sweat.
The ankle cushions are ergonomically molded for the best fit. These are quite comfortable and won’t put any added pressure onto your ankles as you’re lying upside down. Plus, the ratchet locking system is palm-activated for added convenience.
Its floor stabilizers are rigid and heavy-duty. They’re covered with a non-skid material to give the table all the stability it needs.
This one measures 26x65x49 inches when assembled. It weighs only 76 pounds and has a weight capacity of 350 pounds.
This is among the most versatile models as it’s indicated for muscle tension, back pain, muscle spasm, sciatica, herniated disc and more. It’s the only FDA registered inversion table on the market with some quite impressive features.
First of all, it features acupressure nodes at several height levels. These offer trigger-point release and provide focused relief to the specific area. On top of that, the lumbar bridge has an adjustable arch for some more support and added traction.
Its ankle cups are ergonomically designed, and they wrap around your ankles. It’s a patented system that offers security and comfort.
Another great thing is its ease of use. It takes only a simple arm movement to invert and return upright to the starting position.
Most of the hard parts are made of heavy-gauge steel for more durability and safety. The assembly is also quite simple, and it takes five steps and a bit of time. The table’s weight capacity is around 300 lb.
The ITX9600 is a large table with adjustable features. It’s among the most popular choices for its ease of use and stability that’s always something to look for.
It has an adjustable headrest pad along with a comfortable and large backrest. It’s padded, so you won’t feel any discomfort as you invert.
The adjustable pin system features six positions so you can get used to the upside down position. The Patent Pending Protective Cover helps with comfortable and safe positioning at all times.
On top of that, the True Balance system works along with the ergonomic ankle holders to provide the best fit. These are reversible so you can switch their places and adjust them to your liking.
This one is suitable for people that are 4’10’’ to 6’6’’ tall and weight no more than 300 lb. The table itself weighs 52 pounds.
Ironman IFT 4000
The Ironman IFT4000 is unique with its innovative technologies, ease of use and comfort. It’s ideal for reducing fatigue and back pain as well as increasing blood circulation.
This table features Ironman’s advanced FIR heat technology. FIR stands for Far Infrared Ray which is a thin heating element made of carbon fiber. It gives a gentle heating sensation that soothes your pain and provides temporary relief.
The system takes about 10 to 15 minutes to heat up and is proven to be great for muscle spasms. The LED display helps you control the F.I.R. heat therapy.
It has three starting points and inverts to 180° with a height adjustment up to 6’6’’. It weighs about 75 pounds while its weight capacity is 350 pounds.
This one also has long safety handles that are covered with a comfortable foam material. It features a ratchet ankle locking system and inverting hand grips. It comes with remote control and a mesh pocket to store it in.
Invertio is a premium grade table that’s portable, convenient and easy to use and store away. It’s constructed with heavy-duty tubular steel that measures 1-1/4’’ in diameter. This gives stability and strength to the frame with a weight capacity of 300 pounds.
It features non-slippery composite feet that keep it onto the ground and prevent any movement.
Its adjustment settings are marked for better visibility, and they’re easy to use. The settings allow you to adjust the height from 4’10’’ to 6’6’’.
The large and contoured backrest and headrest are padded with foam. They provide back and lumbar support. Plus, the foam roller ankle supports are also adjustable between eight positions. The table has 40’’ padded handrails for more comfort and complete relaxation.
One of the best things about it is that you can pre-set the desired angle which makes it that much easier to use.
If you’re looking for something more than simple inversion, you should consider the Innova ITM4800. This one offers Isolated Heat and Vibration Therapeutic massage in automatic and manual modes.
The backrest pad features energy foam and has adjustable lumbar and headrest pads. These are all quite comfortable and will make it easy for you to get used to the entire feeling of being upside down.
The table works on an adjustable pin system that has six positions. Its Patent Pending Protective Cover offers smooth positioning and safer experience. The front and rear U-shape ankle holders make sure the inversion is secure and relaxed.
This one is suitable for people that are 4’10’’ to 6’6’’ tall and weigh 300 lb. It’s also important to mention that all parts are made of high-quality and durable materials such as metal, vinyl, and foam.
The EP-960 is one of Teeter’s best and most popular models. It features innovative technological solutions and is ideal for back pain, fatigue, and intensified workouts.
One of its best features is the extended ankle lock handle. This makes the wrap-around ankle cups even more secure and easy to work with.
Another few things worth noting are the Stretch Max handles the EZ-Angle tether. You can preset the tether at 20, 40, and 60 degrees.
The bed is contoured, and it flexes for a better stretch and maximum relief. Plus, it takes only a simple arm movement to invert and come back to the upright position.
Its steel parts feature auto-locking hinges, pivot bearings and cam locks for more security. The table is super-easy to set up as the entire assembly is done in five simple steps. Its capacity is 300 pounds for weight and 6’6’’ for height.
Best Inversion Table Buyer’s Guide
Range of Motion
There are many models on the market, and most of them are different in terms of their range of motion. Some offer as much as 180° of inversion, but it’s up to you to decide what would work the best for your needs.
Most people invert to 45°, but some go up to 90° without an issue. It depends on what you feel comfortable doing and what brings you the relief you’re looking for.
In most cases, you’ll achieve better results the more you invert, but this is something you should go slowly with. More so, if you’re a beginner, you should do this slowly and gradually.
Look for a table that has ergonomically designed and padded cups for angle support. Some models have different systems that support your ankles.
You’ll be upside down which is a position that can often cause pressure to your ankles. Of course, you shouldn’t feel any discomfort when in you’re in such position.
For this reason, make sure the ankle cups are cushioned and non-slippery. They have to provide enough support so you can enjoy the inversion process.
Ease of Use
It’s crucial to consider whether a table is easy to use or not. It may be packed with the best features and technologies, but none of it matters if it’s tricky to use or put together.
You want a table that’s simple yet efficient. The key is in providing relief and comfort that is easy to achieve.
Look for the one that’s easy to set up and fold back. Keep in mind that some materials can also make it easier or harder to use.
Quality and Build
If you want a smooth and reliable operation, you should only consider a quality inversion table. Think about the fact that you’ll be upside down and whether you want to take any risks with cheap products.
It’s crucial that your table is sturdy and made of strong materials. Steel might be the best option so far, but use your best judgment to decide on that.
Look for the one that has a stable construction and is not going to collapse or slip around while you’re inverting.
Warranty is also important, and it differs from brand to brand. These tables can be quite pricey, so you want some kind of warranty coverage to come with the investment.
Most of the ones we’ve reviewed come with a 5-year warranty. It’s a standard deal, although some high-end models come with a lifetime warranty for the frame.
Because we’re talking about costly units, make sure to check all the deals and warranties before you opt for any particular model.
Risks of using Inversion Therapy
Although you don’t need any prescription for inversion therapy, we recommend you to consult with your doctor before you buy a table.
As we mentioned, you’ll be hanging upside-down which can cause your blood pressure to rise and heart rate to slow down. This might be dangerous if you have high blood pressure.
Inversion tables are meant to reduce back pain but keep in mind that it can make some injuries even worse. The particular position might hurt some bones and joints. It can even aggravate old injuries and fractures. Plus, you may also experience eye pressure.
You should avoid the therapy if you’re using blooding thinning meds and if you’re pregnant or overweight. There’s added risk if you have any heart disease or problems.
Benefits of Inversion Table
Most people use the table to relax after a long day or an intense workout. The upside-down position is an excellent way of relaxing that can help increase mood. Some people even achieved better sleep after trying the therapy.
Using this form of relaxation can help you be more productive by improving your physical and mental health.
However, it’s important to take your time with it and increase the inversion level gradually. It’s also crucial that the table itself is comfortable and reliable so you can relax and clear your mind for some time.
Jump-Starts the Morning
We’ve mentioned that these slow down your heart rate but pump your blood pressure. For some people, this boosts the energy level and helps wake up the body for a new day.
If you’re looking for a good way to jump-start the day, try to use the table as soon as you wake up. This will awaken your cells, your brain and the entire body as it improves blood flow.
However, some people are more sensitive in the morning than throughout the day so make sure to consult your doctor about this.
Relieves Back Pain
This is the most important benefit and the primary reason why inversion tables were invented in the first place.
The therapy elongates the space, so there’s more space between vertebrae. It reduces the pressure on your nerve roots, discs and ligaments which then results in less back pain.
Chronic back pain doesn’t really have a cure, so inversion therapy is among the best temporary solutions. It does bring instant relief but doing this often and for a long time might cause other problems, so make sure to check with a medical professional for some advice.
You don’t have to have back pain to benefit from the table. Some people use it for exercise as it’s an ideal way to intensify your at-home workouts. Plus, you can always use it to relax afterward.
Use it for crunches or inverted sit-ups to tighten your stomach and abdomen muscles. The exercise will also strengthen your back muscles at the same time.
That’s not all, as doctors agree that your entire body benefits from this therapy. By inverting, you strengthen your core, legs, arms, torso, and neck as well.
How to use an inversion table
Inverting sounds complicated, but it’s not. As a matter of fact, most people never try it because the tables tend to look like they’re complicated to work with.
However, most quality models are quite simple, so everyone can use them. Many come with a manual in the form of a CD or a pamphlet which shows how to set it up and use it. Make sure to follow those directions if they came with the table.
The first thing you should remember is to put the table where there’s plenty of space around it. You don’t want to knock anything down or hit your head into something when you invert.
Once you’ve done that, adjust its height to match you. Secure yourself on the table and start with a small angle, so you’re body has time to adapt and get used to the feeling.
How long should I invert for?
There’s no saying in how long you should stay inverted nor how often you should do this. Some claim you can do it for 15 minutes, three times a day, while others say you shouldn’t do it for longer than 5 minutes, three times a week.
There are too many factors that impact this for anyone to give a generalized answer. Consider your overall health as well as what you’re trying to achieve, but because all people are different, you might want to seek medical advice about the matter.
Will the inversion table help with my neck pain?
Inversion table keeps you at a certain angle and stretches out your spine to reduce pain. By doing that, it has the same effect on your neck as well.
You might have to do a bigger angle in order to relieve your neck pain, but make sure to go slowly so your body can adjust to this change of position.
Also, it’s essential you have a neck rest pad that’s comfortable and provides support to your neck as you stretch the spine.
When should I use an inversion table?
In most cases, you can use it whenever you want. However, if you’re using it for back pain, it’s best to use it at the very moment you feel the pain.
If you’re using it to awaken the body, use it in the morning right after you wake up. In this case, take it easy because your body might still be asleep and you don’t want to shock it.
It’s up to you to decide when you need the therapy since the time of the day doesn’t really matter as such.
What if I get dizzy or lightheaded?
Feeling dizzy or lightheaded isn’t anything unusual with this therapy. It mostly happens to beginners but it can really happen to anyone. There are a few ways to avoid feeling dizzy when doing this. The first and most important is to be patient and invert slowly. As we mentioned, you want to allow your organism to adjust to the change. Also, always make sure to return to the upright position slowly.
If you do get dizzy, slowly go back but don’t leave the table. Remain in the upright position and lean on the table. Remember to take deep breaths and maybe have a sip of water if you have it at hand. Step away only when you feel the dizziness has passed.
Desk Advisor Final Thoughts
Inversion therapy is beneficial to the human body in more ways than one. These tables were primarily made to reduce back and neck pain by stretching the spine, but we now know that they offer much more.
If you’re into fitness, an inversion table can help you upgrade your at-home workouts in ways we’ve explained earlier. It’s an effective method for making your fitness a bit more exciting.
So, now that you know all the pros and cons to the therapy, we’re sure it’s easier for you to pick a table that would work the best for your needs and preferences.
These are the top models that the market currently has to offer, so you probably can’t go wrong with either one of them. However, consider your health condition as well as your goals and make sure to talk to your doctor before you choose the best inversion table for you.