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Product Review & Information

Best Inversion Tables: Reviewed For Back & Spine Exercises

We have reviewed, rated and compared the best inversion tables on the market.

by

Product Review & Information

Best Inversion Tables: Reviewed For Back & Spine Exercises

We have reviewed, rated and compared the best inversion tables on the market.

by PITeam

by PITeam

With our daily lives more stressful than ever, back problems have become the norm. Some people resort to taking OTC pain relievers, which can have severe side effects, while others try out soothing practices, such as meditation and yoga.

Inversion tables are a leap in non-medicated pain-relieving technology. These machines can help you combat all sorts of vertebral pain, spine compression, and back-related issues, without putting you out of your comfort zone.

If you are looking to invest in an inversion table, but can’t decide on which one to opt for, go through our review of the 6 best inversion tables to make an educated decision.

How Inversion Tables Work

Inversion tables are used for therapy to ease back problems and chronic pain. Whether your back feels the way it does because of your occupation, age, posture, or just the stress of everyday life, inversion therapy can help improve the condition. Also, these are very easy to use once you adjust them to your height and set up the safety bar.

After the table is fit to accommodate you, just strap your ankles and lie back flat. The device helps balance both ends of your body equally, so it is easy for you to move. These tables work by stretching out your spine, correcting your posture, and relieving any stress or compression in your vertebral disks.

Once you’re lying back, you just need to reposition your limbs to tilt the table back and forth to move your body. Make sure not to make any sudden moves, and drop slowly. On completing an inversion, remember to breathe and relax.

For more information on how to use an inversion table, watch this video.


Benefits Of Inversion Therapy

Improved Spine Health

Back pain often results from a misaligned spine due to bad posture. Inversion tables can help align the spine by stretching it using gravitational pull and relieve stress in the process.

Diminished Need For Painkillers

People with chronic pain, primarily stemming from sciatic nerve compression or herniated discs, etc., often rely on medication for relief. Such long term use of painkillers can have detrimental effects on the body. By using inversion therapy, you can relieve back pain without having to consume medicines or chemicals.

No Need For Surgery

If chronic back problems persist, there’s often a need to go for surgery. However, lifestyle changes and regular exercise can offer an alternative solution to invasive procedures.


Choosing The Best Inversion Tables

Comfort & Safety Features

If you plan to buy an inversion table, remember that its primary purpose is to provide relief from stress and pain. It can't do that if it's not comfortable. So, the first step is to look for machines that come with back lumbar cushions, padded backrests, and soft adjustable heads. Also, ensure that the unit you purchase is safe and comes with straps, handles for hold, and durable ankle adjustment mounts.

Durable Construction

An inversion table can be a costly investment. Machines made from inferior quality materials can also be hazardous for your back and potentially harm you even more. Therefore, it is necessary to ensure that the unit you purchase is durable and sturdy. Look for units that come with steel frames, durable ankle straps, harnesses, etc.

Height & Weight Limit

Durability also depends on height and a good weight rating. When buying a unit, please make sure that the machine is designed to accommodate your body proportions and weight. Some models come with an adjustable height bar that allows people of various sizes to use the machine. This means that anyone in your house can use the machine to help with back pain.

Range Of Motion

Machines can come with a variety of adjustment positions, based on their range of motion. This allows you to rotate your table to the desired angle, based on your previous experience with inversion therapy. All you need to do is set the pin at the angle you want to invert to, and the safety trap does not allow the table to invert more.

Easy Assembly & Storage

Getting a machine that comes with too many small parts requires time and assistance to put together. There are models available that only require a quick set up that takes no more than half an hour of your time. This way, you can quickly set up your table and start the therapy.

Storage and portability of the machine are just as important. Inversion tables can be a hassle to move around and stash away, especially if they are too heavy. If you invest in a foldable unit, you can store the compact device away, and bring it out whenever you need it.

Extras

Acupressure Pads

Some models come with a backrest that features plastic knobs to stimulate the acupressure points in your body. This further helps with:

  • Pain
  • Stress and
  • Blood circulation
Lumbar Support

This feature is not present in all the models, so if you suffer from severe chronic back pain, you might want to look for models that offer it. The padded bridge on the backrest will push against your spine when you lie down, adding further support to your lower back region.

Heat Or Massage Function

Some machines come with an added massage, or heat function, to provide added relaxation while you stretch out on the inversion table.

Warranty

Using your machine frequently makes it more prone to general wear and tear. However, machines that come with a long term warranty can help you tackle any issues you face with the unit. Also, check to see what the warranty covers; while some manufacturers offer to replace the entire unit, others only offer a warranty on certain part replacements.


6 Best Inversion Tables Reviewed

1. IRONMAN Gravity

Best Home Inversion Table

Dimensions

(L x W x H)

49 x 26 x 65 inches

Weight of Machine

76 lbs

# of Adjustment Positions

4

Max User Height

6 ft 6 in

Weight Capacity

350 lbs

Warranty

Up to 3 years

Our first choice for the best inversion table is the IRONMAN Gravity 4000. This model has the highest weight capacity and supports up to 350 pounds. The unit has a sturdy build with a tubular steel frame that is coated with scratch-resistant powder. This helps keep your machine looking new, even after prolonged use.

With a backrest made out of memory foam, it provides the most comfortable bed for your back to rest on. In other words, it memorizes the shape of your body and indents to accommodate your posture. Added to this, the rubber skid-proof floor stabilizers ensure superior comfort and safety.

Its extra-long safety handles provide a secure group for when you want to straighten after an inversion – especially if you’re a new user. The entire machine is ergonomically designed to provide maximum comfort. The lumbar support is detachable, and the bridge can be added on whenever needed.

Despite all these extra features, the machine is straightforward to stash away when not in use. All you have to do is fold it, and put it in your storage area.

This is what one satisfied customer had to say about the IRONMAN Gravity 4000.

 “Easy to assemble, love the ankle support design! Heavy duty square tube design so the frame don't end up compressing at the joints and end up wobbling down the road………..Coupled with laying back on an ice pad, it keeps us in the daily game. Would, and HAVE recommended this unit to family and friends.”

Pros

  • Durable construction
  • Detachable lumbar support
  • Memory foam backrest

Cons

  • Might be considered heavy by some users

2. Teeter EP-560

Best Portable Inversion Table

Dimensions

(L x W x H)

84 x 86 x 28.8 inches

Weight of Machine

65 lbs

# of Adjustment Positions

4

Max User Height

6 ft 6 in

Weight Capacity

300 lbs

Warranty

5-year full warranty

Perhaps the first thing that stands out about this model is its FDA approval as a 510(k) medical device. The machine not only provides relief for general back pain, but it can also specifically target the lower back region, owing to its lumbar bridge. This makes it the best inversion table for users with sciatica.

It also comes with acupressure nodes on the backrest; these ensure that all the pressure points in your neck, back, and legs get stimulated, and help you with stress relief. The stretch assist handles are located at the bottom of the table and make it easy to do stretching exercises when you invert. By simply reaching out and holding onto these bars, you can straighten your spine further.

Its snug, wrap-around ankle braces and adjustable foot pedals make inverting easy, and safe. With the ability to fold, this device is easy to carry around and does not require much space for storage. It also has the easiest 5-step installation process, with most of the parts already assembled.

This product has certainly been receiving a lot of praise from users. In fact, one user had the following to say about this model:

“The results are amazing. Fighting degenerative disk disease and this teeter makes all the difference in the world. (It) eases the extreme discomfort and pinching sensation. My husband uses it every day without fail and is seeing the positive changes.”

Pros

  • Easy to install
  • Easy to store
  • FDA approved

Cons

  • Some users might find it to be a little expensive

3. Innova ITX9600

Best Heavy-Duty Inversion Table

Dimensions

(L x W x H)

46 x 28 x 63 inches

Weight of Machine

52 lbs

# of Adjustment Positions

6

Max User Height

6 ft 6 in

Weight Capacity

300 lbs

Warranty

1 year limited warranty

The Innova ITX9600 is the best heavy-duty inversion table in the market. With a sturdy build, this machine can support up to 300 pounds of weight, and people as tall as 6'6". What’s more, with a height adjusting tube, it’s even suitable for people as short 4’10”.

The adjustable headrest provides much-needed support for your neck, making it the best inversion table for neck pain. Not only does the machine have a higher weight capacity, but it is also very convenient to store. Simply take out the pin that holds it up, and will collapse – thereby occupying less space.

It comes with a six-angle pin slot system that provides inversion angles of 15, 30, 45, 60, 85, and 90 degrees – that’s six adjustment positions! A true balance system helps you find your center of gravity and balance on the unit easily, even if it’s your first time.

As per one user review:

“I've had several years of neck pain, tightness, and crunching. At first I just used the 15% incline, then 30%. 15% looks level, but you can tell when you are on the table there is some inversion. Day 2 I woke up and was able to move my neck without pain. I thought I just got lucky, but no, I woke up again on Day 3 without pain. It feels normal!! This is amazing.”

Pros

  • Has an adjustable headrest
  • Comes with six adjustment positions
  • Has a true balance system.

Cons

  • Can be costly for some buyers

4. HARISON

Best Inversion Table For Tall People

Dimensions

(L x W x H)

75 x 28 x 55 inches

Weight of Machine

73 lbs

# of Adjustment Positions

4

Max User Height

6 ft 5 in

Weight Capacity

350 lbs

Warranty

Up to 5 years

This product from Harison provides the best relief from back pain for taller individuals. Despite having a lower height capacity, we found that that extra padding and neck support gave this model the edge when it comes to taller folks.

The device is manufactured using heavy-duty integrated steel that makes it extremely stable, and durable. The safety features of the device include non-slip nuts, a foot cover, and secure handles for reversing inversion.

With the possibility of adjusting the table to four different positions, including a 180-degree inversion, you can work the muscles in your neck, upper back, and lower back. Added workout routines for abs training and weight loss can be added to tone your body into shape.

This table is adjustable for different heights and can serve people from 4’8” to 6’5” (up to 7ft in our experience) with angles between 20 and 180 degrees. The 3-dimensional backrest is made with memory foam for better ergonomics and is exceptionally comfortable.

This is what ​one consumer, Tim had to say about the product:
“I’ve had this table for about a month now and have used it every single day. (It) is very strong and supportive for my weight and size which is 6 foot 200 pounds. This is not some rickety fold up cheap wannabe inversion table."

Pros

  • High-quality memory foam
  • Adjustable height
  • Integrated steel frame

Cons

  • Some buyers might find it to be costly

5. Invertio

Best Affordable Inversion Table

Dimensions

(L x W x H)

51 x 28.25 x 59.5 inches

Weight of Machine

-

# of Adjustment Positions

8

Max User Height

6 ft 6 in

Weight Capacity

300 lbs

Warranty

1 year

With Invertio, you can now have affordable inversion therapy for your back pain, without compromising on the quality of the equipment. The table is constructed using strong tubular steel, supportive foam padding, and a comfortable head, back, and footrest with easy-grip handles. Combined, these features make your stretching routine entirely safe and easy.

Regardless of whether it’s your first time on an inversion table, or you’ve been practicing therapy for a while, you can carry out any added exercises to support your vertebrae without risk of falling. The secure ankle braces and non-slip composite feet mean that you can complete your inversion session without fear of sustaining any injuries.

The best part about this unit is that it offers 8 adjustable inversion positions. The lock feature on the angle adjustment bolt allows a secure session where you don’t have to worry about inverting more than your desired angle.

Installation of the device is quick and easy, with only minimal assembly needed. This is aided by the instruction manual and tool-set included in the package. Invertio is well known for its health and fitness products and is considered a reliable and trusted manufacturer.

This particular model has also received high praise for its user-friendliness and affordability. Here is what a user has to say about the model:

 “It is a little big, but what do you expect is support someone up to 6‘6“ and 300 pounds. Considering this is half the price of any other comparable inversion table I saw, I don’t think you’re going to be able to do better.”

Pros

  • Affordable
  • 8 adjustment positions
  • Sturdy build

Cons

  • Some users might find portability an issue

6. Innova ITM4800

Best Inversion Table With Heat & Massage

Dimensions

(L x W x H)

46 x 28 x 63 inches

Weight of Machine

57 lbs

# of Adjustment Positions

6

Max User Height

6 ft 6 in

Weight Capacity

300 lbs

Warranty

1 year

Innova is a leader in healthcare product manufacturing, and a second mention in our reviews is a testament to this. This inversion table is built with the high quality you should be able to expect of an inversion table. It has 6 angles of inversion that users can choose from, a true balance system for natural inversion, and a heavy-duty integrated steel frame.

It also provides the comfort you associate with products of the brand. The large padded backrest, adjustable headrest, and ankle grasping system make it an ergonomically smart choice.

This product can cater to people as tall as 6 ft. 6 inches, and those who weigh up to 300 pounds. Its height adjusting system makes it a good fit for all members of the family – and also a smart, one-time investment!

The main selling feature of Innova ITM4800 is its horizontal heat and lumbar massage pad. This added system provides a soothing sensation to the lower back region and is ideal for people who suffer from spinal injuries.

A customer with a herniated disk had this to say about the table:

 “… Nice inversion table. I use it at least five times a day. I am addicted. Highly recommend for anyone with lower back problems. Few things help my herniated disk but this is bliss.”

Pros

  • Has a heat and massage feature
  • Comes with a sturdy build
  • Offers 6 angles of inversion

Cons

  • Some users might find it expensive

Conditions Inversion Therapy Can Help With

Back Pain

According to the American Chiropractic Association, back pain is the third leading cause for visits to the doctor’s office. It can commonly occur as a result of injury to the back muscles, bad posture, or increased pressure on your spine due to heavy lifting.

This type of pain often radiates across your back, and can occur anywhere between the tailbone and neck – it even varies in intensity. While surgery and continual medication can help with pain, it can also be avoided by making lifestyle changes – this is where inversion therapy can help. Stretching out your back on an inversion table helps with your posture and decompresses your spine.

Poor Circulation

The transportation of nutrients and oxygen depends on the circulation of blood through our body. If blood flow to any part of the body is reduced, a person could suffer from multiple symptoms such as swelling, joint pain, muscle cramping, fatigue, cold hands and feet, cognitive dysfunction, etc. Thus, it is crucial to treat poor circulation to prevent further health issues from occurring.

Sciatica

The sciatic nerve is the largest spinal nerve of the body that originates from the lumbar region and runs down into the leg. This nerve can get compressed by the backbone, thereby causing severe pain.

Chances of sciatica will increase with age, as well as diseases like obesity, diabetes, etc. A sedentary lifestyle is a major cause of sciatica, and therefore, moving the body and stretching out the lumbar back region can help to relieve the accompanying pain.

Bulging Discs

Also called slipped or protruding disk, this is a spine injury that causes the disks between the vertebral bones to get dislocated. This injury can be sustained in any part of your spine; lumbar (lower), thoracic (upper), or cervical (neck).

A slipped disk can worsen, and form into a hernia when the disc nucleus gets displaced outside the annulus. This can be even more painful for a patient. Pain that follows a bulging disc can be mitigated by exercise. An inversion table can not only be used to stretch the back and relax your muscles, but it can also be used for core strengthening exercises.

Degenerative Disc Disease

Disc degeneration is a consequence of aging, rather than a disease. As a person gets older, their vertebral discs start deteriorating or breaking down. These disks usually prevent the bones of the vertebrae from rubbing against each other – if they weaken, the friction between bones can cause considerable pain.

Exercises that help work the muscles of your neck and back can make them stronger and more flexible. With the spine being supported by a strengthened muscular system, disc degeneration can be avoided.

Muscle Tension

Muscles of the body can contract due to stress, and remain in a semi-contracted position for an extended time, causing pain and distress. Stiff muscles can be remedied by stretching the cramped area using an inversion table, especially if the tension exists in the muscles of your back.

Scoliosis

Scoliosis is a disease that leads to an abnormal curvature in the spine, where the vertebrae bend or twist like a corkscrew. This means that instead of the cord running straight, the spine curves from one side to the other.

Improving one's posture is an excellent way of dealing with scoliosis, and inversion therapy can help you do this. With the back stretched out, the spine is decompressed, and back pain is relieved.


Safety Precautions When Using Inversion Tables

Avoid Using Inversion Tables If You Are Medically Unfit

While inversion tables can help you with back problems, they do so by increasing your blood circulation. Common side effects of turning your body upside down include a lower heart rate and increased pressure on the eyes.

For people who suffer from high blood pressure, glaucoma, or any other illness triggered by increased pressure in your cranial region, using inversion tables is inadvisable.

Don’t Over-Lean

Stretching out your back does not mean aiming for a complete inversion. By setting your safety trap between 10 and 40 degrees, you can stretch yourself properly without putting too much stress on your body.

Set Up The Safety Notch

Don’t forget to place the safety notch in – this is designed to limit the angle of your inversion to ensure that you don’t lean too far back, as this can do more harm than good.

Don’t Stay Inverted For A Long Time

If you’re a beginner, start by limiting the time you spend on the inversion table. You can use it for around 30 seconds once, or twice a day, and slowly increase your session time. Even if you're a long-time user, don't overtire your body by staying on the table for too long.

Keep Your Movements Slow

When coming back up from your inverted position, remember to do so slowly. Sitting up too fast can cause your back muscles to spasm and make the pain worse.


Risks And Side Effects Of Inversion Therapy

Eye And Ear Problems

Tilting your body upside down can exert pressure on sensitive sensory organs, like the eyes and ears. People who already suffer from eye diseases, such as retinal detachment or glaucoma, can feel immense pain in the eyes. Extreme cases can even result in bleeding from the eyes.

Similarly, the fluid in the ear is responsible for balance, and inverting your body repeatedly can cause disorientation – or even put pressure on the inner ear.

Elevated Blood Pressure

Hanging upside down slows the heart rate, leading to less blood being pumped through your body. As a result, your blood pressure increases to cope with the condition. For hypertension patients, high blood pressure can be detrimental to health.

Muscle Pull

If you over-stretch your muscles by putting your body in an uncomfortable position for a long time, you can end up pulling a muscle. The idea that ‘more is better’ does not apply to inversion therapy. This means that if 3 minutes on an inversion table helped lessen your pain, a longer session would not make it better.

Worsened Symptoms

Yes, inversion therapy helps relieve symptoms of stress and pain, but not doing it the right way can make it worse for you. Before you start using the device, consult a doctor, and ask if your body is fit for inversion therapy. Ignoring to do so can cause other health-related issues that can make life difficult for you.


How To Assemble Inversion Tables

While setting up an inversion table varies from one model to the next, a full guide for each specific item can be found in a user manual.

However, here are 3 general steps that can help you with the assembly.

  1. 1
    Set up the frame for your table and adjust the ‘weight setting.' This will help accommodate the user's weight.
  2. 2
    Next, adjust the height setting. You need to determine how tall the user is before you can adjust the backrest.
  3. 3
    Set up the ankle settings. Make sure your desired settings are comfortable while providing good support.

For a more detailed assembly guide, refer to the user guide or click to watch this video.


Care & Maintenance

An inversion table needs relatively less care, and maintenance, compared to other machines in your house. The trick is to clean it regularly with a soft cloth.

When doing so, just remember:

  • Using the rough side of the sponge can chip the paint
  • Make sure that you don’t scratch the machine
  • Avoid chemical solvents as they can damage the metal

Inversion Table Exercises & Routines

Once you learn to properly balance your body on the inversion table, and smoothly invert and back, it’s time for you to add some workout to your routine. These exercises will help stretch your body further and even strengthen your core. When divided based on intensity, exercises can be categorized into 3 levels:

Beginner

Start with a shallow angle of 30 degrees, and work it up to 45 degrees. Don’t stay inverted for more than three minutes. Once inverted, stretch your hands to lengthen your spine further.

Intermediate:

If you’re a more advanced user, keep your inversions between 45 and 60 degrees, and don’t let a single session last longer than 5 minutes. Stretch your hands, and move your neck once inverted.

Advanced:

Highly experienced users can invert all the way, and hang upside down to relax and stretch their body. You can also keep inversion angles more than 60 degrees, and repeat the exercise given above for 5 to 10 minutes.


Frequently Asked Questions

Do Inversion Tables Really Work?

Yes, they do.

Inversion tables use gravity and bodyweight to decompress the spine. This helps take the pressure off the vertebrae and the spinal nerves, thus relieving back pain.

Are Inversion Tables Really Effective For Long Term Relief From Back Pain?

While there is not a lot of evidence that shows long-term relief by inversion therapy alone, there is no doubt that it can be helpful when coupled with a comprehensive treatment program.

How Long And How Often Should One Stay In An Inversion Table?

Inversion tables can be used multiple times during the day, depending on your health, and stamina.

Beginners should start slow, and spend less time on the machine – throughout the day, and during one session. Spending too much time on the machine or inverting it to deeper angles, in the beginning, can lead to a pulled nerve or muscle.

Once you are familiar with the process, you can go up to 10 to 20 minutes for up to two times a day. While there’s no limit to the duration, or frequency of use, it is important to not to undue pressure on your body.

What Is The Best Time Of Day To Use Fitness Inversion Tables?

There’s no defined time for inversion therapy; it depends entirely on the user’s discretion. However, using the table in the morning, or at night before bed, can help prepare you for the day and ensure a good night’s sleep.

What Angle Is Best For Inversion Tables?

The angle varies from person to person. New users should start with lesser angles, and work their way up with time. Stretching to 20-30 degrees at first helps your body acclimatize to the machine. Sharper angles allow your spine to decompress, and facilitate stretching and work out.

Is Inversion Therapy For Everyone? Are There Any Contraindications?

Any medical condition that worsens with increased blood pressure, mechanical stress, or pressure on the brain, is a contraindication for inversion therapy.

What Are Some Natural Ways To Relieve Back Pain?
  • Yoga
  • Capsaicin cream
  • Stretching
  • Acupuncture
  • Weight loss
Should I Be Doing Anything While Inverted?

While on the inversion table, it is a good idea to perform exercises to work your core and use the opportunity to build your strength.

How Does Hanging Upside Down Affect My Body?

Inverting yourself can help relieve pressure from your spine and nerves. It can also increase blood circulation and decrease inflammation. Staying inverted for too long can be very bad for your health. The increased blood pressure results in your heart slowing down, and increased pressure on your eyes.


Conclusion

We have reviewed and compiled a list of the 6 best inversion tables that are both highly efficient, and wallet-friendly. Now you don’t have to add the stress of finding yourself the right machine to alleviate your back problems.

While all the products we have mentioned in our review are worth the expense, our top pick for you is the IRONMAN Gravity. This device is the best product for home use. With 350 pounds of weight capacity, adjustable backrest with lumbar support, safety features, and easy storage, it is the most comfortable machine for inversion therapy.


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