Inversion tables are practical solutions that can help you relieve severe pain, but only if you use them properly. There isn’t a single adult who hasn’t suffered from back pain at least once in their life. Back pain can be caused by improper sleeping positions, bad posture, excessive exercising, or disease, and there isn’t much that can be done about it (1).
Pain medicine and sedatives work temporarily, and therapy is effective only while it lasts. The only sure way to relieve back and neck pain is to exercise, work on your posture, and take good care of your body.
However, not every inversion table is worth the investment and depending on how you use them, they may cause more harm than good. As such, when choosing the inversion table for you, it’s essential to do thorough research and find a table of high quality that has the features that you need.
Best Inversion Tables
1. Teeter FitSpine X3
Teeter is the leading manufacturer of inversion tables and is known for its commitment to quality. It’s one of the few manufacturers that are FDA registered. Teeter FitSpine X3 features an ergonomic design with a convenient lumbar bridge that serves to offer additional support for the back and hips, which makes this inversion table much more comfortable to use. The acupressure nodes found on the inversion table are an excellent feature for those who need to relieve muscle tension. They’re easily adjustable and removable if they’re not required.
This inversion table has an 8-point floating suspension system that moves together with you and allows you to have more flexibility as you’re using it. Focused on safety, the Teeter FitSpine X3 features wrap-around ankle cups, which will keep the user securely suspended without causing discomfort. It’s made of high-quality, durable materials, can handle up to 300 pounds, and is suitable for users between 4’8” and 6’6”.
The product can be easily assembled within 30 minutes, and it can be easily stored when not in use. Teeter FitSpine X3 is ideal for those with chronic back pain, sciatica, herniated disc, degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, and muscle tension and spasms.
2. Ironman Gravity 4000
Ironman is a reputable company with a few versions of inversion tables that have proven to be quite a hit among users. The Gravity 4000 has an excellent weight capacity of 350 pounds, making it ideal for heavier users. It has a high-quality tubular steel frame with a scratch-resistant powder-coated finish that provides additional support.
The table itself is on the heavier side, weighing around 75 pounds, but regardless of this, it’s easy to set up and disassemble. It can be folded and stored when not in use. Ironman Gravity 4000 features padded ankle cushions with palm activated ratchet ankle locking system, which allows you to comfortably and securely fasten yourself to the table.
The backrest is covered with memory foam vinyl and features a removable lumbar pillow. It has extra-long, foam covered safety handles that allow you to come back up from the inverted position quickly. The only issue is that this inversion table doesn’t have any set positions to lock into.
3. Innova ITM5900
Innova ITM5900 is more than a simple inversion table as it features an additional massager and heat pad. The vertical massage pad is placed along the center of the table and covers the entire spine area, making it ideal for those with muscle tension.
The heat pad is located in the very center of the inversion table, exactly where the user’s lower back would be. It acts as a lumbar pillow, but cannot be adjusted or removed. Heat and massage settings have auto and manual control, so you can adjust the settings exactly how you’d like.
The adjustable headrest and adjustable height allow you to quickly find your center of gravity and ensure that the inversion table is comfortable and safe to use. Innova ITM5900 has a weight capacity of 300 pounds and can support users between 4’10” and 6’6”.
4. Teeter EP-960
This product is 3rd-party certified for safety and FDA registered. The Teeter EP-960 can be safely used for muscle spasms, muscle tension, chronic back pain, and sciatica. The extended ankle lock handle allows users to strap in without bending over, and get off the table after their session quickly. The ankle locks themselves are padded for extra comfort.
The EP-960 is easy to rotate as it features ergonomic handles that allow you to effortlessly shift your body weight, invert, and get back up.
The inversion table isn’t padded, but it is made of quality materials that add to the user’s comfort. Users can buy additional accessories such as a lumbar bridge or acupressure nodes to increase the effectiveness of this inversion table.
Teeter EP-960 has a weight capacity of 300 pounds and is suitable for users between 4’8” and 6’6”.
5. Innova ITX9700
Innova ITX9700 offers numerous useful features that can make inversion therapy smoother and more comfortable. The adjustable memory foam lumbar pad will support your lower back and hips, and allow you to do a full inversion without discomfort.
The large backrest is padded and has an adjustable headrest and height. This makes it easier to find your center of gravity and invert more safely.
The six-angle pin system allows you to adjust your position and inversion angle, and the foam handlebars will make it easier for you to come back up after you’re done with the session.
At around 60 pounds, it’s one of the lighter inversion tables that’s easy to maneuver and assemble. It can be easily folded for storage, supports up to 300 pounds, and accommodates users between 4’10” and 6’6”.
6. Ironman Gravity 1000
Ironman Gravity 1000 has a functional and sturdy design that makes it easy to assemble, use, and store. The inversion table itself weighs approximately 46 pounds, and is very easy to move around and maneuver.
Although lightweight, the inversion table can still support up to 300 pounds because it has a robust and high-quality steel frame.
The backrest is covered with sturdy nylon, which is surprisingly comfortable. The inversion table features a secure ankle locking system with cushions and has non-skid floor stabilizers that will prevent it from moving while you’re inverted.
Ironman Gravity 1000 is a simple inversion table that doesn’t boast many features, but all the features that it does have are designed with the end-user in mind. It’s a comfortable, budget-friendly inversion table that does its job well.
It supports a maximum user height of 6’6”.
7. Teeter EP-560
Similar to Teeter EP-960, the EP-560 focuses on safety and comfort. The cushioned wrap-around ankle cups are ergonomic and will prevent your ankles from straining during the inversion therapy.
The contoured backrest isn’t padded but provides exceptional comfort. Users can purchase additional acupressure nodes, attach them to the bed, and easily adjust their positions.
With the pre-set angle control, users can safely invert to the angle that suits them and quickly go back up once the inversion session is completed. Teeter EP-960 can be folded for storage and can be adjusted to support users up to 300 pounds and between 4’9” and 6’6” tall.
8. Invertio Inversion Table
While it’s one of the more budget-friendly options, Invertio Inversion Table still has all the necessary features that can make your inversion therapy more comfortable. The foam pad on the backrest and headrest is soft and provides excellent support. The inversion table features a small lumbar cushion and padded roller ankle supports. The ankle support can be adjusted to 8 different positions, meeting the needs of any user.
Users can easily pre-set the inversion angle from deep to shallow, and the handrails will make it easy to come back up after the session. The Invertio Inversion Table is suitable for users from 4’10” to 6’6”, and its height adjustment settings are clearly marked and easily modifiable.
9. Merax Inversion Table
One of the more comfortable inversion tables on the market, the Merax Inversion Table, has very thick padding on the backrest, which acts as a great stress reliever. The oversized foam rollers will keep the user’s ankles secured without losing comfort.
Along the center of the backrest, the heat massage pad offers support to the spine while releasing therapeutic heat and offering gentle vibration massage. It can act as a timer for your inversion therapy as it stops vibrating and releasing heat after a few minutes. The pad is fully removable.
Merax Inversion Table has a robust tubular steel construction that can support the weight of up to 300 pounds. It features a fast and easy setup and can be easily stored and transported.
10. Exerpeutic Inversion Table
The Exerpeutic Inversion Table has a modern design and all the critical functions that you may need. Its airsoft ankle holder offers excellent support and comfort, and will not put unnecessary strain on your ankles. There will be no pinching and no pain for the duration of your inversion session.
The adjustable ratchet ankle locking system is easy to use and serves to lock the user in place while they’re inverted securely.
The rear cross-bar allows for three angle positions, going up to 165 degrees. The Exerpeutic Inversion Table features a removable lumbar pillow for extra comfort and support, and the foam covered handlebars allow the users to lift themselves easily.
Exerpeutic Inversion Table is suitable for users between 4’9” and 6’6” in height, and up to 250 pounds in weight.
How We Ranked
There were four main criteria we analyzed to determine the best inversion tables on the market: functionality, features, quality, and comfort. The first thing we looked at was functionality. Inversion tables need to allow users to easily adjust the inversion angle so that they can stretch out and enjoy the benefits of inversion therapy. Products like the Teeter FitSpine X3 excelled here, allowing users to pre-set the inversion angle with ease and accuracy. As a result they were ranked highly.
Next, we looked at the quality of the materials used. The best inversion tables need to be made of high-quality materials that can withstand the weight of the user without compromising safety and stability. Ironman Gravity 4000 is one of the most robust inversion tables that can support the weight of up to 350 pounds, which is more than what an average inversion table can withstand.
Lastly, we looked at comfort. Inversion therapy can cause discomfort to beginners and those with chronic back pain. The best inversion tables need to ensure the utmost satisfaction of the user, with cushioned ankle locks, soft headrests, and padding on the backrest. As such, companies like Innova ITM5900 and Teeter EP-960 ranked highly here.
After all this, we determined the top 10 best inversion tables on the market.
Inversion tables can help you manage certain medical conditions. Although more research is needed for the evidence to be conclusive, inversion therapy seems to be beneficial to those with scoliosis, sciatica and degenerative disc disease (2).
As spinal pressure can add to the pain associated with these diseases, alleviating the pressure in the spine seems to be a way of managing them. Inversion therapy will not cure scoliosis, sciatica, or degenerative disc disease, but it will help reverse some of their effects.
Inversion tables can help reduce chronic pain: This is one of the primary reasons for purchasing inversion tables. They’re a non-invasive, affordable option that can either reduce or eliminate back pain in its entirety.
In a study done on 47 women with chronic lower back pain, it was proven that inversion tables could significantly reduce the pain after eight weeks of usage. The women were divided into three groups, and each group completed the inversion traction protocol at 0°, -30°, and -60°. The inversion tables have proven to be the most effective when used four times a day, three times a day, in 3-minute sets at an angle of 60 degrees (3).
Inversion tables help to improve spinal health: Gravity can have a detrimental effect on your spine. Whether you’re sitting or standing, gravity pulls your spine downwards, and this compresses the spinal discs, joints, and nerves. Inversion tables are designed to fight the effects of gravity.
While using the inversion table, you are turned upside down, which allows gravity to have a decompressing effect on your spine. Your spine is temporarily, and gently, prolonged, so there will be no pressure on your back.
Just like physical therapists will gently massage and manipulate your spine to decompress it and improve its overall wellbeing, so will the inversion tables. Over time, this can lead to improved back health.
Inversion tables help improve joint health: Just as for the spine, inversion therapy can be exceptionally beneficial for the joints as well. Your joints all have the synovial fluid that keeps them lubricated and healthy. It helps with shock absorption and provides nutrition to your joints, keeping you mobile and flexible as you age (4).
The problem is that when you’re standing, sitting, or exercising, this fluid is essentially squeezed out of your joints and spinal discs and sent to the soft tissue surrounding them due to the pressure. Lying down or reclining can reduce the stress from your joints and discs by up to 80%, and inverting can cut it even more (5).
During inversion therapy, the synovial fluid is stimulated as pressure is released from the joints. This will ensure that the joints are properly lubricated and that they receive all the nutrients that they need.
When the synovial fluid is doing its job, you can perform smooth movements and more easily engage in heavy exercise.
Conditions like arthritis can cause you to lose this vital fluid and will restrict your movements. Proper stimulation of the synovial fluid can prevent this from happening.
Inversion tables help increase your mobility: As more and more people tend to have a sedentary lifestyle, sitting at a desk in the office or at home for the majority of their time, mobility quickly becomes a significant issue. Many will not only experience back and neck pain, but will also have to deal with shoulder stiffness, knee issues, and more (6).
Inversion tables can help you relax, stretch your spine, and decompress your joints. The stimulation of the aforementioned synovial fluid will help you improve your mobility and flexibility, and you’ll find it easier to partake in physical activity.
Inversion tables can help to eliminate the need for pain medicine: Living with chronic back and neck pain normally implies living with a constant prescription for pain medicine. While exercising can often help you reduce back and neck pain, it’s not always possible to exercise when you’re hurting.
Using the inversion table properly won’t result in any additional pain that’s often associated with exercising. It’s just important to note that the inversion table is not a substitute for exercise, and should be used in addition to it not instead of it.
If you’re currently in too much pain, you can use the inversion table to relieve some of it and prepare for exercising or any other physical activity.
Inversion tables help you to avoid surgery: Although more research is needed, a few small-scale studies have found that inversion therapy can reduce the need for spinal surgery. 26 patients took part in one of these studies. 24 were randomized into two groups. 13 patients went to inversion therapy and physiotherapy, and 11 went to physiotherapy alone.
After 6 weeks, post-treatment assessments were made, and 76.9% of the patients from the first group had successfully avoided surgery, while surgery had been averted, with only 22.2% of the patients from the second group (7).
The implication is that with the use of an inversion table (under the supervision of your doctor), you could potentially avoid invasive surgery and manage the condition that’s causing your back issues.
Inversion tables help you improve your core strength: You don’t have to have back problems to improve your spinal health and overall well-being with an inversion table, as you can perform many exercises on it with a lower risk of injury. When you’re building core strength with crunches, for example, you need to have exact movements or otherwise, you risk injuring your back.
Doing crunches on the inversion table, on the other hand, allows you to improve your core strength without worrying about your back, as there’s no unnecessary compression to the spine.
You can easily exercise and build up your strength with various types of physical activity on the inversion table.
Inversion tables help improve your posture: Bad posture is a widespread issue that can be solved with the help of an inversion table. Continuously slouching as you’re sitting, wearing heavy bags on one of your shoulders, or sleeping in awkward positions can all have a harmful effect on your posture. Your spine can become misaligned, and your chest muscles can shorten while your back muscles become prolonged.
With inversion therapy, all your muscles are stretched, and this allows for your spine to realign. Once your inversion therapy is done, you’ll notice you’re standing taller and straighter.
Inversion tables help to improve your circulation: When you’re in an inverted position, it’s not just your spine and muscles that are affected, but blood-flow as well. Your body will need to work harder to maintain proper blood flow to your legs and your torso, and this enhances your circulation.
As your muscles are stretched in the inverted position, the oxygen-rich blood will enter them and stimulate the lymphatic system, clearing any toxin build-up and relieving the tension in them. Studies have shown that in just the first 10 seconds of using the inversion table, your muscle tension, known as EMG activity, will decrease by over 35% (9).
Inversion tables can cause your blood pressure to increase. When you’re upside down on an inversion table, your heart has to work much harder to move the blood around your body, and while this decreases your heart rate, it can significantly increase your blood pressure.
While this can be beneficial for your circulation, it still puts a great deal of pressure on your circulatory system and can be dangerous to your health if you’re suffering from high blood pressure or if you’re taking blood thinners.
Inversion tables can cause your eye and ear pressure can increase. Inversion therapy doesn’t affect just your blood pressure, but also your eye and ear pressure. Those with glaucoma (high pressure in the eyes) and retinal detachments can suffer increased pressure, which can cause significant discomfort and even lead to bleeding from the eyes.
Staying in the inverted position also increases pressure in the inner ear, so if you have ear infections or other ear-related problems, you should stay away from inversion therapy.
Inversion tables are not studied long term. The point of inversion therapy is to stretch your spine, joints, and muscles, and to help you relax, relieve your pain, and release tension. During inversion therapy, the space between the spinal discs is increased, and this can momentarily make you feel much better. The effects are, however, not long-term.
After a while, your spine will go back to normal, and the pain can come back. If you’re regularly using the inversion table, it can help you, but as soon as you stop, its beneficial effects will cease as well.
Inversion tables may cause injury. Since inversion therapy has numerous benefits, many people tend to overdo it, believing that if it’s good to do for 3 minutes, it’s good to do it for 30 as well. This is not the case.
Staying on the inversion table for too long will increase your blood pressure much more than you’d like, and you will likely become dizzy, nauseous, and disoriented. If the angle of the inversion is too big, you can have difficulties getting up, and you can easily pull a muscle. This is why it’s imperative to start slowly. Don’t go too far, and don’t stay too long on the inversion table.
Inversion tables may worsen existing pains. Depending on the cause of your back problems and how serious they are, inversion therapy could potentially have a detrimental effect on you and make your existing condition worse and even more painful.
Before you start with your inversion therapy, it’s essential to consult your doctor and physiotherapist. They will let you know whether inversion therapy is an excellent choice for you and can help you come up with a schedule that’s suited to your needs. Just because inversion therapy seems to be comfortable and fun doesn’t mean that it’s a good choice for everyone. So, be careful.
How frequently should I use the inversion table? You should think of inversion therapy as a form of exercise, and use it just a few times a week, unless you find it necessary to do so daily. When you first start, it’s crucial to do so slowly. There’s no need for you to be using it throughout the day — about once or twice a day can be more than enough for a beginner.
It’s a good idea to talk to your physiotherapist about it. They might offer you advice on how often you should be using your inversion table to get the most out of it.
How long should I stay on the inversion table? The duration of your inversion will depend entirely on you, your specific condition, and your comfort level. It’s generally recommended that beginners don’t stay inverted for more than a minute or two. Your body is simply not used to staying in this position, and you can quickly become very uncomfortable and even hurt yourself if you remain in an inverted position for longer periods.
Inversion is not a “no-pain-no-gain” type of exercise. As soon as you start feeling uncomfortable, go back up. Listen to your body, and work your way up slowly.
How far should I go on the inversion table? This, again, will depend entirely on you. Most beginners aren’t comfortable doing the full 90-degree inversion immediately, and they shouldn’t. While your body is perfectly designed to handle a full inversion, it takes some getting used to.
In the first few weeks, you shouldn’t go farther than 20 or 30 degrees. This angle is big enough so that you feel some mild stretching, but it won’t be too much for you to handle. After this, slowly move on to 60 degrees — here you’ll feel most of the benefits of inversion therapy. Once you’re comfortable, you can move on to full 90 degrees, but this is rarely necessary.
When is the best time to use the inversion table? There isn’t a specific time of day when the inversion table will be the most beneficial to you, and you can use it day or night. As a general rule of thumb, you could use the inversion table in the morning, right after waking up. This allows you to stretch and realign your spine after sleeping.
Using it in the evening right before bedtime can be beneficial as you’ll get your body ready to sleep in a proper position.
Avoid using the inversion table after a meal, as you can quickly become nauseated.
Is it normal to turn red while on the inversion table? It’s entirely normal for your face and eyes to turn red when inverting — it’s a sign that there is increased blood flow to the brain. However, if it’s too uncomfortable, you should go back to the upright position and take a break before you continue.
It takes time for your body to get accustomed to being inverted, and the more you use the inversion table, the more comfortable you’ll become. After a few sessions, you’ll get used to the feeling.
Why does my back hurt after I stand up from the inversion table? Inverting too much and too long, then getting up too soon can cause discomfort and pain after you stand back up. Your spine decompresses in the inverted position, but once you stand back up, it will re-compress — your spinal discs will go back to their normal position and put pressure on the nerves.
You can avoid feeling pain and discomfort after using the inversion table by reducing the angle of the inversion and its duration. Another technique you can try is coming back to the horizontal position for a few minutes before getting back up. Your spine will gently re-compress, and you shouldn’t feel discomfort afterward.
If you always experience pain when inverting, or if it’s extreme, you should stop using the inversion table and talk to your doctor before you do anything else.
Should I be doing something while I’m inverted? You don’t have to do anything while you’re on the inversion table if you don’t want to. You can just lay back, relax, and gravity will do the rest.
If you’re interested and able, you can perform different exercises on the inversion table. You can do some gentle stretching of your shoulders and your neck. You can do crunches, sit-ups, even inverted squats.
It’s simply essential not to overdo it and not too go too fast.
Can children use the inversion table? Inversion therapy can be beneficial for people of any age, so children can use the inversion table as well as long as they’re under adult supervision. Inversion tables are often too big for children, so they will likely need help getting on and off them. If you have any doubts about whether your child should be using the inversion table, consult with their doctor.
What are the dangers of an inversion table? Inversion tables can cause a lot of pressure build up in the eyes and ears, which can be dangerous. If you have inner ear problems, glaucoma, or a retinal detachment, an inversion table can can make it worse, even to the point of causing bleeding from the eyes if there is too much pressure.
How long should you stay inverted on an inversion table? Usually 1-2 minutes is the recommended amount to begin with, but it’s important to pay attention to how you feel. Some slight discomfort is expected, especially if you are new, but anything more than that is a sign you should stop.
Inversion tables can help with back pain relief but due to the sensitive nature of spinal injuries, any equipment that we purchase needs to be reliable. You should go for high-quality inversion tables so that you needn’t worry about a malfunction making your injury even worse.
Regardless of which model you choose to go for, make sure that you read the instruction manual carefully. Even though most inversion tables are built similarly, you’ll need to know precisely how your model works to use it safely.
Remember to keep track of possible side-effects, which are harmless most of the time, can still provoke panic in some users and negative reactions with users with specific diseases.
Inversion tables are one of the best tools to help you battle back pain and keep a good mood. It’s especially useful for people facing chronic pain and daily discomfort.
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