Back pain really sucks.
Here we have listed the best inversion tables – we started this guide in 2016, carried it on through 2017 and have now put together a resource for 2018. We start the list with our top choice – to help you make an informed decision.
Gravity may keep you from floating off the earth’s surface, but it can also have a negative effect on your back, especially if you already have back problems. Herniated and bulging discs and disc degeneration are caused by a combination of moving, lifting, pushing, or pulling the wrong way and gravity.
|1||Teeter EP-560 Ltd|
|2||Ironman Gravity 4000|
- 1 What is The Best Inversion Table of 2018?
- 2 How to Choose the Best Inversion Table in 2018
- 3 The Dangers of Buying Cheap or Used Inversion Tables
- 4 About Inversion Therapy
- 5 How do You Use an Inversion Table?
- 6 Who Benefits From Inversion Therapy?
- 7 Who Shouldn’t Use Inversion Therapy?
- 8 Our Final Verdict
What is The Best Inversion Table of 2018?
After a few short minutes of inversion therapy, you can feel refreshed, rejuvenated, less stressed, and energetic. Inversion tables have great benefits, but how do you choose the best one?
I’ve tried a LOT of inversion tables, so here are my top 3, starting with the best (it’s FDA approved!).
Teeter is a leading brand of inversion tables. The Teeter EP-560 Ltd model has bonus acupressure nodes, an exercise DVD, and a back-pain relief stretch attachment. It has a heavy-duty steel base, heat-treated steel parts for optimal durability and reliability, and stability so it won’t move around when you’re inverting. Only high-quality materials are used in the construction of the EP-560 Ltd.
It comes with safety features like auto-locking hinges, pivot bearings, and cam locks.
Teeter is also the only brand of inversion table that is FDA approved.
- EZ-Reach ankle system offers an extended handle so you don’t have to bend so far to secure your ankles.
- EZ Angle tether helps to reduce the pressure on your ankles and offers pre-set rotations of 20, 40, and 60 degrees.
- Ergo Embrace supports provide comfort and distribute weight evenly around your heels and ankles. You can adjust the foot platform to fit your feet perfectly.
- Traction handles provide a gentle, smooth, and rhythmic oscillation for better stretching ability.
- Over-EZ handles are larger to offer more support and assistance for enhanced stretching options.
- FlexTech bed moves with you and gives you a better range of motion when stretching.
- ComfortTrak bed helps to realign your back while your decompressing your spine.
- 300-pound weight capacity.
- Height adjustable.
- Five-year warranty.
The Teeter EP-560 Ltd is easy to use, easy to store, easy to assemble, and offers precision balancing and pre-set rotation choices. Overall, this one is the best inversion table because it has the best price-to-quality ratio within its price range over other brands. Long-term, chronic back problems require a quality table that will last a long time.
Ironman Gravity is another leading brand of inversion tables that is built to last and offers many benefits for inversion therapy.
If you have ever tried the earlier models like the Gravity 1000 or 2000, you will find this version has greatly improved the performance, safety, and comfort of the Gravity model. Whether you suffer from chronic or occasional back pain, or you just need a way to decompress after a long and stressful day, this inversion table is designed to accommodate you.
- 350-pound weight capacity
- Height adjustable.
- Extra-wide, heavy-duty tubular steel frame provides stability, security, and durability throughout inversion.
- 5-inch Memory foam padded covered backrest for more comfort and relaxation.
- Patented ankle locking system that is ergonomically molded to effectively support and cushion ankles.
- Easy-to-reach palm-activated adjustable ratchet style ankle locking system makes it easier to secure your ankles.
- Rubber non-skid floor stabilizers prevent movement when in use.
- Removable lumbar pillow for added low back support.
- Foam-covered handles to make 180-degree inverting safe and comfortable.
- Safety side covers to protect your fingers and hands and tether strap controls to maximize your inversion.
- The frame comes with a lifetime warranty and parts and labor warranties vary.
If you have experienced problems in the past with inversion therapy like having a difficult time getting up and down, this doesn’t happen with the Gravity 4000. This improved model makes it easy to decompress your spine, which helps reduce joint pain, reduce insomnia, reduce stress, and strengthens your back and posture. The Ironman Gravity 4000 easily folds up for easy storage.
The Innova ITX9600 inversion table is easy to assemble, affordable, and sturdy. The sturdy design is obvious when you get on it to start the inversion process. You’ll feel safe and secure using this inversion table.
It’s also relatively lightweight, making it easier to move from room to room if needed. The Innova ITX9600 is a Heavy-Duty Deluxe inversion therapy table with several safety, comfort, and beneficial features.
- 300-pound weight capacity.
- Innova’s Patent Pending protective cover.
- Five-position adjustment safety pin to make it easy and safe to position.
- The True Balance system to make inversion therapy easy.
- An ergonomic ankle system to secure your ankles while inverting and your ankles will feel snug without feeling trapped and uncomfortable.
- An extra wide and long backrest that is fully padded and very soft for comfort and support.
- The soft touch foam handles and thick foam rollers make inversion therapy comfortable and smooth.
- One-year warranty.
This inversion table is less expensive than many higher end brands, but it can easily compete with them. Most users have reported that inversion therapy on the Innova ITX9600 is effective at reducing and eliminating chronic back and neck pain, joint pain, and general aches and pains.
It only takes a couple of minutes a day to experience pain relief. This Innova inversion table easily folds up for storage as well.
How to Choose the Best Inversion Table in 2018
Chronic back pain is such a simplified term for the excruciating agony that hundreds of thousands to millions of people endure. That is one reason inversion therapy is so popular for back pain relief.
Most of the time, when a chronic back pain sufferer says they are hurting, it means something different from when you stub your toe. When they say they are feeling fine, that means their level of back pain is simply almost tolerable at that time. It’s even difficult to describe it to their doctor because they only use a pain scale of 1 to 10.
Inversion Therapy Popularity
Inversion therapy has become a popular form of therapy for athletes, celebrities, and the average Joe for treating back pain. It is an effective method of reducing the risks associated with pain medications and back surgeries.
Considerations for Inversion Table Selection
The simple act of hanging upside down is not something you should do without the right equipment. The right way to get the benefits from inversion therapy is to invest in a quality inversion table. The proper table is safe, solid, and best for preventing injuries.
Considering that you are hanging upside down from your ankles, you need an inversion table you can trust to support the full weight of your body. Otherwise, the table will break, and you will fall and get injured. That’s what you will avoid when you know how to choose the best inversion table for back pain.
The following will describe the essential factors you should consider when choosing an inversion table from safety to comfort.
Quality & Safety
Quality relates to the construction, the materials, the features, the ease of use and assembly, and any extras that come with the inversion table.
Safety should be the main priority when selecting this kind of inverting equipment. Some safety features are standard, while others are a preference of the user.
Weight & Height Capacity
To ensure safety, your inversion equipment should be capable of handling your weight and height. If it is too short or unable to hold your weight, it will cause injury. You could do more harm than good to your back, neck, and person.
Weight capacity is usually information that is standard on these devices; however, a few do include the height capacity as well. You can determine height by looking at the dimensions of the table itself in the item description.
The construction of an inversion table should be sturdy, solid, and reliable. The only material capable of providing ultimate safety and quality is high carbon steel. If the table you’re looking at is made of “durable plastic”, it’s not a quality table.
You will find those out there. They cannot withstand certain weight requirements and they are cheaply built. Cheap doesn’t always equal a good value. Value comes in quality and cost together. A cheaply built inversion table will soon break and could cause injury.
Since this kind of equipment sits on the floor and you will be moving around on it, it should provide stability when doing so. Non-skid stabilizers on the legs, or across the bottom of the base, should be included.
You can further care for your safety by investing in a suitable exercise equipment floor mat. These are designed to be non-skid and they help prevent excess movement of the machine.
Padding & Support
A high-quality, reasonably priced inversion table for back pain sufferers should offer ample padding and support. Sometimes this may include removable pads and parts, so you can exercise as well as invert on it. You may even choose to add-on an extra thick pad depending on your needs.
Lumbar support, neck support, and thick padding provide the best level of comfort and a better inversion experience. Avoid considering a cheaper table because you will find the padding to be insufficient and you will need to buy more padding, which defeats the purpose of value and cost.
Handles & Suspension
Inversion tables offer different kinds of support for fastening your ankles/feet for inversion. Something must hold you onto the table or you’ll slide or fall off while inverting. Ankle suspension should be comfortable, adjustable, and secure for safety.
Knee-bars, handles, and grips are other features you should look at when choosing your ideal inversion table. The choice of suspension, grip, and handle features is a personal one. This is probably something you will have to test before choosing your table for inverting. The main difference is how you will use your table.
Will it be primarily for inversion, or will it double as a means of exercise?
Warranty coverage is an important factor when making this type of investment. Most of these machines, like Teeter, offer a 5-year manufacturer’s warranty. Some top of the line models and brands provide lifetime warranties for at least the frame.
When you are looking at inversion tables, just be sure to check out the warranties, money-back guarantees, and other terms before you commit.
Manual or Motorized
Manual bed rotation inversion tables have handles on the sides that allow you to change the inversion degrees as you like. Motorized equipment offers built-in controls that allow you to adjust the bed.
The choice between manual or motorized is a matter of personal preference and a matter of need. It depends on your need. Consider things like maintenance on motorized models compared to manual and initial cost, which is higher on the motorized inversion tables.
Easy to Use and Assemble
User-friendly equipment makes you inverting experience better and more enjoyable. Bargain brands are not likely to provide the precision balance needed to get the most from your inversion therapy.
Unless you just enjoy spending your whole day trying to put together a piece of equipment that is supposed to relieve your pain and stress, look for an inversion table that is easy to assemble. Look for manufacturers that offer 3D instructions and any special tools needed for the job. Do more research and find out which tables offer the shortest assembly time.
Ease of Storage
Whether you live in a small apartment or you just don’t like leaving your exercise equipment out when not in use, consider a quality table that allows you to easily fold and store it in a suitable area.
The weight of the table will determine ease of movement and storage, so consider the weight of the unit. It depends on if you choose to store it or leave it out.
Not every inversion machine is designed to provide inversion at all angles. Some of these devices make it difficult to invert into some positions. Some cannot fully invert to 180 degrees. Therefore, you must know the inversion angles the equipment offers before committing to this investment.
It is suggested that you consult with your doctor or chiropractor about these tables before buying. They can tell you what your inversion limits are and whether you should be using this kind of equipment or not.
While you would think that every inversion table for back pain relief would be designed to support and match the body, they aren’t. If you want ergonomic design, stay away from the cheap models, especially those made from PVC or plastic.
First, you want a sturdy frame and second, you want comfort and safety in design. You only get that from quality construction tables made from steel.
Do the comparison test yourself. Dig a little and research the differences in brands and quality of construction of inversion tables. Look at third-party testing results to compare how one table stood up to another. If you are willing to take care of what car you buy, why not take care in what inversion table you buy?
Remember to consider the costs of these machines and your budget. These can range from $100 to over $1,000 depending on the type, features, quality, and attachments that come with the unit. Only invest what you can, but make sure the device you get fits your needs and is of quality construction.
Manufacturer’s websites often have user reviews that you can read, which is a huge help when you’re choosing an inversion table.
To summarize what you should look for when buying an inversion table for back pain relief, here are the four main takeaways:
• Made of high carbon steel for quality and reliable construction.
• It should be suitable for your weight and height.
• Look at the higher quality tables on the market and compare them.
• You should know the benefit claims of the company before you commit to buying.
The Dangers of Buying Cheap or Used Inversion Tables
It’s smart to want to save money, but be cautious about that when investing in an inversion table. Quality inversion tables range from about $150 to $1,000 (some higher), which is within an affordable range. Buying one that costs under $150 increases the risk of hazards that can cause injury.
Think of it this way: Cheap sounds good, but it comes at a very high and risky price. That’s because cheaper means they are constructed of lesser quality materials or metals, which is not a good value and is dangerous.
It is not recommended to buy cheap, low-quality inversion tables for back pain, or used ones that are likely damaged already. Investing in a quality inversion table made from high carbon steel and materials is the best investment in your equipment, your safety, and yourself.
The FDA accepts inversion therapy for relief from only these conditions (and only using a Teeter table):
• Back pain
• Spinal Degenerative Joint Disease
• Herniated discs
• Curvature of the spine from chronically tight muscles
• Muscle spasms
• Muscle soreness and tension
• Spinal stenosis
Any claims other than these should be taken into consideration before buying this kind of equipment. The dangers to your spine and health could be devastating if you don’t know.
About Inversion Therapy
You may think inversion therapy is a new concept, but it’s not. It has been around since about 3000 B.C. according to evidence found on stone seals. Ancient Greeks experimented with inversion using devices made with pulleys and ropes. Hippocrates even experimented with traction methods using the Hippocratic bench, used to stretch out the body to correct spinal alignment.
Between the 1960s and 1980s, inversion became a mainstream therapy. Gravity boots were made popular by film and television shows like Batman in the 1980s. This is also the era when the first inversion tables were made.
How do You Use an Inversion Table?
Inverting isn’t complicated like you might think.
Most inversion machines come with a manual, a CD/DVD, or a smartphone app to show you how to assemble and use it. You should always follow the directions for using these tables because they are there for your safety. Also, ask your doctor or chiropractor for any special instructions.
Who Benefits From Inversion Therapy?
It can be a good idea to take the load off your body temporarily. Inversion therapy is a recommended course of treatment that has been proven to reduce and even reverse spinal disc issues. People suffering from chronic back pain, sciatica, scoliosis, and poor circulation will get the most benefit from inversion therapy.
Anyone with back problems related to herniated discs and the like should consult with their physician before using this treatment.
• Boosts Blood Flow – Blood circulation is an important bodily function. The better your blood can circulate, the better your health. Circulation helps to transport nutrients throughout the body, therefore it is necessary for good health. Inversion therapy improves blood circulation by decongesting your internal organs and promoting good circulation.
• Mental boost – When your circulation is good, your brain gets the oxygen it needs, so you have improved mental performance and alertness.
• Maintain height – As you age, your spine compresses, so you shrink. Inversion therapy decompresses the spine, allowing you to avoid that shrinkage problem.
• Stress relief – Stress at work, home, or school often cause muscle tension, which causes pain. Relaxing your muscles helps to reduce that pain.
• Spinal alignment – Spinal misalignment and compression happen from running, exercising, sitting, and general daily life. Inverting your body helps stretch out the spine, releases gases from between the discs, and aligns the spine naturally.
• Breathe Easier – When inverting, your blood fills your upper lungs, as opposed to the norm where your blood fills the lower lungs. More oxygen is generated from this process, which feeds the blood and the lungs. Your diaphragm, a primary organ that assists with respiration, will get stronger and help you breathe properly.
• Lymphatic System Detox – Hanging upside down helps drain and detoxify the lymphatic system of waste and toxins. This fluid waste travels one way only, so inversion effectively helps to stimulate the system and boosts the elimination of waste like lactic acid, which causes pain.
• Relieves Back Pain – Inversion therapy elongates the spine, which increases the space between vertebrae. This action takes the pressure off your discs, nerve roots, and ligaments, resulting in back pain relief.
• Alleviates Joint Pain – The stretching action of inverting (hanging upside down) for a safe amount of time, also reduces joint pain. By stretching and relaxing the muscles around the joints, you are correcting misalignments that have occurred from activities. People with arthritis benefit from daily inversion.
• Surgery Preventative – Inversion therapy may reduce the need for back surgery in some people. Compression of the spine is a primary cause of back pain and problems. By decompressing the spine via inversion therapy, you may avoid the risk of surgery and the need for pain medications.
All the major benefits also contribute to your overall health and wellbeing. Inversion therapy also improves your posture, balance, aids in relaxation and stress relief, boosts oxygen levels, improves blood flow, and reduces back pain and pain from arthritis. It is important to buy a quality inversion table to fully reap these benefits.
Who Shouldn’t Use Inversion Therapy?
Inversion therapy is a good back pain treatment, but that doesn’t mean it’s suitable for everyone. If you suffer from any of these medical conditions, or your doctor or chiropractor doesn’t recommend it, don’t do it.
• Retinal detachment
• Recent stroke
• Recent back surgery
• Hiatal hernia
• Circulation or heart problems
• Spinal injury
• Joint swelling
• Cerebral sclerosis
• Ear infections
• Surgical implants that support the back
• Recent fractures
• High blood pressure
Besides these conditions, always listen to your doctor or chiropractor about whether inversion is a good fit for you or not.
Our Final Verdict
Just like taking medications when you don’t need them, inversion therapy isn’t necessary for people who are healthy and aren’t suffering from a back issue.
Only use this treatment if you need it. You may choose to use an inversion table as part of your exercise routine but be aware of the guidelines for choosing the right one.
Otherwise, inversion tables are ideal for improving flexibility, blood circulation, spinal alignment, and other benefits.
Even though the effects of inversion therapy are temporary it is still wise to discuss this with your physician or medical practitioner before investing in an inversion table for back pain relief.
Inversion therapy is designed to be beneficial under specific conditions. Ensure you take the ultimate safety precautions, do much research, and take great care when selecting an inversion table for back pain. It is also recommended that you have an instructor with you when you use inversion therapy for safety’s sake.
The goal for choosing an inversion table is to find one that is the best value. Choose one that has the features and price that fits your needs. It’s important to pay attention to safety features to ensure you are getting the safest inversion table for your body.
All three of these inversion tables are high-quality, durable, and provide the benefits you expect from inversion therapy.
Latest posts by Anne Keiley (see all)
- Lower Back Pain – Summary of Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment - April 20, 2018
- What is Piriformis Syndrome? - April 20, 2018
- What You Need to Know About Sciatica - April 20, 2018