7 Best Inversion Tables

7 Best Inversion Tables

24
Hours
Researched
32
Products
Evaluated

After 24 hours of research evaluating 32 products, we picked Ironman Gravity 4000 Inversion Table as our top choice.

There are two reasons you want to think about getting the best inversion table you can find. The first is that you can work your abs in your home gym.

But, many people are looking for inversion table benefits that are perhaps more important, to help with back pain.

Your back – or rather your spine – takes the brunt of the nerve damage while your vertebrae compress under the weight of gravity and the position of your hunched body over a computer. Inversion therapy can counteract that.

Our inversion table reviews used evaluation methods that include both benefits.

What are the benefits?

The obvious benefit of inversion therapy is the release of back pressure on nerves and the spreading of the vertebrae. Other benefits include: released joint pressure, increased circulation, and more.

Want to know the best part?

We have compiled a list of the best inversion tables for your specific needs. No lie, this was one of the fiercest lists to assemble. 

So, while there aren’t a lot of inversion tables on this list, you can be certain we spent ages making sure we really did have the best available. Now, on to relieving your back pain.

Best Inversion Tables

  • 7. HARISON Inversion Table for Back Pain Relief High Capacity with 180 Full Inversion
  • 6. EXERPEUTIC Inversion Table with AIRSOFT NO PINCH Ankle Holders
  • 5. Yoleo Gravity Heavy Duty Inversion Table
  • 4. Innova ITM5900 Advanced Heat and Massage Inversion Therapy Table
  • 3. Innova ITX9600 Heavy Duty Inversion Therapy Table
  • 2. Teeter EP-560 Inversion Table
  • 1. Ironman Gravity 4000 Inversion Table

Best Heavy Duty Inversion Table

#7

HARISON Inversion Table for Back Pain Relief High Capacity with 180 Full Inversion

Best Heavy Duty Inversion Table: HARISON Inversion Table for Back Pain Relief High Capacity with 180 Full Inversion
Get from Amazon
27 Bought
Durability
8.3
Safety
8.3
Ankle comfort and support
8.6
Height and weight limits
8.1
Value
8.0
Overall
83%
83 % Editor Score
80 % User Score

Why People Love it

  • "Gym Quality" equipment
  • Extremely comfortable and durable
  • Easy to read instructions

This heavy-duty inversion table by Harison can hold up to 350lbs and will leave your back feeling renewed! This table has multiple safety protections so that you can use it with full confidence.

Some users say assembly takes a while. This machine is also heavy and difficult to move around once put in place. 

Expert Ratings

Durability

8.3 / 10

The heavy-duty integrated steel frame makes this inversion table extremely durable and stable. 

Safety

8.3 / 10

You get tons of safety protection with this inversion table thanks to the high-quality memory foam 3D backrest, safety belt, non-slip nuts and mat, protective pedal cover and cap, sponge foot cover, and secure handles.  

Ankle comfort and support

8.6 / 10

The True balance design allows your body to remain comfortable while using this inversion table. The ergonomic design fits with the curve of your waist, which works to release any back or neck strain/pressure. The sponge foot cover keeps your feet and ankles in place, providing full support, so you're never straining or bending your feet wrong while using this table. 

Height and weight limits

8.1 / 10

This inversion table can hold anywhere from 300-350lbs. Thanks to the easily adjustable height, this table is suitable for anyone between 4'8" to 6'5"! The angle is easily adjustable, making this suitable for almost all body types. 

Value

8.0 / 10

This inversion table is a little bit of an investment but comes with warranties. You have 30 days to return this table for a full refund if you discover it's not for you, and the frame comes with a 5-year warranty - impressive!

Overall Editor Score

8.3 / 10

Best for Ankle Comfort Inversion Table

#6

EXERPEUTIC Inversion Table with AIRSOFT NO PINCH Ankle Holders

Best for Ankle Comfort Inversion Table: EXERPEUTIC Inversion Table with AIRSOFT NO PINCH Ankle Holders
Get from Amazon
25 Bought
Durability
8.5
Safety
8.6
Ankle comfort and support
9.0
Height and weight limits
8.3
Value
8.5
Overall
86%
86 % Editor Score
82 % User Score

Why People Love it

  • Airsoft ankle holders
  • Easily adjustable
  • Removable lower back pillow for added comfort

The Exerpeutic Inversion Table uses airsoft ankle holders to keep your body in place while causing little to no strain on your lower back. You can use the removable lumbar back pillow for added lower back support. 

Some users mention that the assembly instructions were difficult to understand. 

Expert Ratings

Durability

8.5 / 10

This inversion table uses a double lock ratchet tooth mechanism, making the table extra secure and sturdy. The frame is made with heavy-duty steel so you can rest assured you'll remain supported. 

Safety

8.6 / 10

Recognized as UL Safety Certified, everything about this table prioritizes security. You can lean back, stretch your back, and relax, knowing that the padded ankle holders and double-lock ratchet system have you covered. 

The foam loop handlebars provide easy return to the upright position for those who are less experienced with inversion tables. 

Ankle comfort and support

9.0 / 10

This inversion table has some of the best ankle support on the market. The Airsoft Ankle Holders provide extreme support and comfort while holding you in place. The cushions work to custom fit each ankle, and never pinch or cause strain for your ankles. 

You can easily adjust the ankle support using the 'Palm Activated' Ratchet locking system. 

Height and weight limits

8.3 / 10

This inversion table can hold up to 250lbs and has an adjustable height of 4'9" to 6'6". 

Value

8.5 / 10

Right now you can purchase this table on Amazon for $189.00. It folds up easily, making it perfect for any sized apartment or home. The air-cushioned ankle pads and added support makes this table worth the investment. 

Overall Editor Score

8.6 / 10

Best Easy to use Inversion Table

#5

Yoleo Gravity Heavy Duty Inversion Table

Best Easy to use Inversion Table: Yoleo Gravity Heavy Duty Inversion Table
Get from Amazon
28 Bought
Durability
8.9
Safety
9.0
Ankle comfort and support
8.6
Height and weight limits
8.8
Value
9.0
Overall
89%
89 % Editor Score
85 % User Score

Why People Love it

  • Extremely sturdy and durable
  • Extra soft and comfortable padding
  • Easy to assemble and use

The Yoleo Gravity Heavy Duty Inversion Table uses shoulder pads to add extra support while you stretch and exercise your body. This table provides extreme comfort thanks to the supportive cushions and can hold up to 300lbs, making it extremely durable. 

The ankle support is durable, but not super comfortable. 

Expert Ratings

Durability

8.9 / 10

This inversion table has a heavy-duty integrated steel frame. Yoleo uses high-quality materials to ensure durability and safety. This table can hold up to 300lbs without any strain. 

Safety

9.0 / 10

You can stretch and exercise with ease using this inversion table. The ankle locking system, precision chuck buckle, and safety lock pin system make this table super secure. 

The precision chuck buckle (safety belt) is a nice added touch for users who are wary of laying upside down.

Ankle comfort and support

8.6 / 10

The ankle holding system keeps your ankles in place while using the table but doesn't offer much comfort. The system uses front and back foam rollers, which help keep your ankles and legs stable while your body is inverted. 

While this inversion table doesn't have the best ankle support, it does have shoulder support, enabling your body to take some of the weight off of your ankles. 

Height and weight limits

8.8 / 10

This table holds up to 300lbs and can accommodate anyone from 4'10" to 6'6". You can fold up this inversion table for easy storage. 

The product dimensions are 49 x 32 x 4.7 inches.

Value

9.0 / 10

This table only costs $99.99 on Amazon but works as well as any other high-quality inversion table. The only thing we'd love to see is a little more ankle support, but for the price, you really can't beat this deal. 

Overall Editor Score

8.9 / 10

Best Massage Inversion Table

#4

Innova ITM5900 Advanced Heat and Massage Inversion Therapy Table

Best Massage Inversion Table: Innova ITM5900 Advanced Heat and Massage Inversion Therapy Table
Get from Amazon
26 Bought
Durability
9.3
Safety
9.0
Ankle comfort and support
8.9
Height and weight limits
9.0
Value
9.0
Overall
90%
90 % Editor Score
88 % User Score

Why People Love it

  • Built-in massage and heat pad
  • Extremely supportive and comfortable
  • 6-position angle system

Say hello to the most therapeutic inversion table on our list. Thanks to the massage and heating pads, you'll be able to stretch your back while relaxing like never before. 

Your ankles will be supported, but not super cushioned. Also, this machine folds up, but, even folded, it still takes up quite a bit of space.

Expert Ratings

Durability

9.3 / 10

This table is exceptionally secure and uses a two-way adjustment system, providing you with the ultimate balance and support. The ankle system will assure you never feel out of place, thanks to the adjustable holders. 

With the advanced heating and massage pad, you'll want to stay on this inversion table all day - and it's got the durability to support you! 

Safety

9.0 / 10

You can adjust your height and headrest to achieve the perfect balance with this inversion table. The 6-angle pin system is easily adjustable and leaves you secure and comfortable. 

Ankle comfort and support

8.9 / 10

The Ergonomical Ankle Holding System locks your ankles into place and keeps you secure in any position. Unfortunately, the ankle support is not super padded, so you may want to wear thick socks to keep your ankles comfy while using. 

Height and weight limits

9.0 / 10

This table can hold up to 300lbs and anyone ranging from 4'10" to 6'6", and folds up easily for storage. 

Value

9.0 / 10

For $199.95, you're getting a quality inversion table that includes a heating and massage pad, a 6-angle pin selection, a large and comfy backrest, and extremely sturdy ankle holders. We'd say that's a pretty sweet deal. 

Overall Editor Score

9.0 / 10

Best Budget Inversion Table

#3

Innova ITX9600 Heavy Duty Inversion Therapy Table

Best Budget Inversion Table: Innova ITX9600 Heavy Duty Inversion Therapy Table
Get from Amazon
115 Bought
Durability
8.5
Safety
9.0
Ankle comfort and support
8.0
Height and weight limits
8.5
Value
8.5
Overall
85%
85 % Editor Score
91 % User Score

Why People Love it

  • Great value for money
  • Easy to assemble
  • Fantastically sturdy product

This packs away simply and easily while still being sturdy enough to handle up to 300 pounds. The pin system makes for easy locking into place.

Even though it folds away, you’ll need to lay it on the ground or lean it against a wall. It also doesn’t do a complete 90º angle.

Expert Ratings

Durability

8.5 / 10

The frame is heavy-gauge steel and the padded backrest is longer and wider than average. While there aren’t any frills, it’s still sturdy and durable.

Safety

9.0 / 10

There’s a 4-position adjustable safety pin to lock you into place; don’t expect any slipping. The U-frame bar design is safer than the 4 points used in previous models. And the safety handles will help you to revert back to the upright position. Keep in mind, however, that there aren’t ankle locks.

Ankle comfort and support

8.0 / 10

The foam is mixed with ergonomic molded cushioning for as much comfort as you can get while your ankles do a lot of the work.

Height and weight limits

8.5 / 10

Height and weight limits: Totally standard capacity of 6’6” and 300 pounds.

Dimensions: Assembled: 46”L x 28”W x65"H. It does pack away, but the dimensions don’t change drastically.

Value

8.5 / 10

It’s under $100 and you still get a 1-year warranty on the frame. That’s really incredible, isn’t it?

Overall Editor Score

8.5 / 10

This is a budget inversion table and probably should be judged only against other budget tables. That said, this is really not a bad machine at all. And, there are some improvements from previous models – both on comfort and safety.

But, you shouldn’t expect lengthy lists of features when looking at the price of this machine. There are some drawbacks, though some users are willing to forget them.

For a start, it doesn’t offer a full 90º inversion; you’ll get as far as 80º (and there are also 20º, 40º, and 60º angles you can lock into place). That said, it works with a pin system rather than a strap system. And the padded back and headrest will keep you comfortable while hanging out at these angles. Additionally, there aren’t any ankle locks; you’ll need to hold yourself in place, though the foam and molded cushioning make this as comfortable as possible.

Assembly should take about an hour and the instructions are clear. (Plus, there are pictures to make it even easier.) And it folds away quickly and easily as well. Given that it weighs just 55 pounds, you should be able to pack it away on your own.

Overall, you can expect value for money with this machine, but you should move along if you’re uncomfortable working without ankle locks, need a full 90º, or prefer a range of features.

Best Inversion Table for Safety (and Easy Assembly)

#2

Teeter EP-560 Inversion Table

Best Inversion Table for Safety (and Easy Assembly): Teeter EP-560 Inversion Table
Get from Amazon
102 Bought
Durability
9.0
Safety
9.5
Ankle comfort and support
9.0
Height and weight limits
9.0
Value
8.5
Overall
90%
90 % Editor Score
94 % User Score

Why People Love it

  • Easy to assemble
  • Wonderfully sturdy
  • Incredible product

In addition to the long warranty and super comfortable bed, this baby can fold away for storage. Better still, it arrives 90% pre-assembled; the manufacturer believes it will take 13 minutes, but we estimate 20-30.

Though it does claim to fully invert, it’s a little difficult with the tether strap to preset it to a full 90º (or 180º - depending on the measurement you use).

Expert Ratings

Durability

9.0 / 10

Made with heat-treated carbon steel, this baby has auto-locking hinges. We love the squeak-free pivot bearings. Because it’s not covered with pillows or nylon, it should last longer. The bed itself is made from comfortable, flexible plastic.

Safety

9.5 / 10

This is perhaps the only table with a UK 1647 safety rating – so you’ll feel wonderfully secure, even as you hang there. We’re also fans of the auto-locking hinges and the thick, non-skid stabilizers.

Ankle comfort and support

9.0 / 10

The curved ankle supports reduce pressure on your ankles. It’s an EZ Ankle lock system, so you won’t need to do a lot of bending.

Height and weight limits

9.0 / 10

Height and weight limits: It’s absolutely standard with its ability to handle users up to 6’6” with a max of 300 pounds.

Dimensions: Assembled: 66”L x 29”W x 59"H. When folded, it measures 66”L x 29”W x 20”H. It weighs 67 pounds which certainly isn’t the heaviest.

Value

8.5 / 10

We certainly think the $370 price tag is value for money considering what this table can do, but it’s pushing on the expensive side. (Cheap models cost less than $100 but others can push up towards $800.) But, you do get an impressive 5-year warranty.

Overall Editor Score

9.0 / 10

The first thing you’ll notice about this Teeter inversion table is that assembly is super simple. It’s 90% pre-assembled and the instructions for the remaining bits are easy to follow. You can set aside a mere 30 minutes before you climb onto it – and that’s including your individual adjustments.

While it does invert fully, it’s difficult to lock it into a full 90º inversion. Luckily, there is a small pillow for head support when not hanging completely upside down. (Yes, it’s adjustable.) And there are a small, but totally useful number of preset angles.

We know the flexible plastic doesn’t look totally appealing or comfortable, but the acupressure nodes and lumbar bridge accessories on this Teeter inversion table are adjustable, removable, and far more comfortable than they might appear at first. There’s also a DVD with 5 different stretching and strengthening positions if you’re keen on more than simple back pain relief.

Now, we know this is on the more expensive side of the inversion table spectrum, but if safety and ease of use are what matter to you, then you may want to extend your budget to fit this baby. It has impressive safety certifications and you can fold it away in under a minute.

Why not the 960?

In case you’re wondering why we didn’t go with the 960 model, we must tell you that it was a difficult decision. Both models have impressive safety features and carry the same 5-year warranty. In fact, they’re remarkably similar.

While there are small differences between the two Teeter inversion table models, we didn’t feel they justified the (roughly $100) higher price. While the 960 offers a triple ankle lock system, the 560 is compatible with inversion boots. The 960 works with the EZ angle tether strap and has preset 20º, 40º, and 60º angles. The 560 uses an adjustable angle tether strap to reach more without as many presets. If you think one of these differences is enough to move you, then check out the Teeter Hang Ups EP-960 Inversion Table. It might be the right one for you, though many users don’t find the higher (standard) price tag to account for the differences.

Best Inversion Table Overall

#1

Ironman Gravity 4000 Inversion Table

Best Inversion Table Overall: Ironman Gravity 4000 Inversion Table
Get from Amazon
181 Bought
Safety
9.5
Ankle comfort and support
9.5
Height and weight limits
9.5
Value
9.5
Overall
95%
95 % Editor Score
97 % User Score

Why People Love it

  • Easy to assemble
  • Sturdy and strong
  • Great piece of equipment

It’s amazingly sturdy and comfortable with memory foam and lumbar pillow. Set up is easy and there are long handles for inversion control.

This isn’t a light machine and storage may be difficult. Setting different angles may not be as easy as you would like.

Expert Ratings

Safety

9.5 / 10

Safety handles make inversion and controlling the angle wonderfully easy. There are also vinyl side covers to protect your fingers. Plus, there are wonderfully strong, non-skid, rubber floor stabilizers so you can feel secure while inverting.

Ankle comfort and support

9.5 / 10

There’s a wonderfully long handle on the foot clamp which makes securing your ankles a much more comfortable process. There’s also a palm-activated ratchet ankle-locking system that means there’s almost no discomfort as you can adjust the cushions for ideal tightness.

Height and weight limits

9.5 / 10

Height and weight limits: Up to the standard 6’6” in height – and a slightly more than average 350 pounds. (Average is 300 pounds.)

Dimensions: Assembled it measures 49"L x 26"W x 65"H. Folded, it measures 49”L x 65”W x 49”H. It weighs 75 pounds, so you may need help shifting it.

Value

9.5 / 10

At $200, this is certainly one of the more reasonably priced inversion boards. (The lowest are under $100, and they start to become expensive around $400.) Sadly, the warranty isn’t anything special, you get a 1-year structural frame warranty, plus 90 days on other parts.

Overall Editor Score

9.5 / 10

Following on from previous Ironman Gravity models, this one is sturdier and far more comfortable. Though it doesn’t fit into the budget range of inversion tables, it’s not on the more expensive side either. And, you will get a lot of value for that money.

Of course, nothing is 100% perfect. The biggest drawback to this machine is the weight. It’s really rather heavy and the non-skid grips can make it difficult to move when packing it away. Plus, you don’t save a huge amount of space when folding it.

However, it’s mostly all positive with this incredible inversion table. Set-up, for example, should take about 60 minutes for 1 person, and it will be a little faster with 2 people (which is certainly recommended when possible).

From a standing position, the table inverts a full 180º and there are 3 adjustments for starting inversion angles with a tether strap for locking inversion angles securely.

To invert, all you need to do is lean back and slowly raise your arms over your head. If you lean back too soon, be sure to adjust the height until you’ve hit the ideal center of gravity. The squeak-less pivot bearings offer a smooth rotation, the vinyl side covers protect your fingers (you’ll need to use your hands as you rotate. And then there's the memory foam padding and removable lumbar pillow for extra comfort.

All in, this is an incredible machine with way more positives than negatives and at a lovely price too.

Faveable Ratings: 7 Best Inversion Tables

7 Best Inversion TablesDurabilitySafetyAnkle comfort and supportHeight and weight limitsValueOverall
Ironman Gravity 4000 Inversion Table Thumbnail
Best Inversion Table Overall
#1Ironman Gravity 4000 Inversion Table
9.5
9.5
9.5
9.5
95
Teeter EP-560 Inversion Table Thumbnail
Best Inversion Table for Safety (and Easy Assembly)
#2Teeter EP-560 Inversion Table
9.0
9.5
9.0
9.0
8.5
90
Innova ITX9600 Heavy Duty Inversion Therapy Table Thumbnail
Best Budget Inversion Table
#3Innova ITX9600 Heavy Duty Inversion Therapy Table
8.5
9.0
8.0
8.5
8.5
85
Innova ITM5900 Advanced Heat and Massage Inversion Therapy Table Thumbnail
Best Massage Inversion Table
#4Innova ITM5900 Advanced Heat and Massage Inversion Therapy Table
9.3
9.0
8.9
9.0
9.0
90
Yoleo Gravity Heavy Duty Inversion Table Thumbnail
Best Easy to use Inversion Table
#5Yoleo Gravity Heavy Duty Inversion Table
8.9
9.0
8.6
8.8
9.0
89
EXERPEUTIC Inversion Table with AIRSOFT NO PINCH Ankle Holders Thumbnail
Best for Ankle Comfort Inversion Table
#6EXERPEUTIC Inversion Table with AIRSOFT NO PINCH Ankle Holders
8.5
8.6
9.0
8.3
8.5
86
HARISON Inversion Table for Back Pain Relief High Capacity with 180 Full Inversion Thumbnail
Best Heavy Duty Inversion Table
#7HARISON Inversion Table for Back Pain Relief High Capacity with 180 Full Inversion
8.3
8.3
8.6
8.1
8.0
83

Faveable Expert Tips

What is an Inversion Table?

An inversion table is exactly what it sounds like: a table designed to invert your body for the purpose of lengthening your spine.

The design of the table is fairly simple. It locks into place in a flat position, allowing you to climb onto the table easily. At one end, there will be straps or boots that will lock your ankles and/or feet in place. When you release the lock on the table, it will invert—lowering your head and raising your feet. Thanks to the straps, you will be held securely in place, hanging upside down to provide the benefits of inversion therapy. 

Do Inversion Tables Really Work?

On the face of it, inversion therapy seems like a very strange sort of treatment. After all, if hanging upside down worked, why don’t we do it more often? Why hasn’t it become a more popular treatment?

Well, here’s the truth: Hippocrates, the “Father of Medicine”, spoke of inversion therapy as far back as 400 BC. At its core, inversion therapy is intended to counteract the effects of gravity, which pull downward on our spines. By inverting our bodies, we allow gravity to elongate our spines rather than compress them.

Inversion therapy is traditionally used to treat lower back pain, everything from sciatica to slipped discs. By letting gravity elongate the spine, inversion tables help to reduce the pressure on your spinal column and the muscles holding it upright. It’s a decompression that separates the discs, nerves, vertebral bodies, and other structures in your spine. By reducing the pressure on your spine, inversion therapy is intended to relieve lower back pain.

The question is: does the therapy actually work?

The answer is a bit less cut-and-dry than most people might like…

One doctor of the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation states, “Inversion therapy doesn't provide lasting relief from back pain, and it's not safe for everyone… Well-designed studies evaluating spinal traction have found the technique ineffective for long-term relief. However, some people find traction temporarily helpful as part of a more comprehensive treatment program for lower back pain caused by spinal disk compression.”

The American College of Physicians stated that, “while inversion and other traction therapies do not appear harmful in otherwise healthy people, there is little good-quality evidence for their effectiveness over other techniques.”

According to Harvard Medical School, “A 2006 Cochrane Review (a summary of evidence from randomized trials) concluded that there was no evidence to recommend traction for the treatment of low back pain.”

As you can see, experts pretty much agree that there is no conclusive evidence to indicates long-term health benefits of inversion therapy. However, most of the above-mentioned resources agree that there are “short-term benefits”—specifically, relief from lower back pain—caused by inversion therapy.

It may not be the ultimate long-term solution to your back problems, but if you’re dealing with a muscle spasm, a slipped disc, or some other acute lower back pain, an inversion table may be just what you need to provide temporary relief until you can get to a doctor for proper physical therapy. 

Benefits of Inversion Tables

As mentioned above, there is no conclusive (proved beyond any scientific doubt) evidence that inversion therapy is truly effective. However, there are a number of potential benefits that you may discover by using this treatment:

Better Spinal Health – Inversion therapy that can help to elongate the spine may be effective at improving spinal health, similar to the way that spinal muscle-strengthening and spinal massage techniques help. Basically, it may be able to restore healthy, efficient movement to your spine, reducing your risk of back pain.

Decrease Need for Surgery – A study dating back to 2012 found that chronic back pain sufferers that used inversion therapy regularly were less likely to require back surgery. 77% of patients that underwent the inversion therapy avoided surgery, while only 22% of those in the control group were able to avoid surgical intervention.

Granted, this was a relatively small group study (just 26 people), that evaluated people with a very specific spinal problem (lumbar discogenic disease, which weakens and thins out the spinal discs). But there’s no denying the evidence, which clearly indicates that inversion therapy is a good way to improve spinal health.

Reduce Chronic Pain –  There is some evidence that inversion therapy may be effective for treating chronic back pain. One study found inversion traction at an angle higher than 60% helped to not only reduce chronic back pain, but increased lumbar flexibility and isokinetic trunk extension after just 8 weeks.

Inversion therapy is a non-invasive method of pain relief, and it can ease the pressure on weight-bearing joints. For those suffering from chronic back pain, it can be a potentially effective method of reducing pain—at least in the short-term.

Better Flexibility and Mobility – As your spine compresses, you lose a lot of range of motion and flexibility in the joints between the spinal discs. The best way to counteract this is through exercises and training that enhances mobility and flexibility. However, the elongation of your spine caused by inversion therapy may also be able to increase your movement.

Not only can elongating your spine improve your posture, but it will stretch out those discs and prevent them from compressing too tightly together. The result could be easier movement and greater flexibility.

Relieve Pinched Nerve – A pinched nerve is basically excess pressure placed on your spinal nerves by herniated disks or swollen back muscles. To reduce the pain, you need to decompress the area.

Which is exactly what inversion therapy does! When you hang upside down on the inversion table, you elongate your spine and reduce the pressure all along your spinal column. Inversion therapy is often used to treat the problem of pinched nerves specifically thanks to the decompressive power of the treatment.

Better Circulation – As you hang upside down, your heart has to adapt to the new position and compensate to keep your blood flow as consistent as possible. You’ll feel like all the blood is rushing to your head, which may lead to short-term boosts to your brain function and enhanced mood. When you return to normal, you might find that your circulatory system works better overall, at least for a few hours after inversion.

Note: Inversion poses in Yoga have been linked to enhanced mood and reduced feelings of stress and anxiety. Using an inversion table may have similar effects!

Stretch Muscles and Ligaments – Tight, knotted muscles can cause a whole different type of lower back pain, but inversion therapy can help to stretch out those muscles and loosen the knots. Same for the ligaments and tendons in your joints. Gravity will work to stretch everything, thereby increasing your range of motion and flexibility.

Stimulated Lymph Flow –  Did you know that stretching can stimulate your lymph nodes? Not only will this help to increase the flow of lymphatic fluids, but it can increase the elimination of waste products collected by lymphatic fluid and stored in the glands.

Risks of Inversion Tables

Unfortunately, using an inversion table or undergoing any sort of inversion therapy is not without its risks. It’s important that you understand that there are some potentially serious dangers of using this type of treatment.

It’s critical to know that hanging upside down can have serious effects on your heart. First and foremost, it can decrease your heart rate, but it can also increase your blood pressure. For those with existing cardiovascular problems or hypertension, doctors recommend avoiding inversion therapy. The same for people with a history of strokes—the risk of problems is just too high!

Anyone taking medications to clot their blood should avoid inversion therapy, as should those taking medications to control blood pressure.

The rise in blood pressure caused by inversion therapy can cause a rise specifically in your eyes and ears. Those with detached retinas are recommended to avoid the therapy at all costs, as are those with pink eye, glaucoma, and ear infections. Pretty much any sort of head condition can be worsened by inversion therapy, so be aware of that before you get on the inversion table.

It should go without saying that anyone with broken bones should avoid using inversion therapy. Gravity could pull on the healing bone and separate it, causing a re-fracture that could seriously set back recovery. Those with osteoporosis should steer clear—there’s a risk that the inversion could break or damage your bones, specifically your feet, ankle, and leg bones.

One video on YouTube explained some of the dangers of inversion, how the blood rushing to your head can rupture blood vessels or trigger a hemorrhage in your brain. Asphyxiation, or lack of oxygen, can result from the added weight placed on your lungs by your lower organs.

Those with hernias are also counseled against using inversion tables, and anyone with obesity. If you have an implanted device or a serious spinal injury,  you should also be very cautious with any sort of inversion therapy. And definitely, DEFINITELY avoid the treatment if you are pregnant!

What You Need to Know About Inversion Therapy

The first step is buying an inversion table and setting it up in your home, but once that’s done, what comes next? Below, we answer a few questions that you need to know about the therapy:

Should I wear specific clothing to invert? Absolutely! You want to wear something comfortable and loose, but the really important thing to wear is athletic or tennis shoes. Proper shoes will give your feet and ankles more support when they are strapped in place. NEVER invert bare-footed! 

How often should I invert? There isn’t really a “one-size-fits-all” answer to this question. Some people invert once every couple of days, while others invert several times a day. Ideally, you want to invert when you’re feeling a twinge or ache in your back, as gravity will help to loosen up sore, stiff, or knotted muscles. If you have chronic back pain, you may find that inverting multiple times a day can help to combat the pain. However, you should listen to your body when you invert. If you do it too much, you may find yourself dealing with nasty side effects (including dizziness, headaches, nausea, high blood pressure, and more).

How long should I invert? NO MORE than 5-10 minutes! As you saw above, inversion therapy does come with some risks, and those risks get riskier the longer you spend inverted.

Newbies should start off with just a minute or two until their bodies grow accustomed to relaxing while inverted. Once you’re feeling comfortable with it, go up to 3 to 5 minutes, and see how your body reacts.

Some experts say that frequency is more important than duration—multiple shorter periods of inversion throughout the day could be more effective than one long inversion session. Plus, the risk of side effects is lower when your inversion sessions are shorter.

When should I invert? It’s recommended that you avoid inverting first thing in the morning or too late at night. In the morning, you’re fresh out of bed, so your body is adjusting after a full night of rest and recovery. Your blood pressure is also higher in the morning. Usually, it’s best you wait a couple of hours until inverting.

At night, inverting just before going to sleep can raise your blood pressure, which can make it harder to fall asleep. Your best time is an hour or two before you get to sleep—that way, you get the pain relief, but without the rise in blood pressure.

Can I stretch while I invert? Absolutely! In fact, it’s recommended that you take advantage of your time upside down to add in a few neck, shoulder, arm, and back stretches. You’ll find that the decompression of your spine can do wonders to loosen up knotted muscles and tight joint tissue. Add in a few stretches, and you’ll walk away from your inversion session feeling a whole lot better.

Is there anything I can do to make my inversion more effective? You can try using acupressure nodes on the table’s surface, which will apply pressure directly to specific parts of your spine and body for more effective decompression. Vibration cushions can help to reduce muscle tension and really relax your body.

Is there a “correct” posture for inverting? Most experts recommend raising your arms over your head, as the weight of your arms will pull on your spine to elongate it more efficiently. However, if this position causes you pain, you can keep your arms by your side or fold them atop your chest.

Can Inversion Tables Make You Grow Taller?

It’s an old wives tale that “hanging upside down will help you grow taller”. Your body’s skeletal structure will only grow exactly as large as your DNA has programmed it to. Inversion tables won’t make you taller, plain and simple.

However, and this is a big one, the decompression of your spine and stretching of your muscles will extend your spinal column. Over years, our spines tend to compress due to bad posture and strain, so we start shrinking one millimeter at a time. By elongating your spine, you may be able to “recover” some of the height you’ve “lost” over the years. It’s not actually growing taller, but more of a restoration of healthy spinal length and better posture caused by inversion therapy.

Other Inversion Therapy Methods

Inversion tables aren’t the only way that you can try inversion therapy at home. There are other options you can consider:

Gravity boots – Also known as inversion boots, these are heavy-duty ankle wraps that hang from a suspension device or bar to allow you to hang upside down. They’re similar to the straps that secure you to the inversion table, but a full-foot boot designed to hook onto a bar or suspension device. They invert you fully upside down, which can be a bit more dangerous than the angle used by inversion tables. However, for those with a good deal of inversion experience, they can be a way to enhance the inversion therapy.

Inversion chairs – These work similar to inversion tables, but instead of standing up (arms and legs extended), an inversion chair works with you at a sitting posture (legs bent). They tend to run about the same price as an inversion table, and their effects are similar.

Yoga – Yes, Yoga can help to elongate and decompress your spine through the various inversion poses—Plow Pose, Shoulder Stands, Headstands, and Handstands. Many of the Yoga disciplines involve some form of inversion pose. They are challenging and require a high level of fitness, but they can be an excellent option to treat lower back pain without an inversion table.

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Article Staff

Katie’s Cleveland proud; but she’s also lived in Australia, Switzerland and now stays in South Africa. That’s a roundabout way of saying she can’t sit still; she’s always moving, always busy.

She has a BA in International Relations from Kent State University and work towards a Masters in Human Rights. She speaks French, is learning German and used to dream in Spanish. For years, Katie worked as a producer on fashion and advertising shoots before she realized her passion was the written word.

Katie’s far more interested in guy’s gear than women’s, except she has a wardrobe brimming with little black dresses. She drinks her beer out of the bottle and is raising her two boys to be better men.

Editor Jenna Holtz
Researcher Ronnie Langston
Art Director Cherry Barbacena

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