Back pain amongst the younger generation has certainly spiked in the recent decade. Perhaps due to stressful work environments or simply because we spend most of our day sitting; back pain has become the number one reason for getting a day off of work. This has lead to many people like yourself searching for the best inversion table to help relieve back pain.
Once back pain develops into a chronic condition, it can be detrimental to your quality of life in many aspects.
Luckily, a good solution has been found to alleviate and improve your circulation and posture, two of the main causes for back pain. Inversion tables are home remedies you can purchase and have proved to be really helpful for back pain relief.
It can be extremely frustrating trying to find the best inversion table, but we’re here to help you narrow down your choices and get the table that is most suitable for your needs.
We created a best inversion table comparison chart at the bottom of this article.
If you’re like me and want to get straight to the punch, I’ve put the two best inversion tables right here:
Now, let’s get more familiar with what you should be looking for in searching out the best inversion table.
What Does an Inversion Table do?
Human evolution can’t keep up with the fast-paced lifestyles we tend to live with a lot of time spent in the office on chairs, longer commutes, and less physical activity. All of these factors are leaving us with stress issues and back pain problems. Thank goodness we have a solution: Inversion Therapy.
Inversion therapy is simply lying down on a flat adjustable table and inverting your body into an upside down position. Once you are inverted, your spine and muscles are decompressed improving your blood circulation.
Benefits of an Inversion Table
An inversion table works well for relieving back pain by following simple physiological rules.
The vertebras of your spine are divided by disks which aid in movement and shock absorption. Stressful exercise, forceful bumpy trips, and recurring strain causes compression of those disks which leads to the bulging of a semi-fluid material that places pressure on the nerves, a disorder often popular as slipped disks.
So when you are doing inversion therapy, being upside down relaxes the vertebra decreasing any pressure placed on the nerves and reduces the chance of disk bulging or slipped disks; this, in turn, will reduce back pain by eliminating the compression totally.
If the body is kept moving up and down on a good inversion table, the angle of inversion can create a pumping action which aids the fluids around the discs to eject the waste out and help in lessening and removing any back pain.
A Newcastle University study experimented with inversion therapy on sciatica patients and found that inversion therapy helped these patients by:
- Decompressed the spine and elongating it, which in turn improves the posture.
- Provided solid stretching for the whole body.
- Promoted spinal alignment, stretching and elongating the spine, relieving the pain and removing any pressure on the spinal disks.
Inversion Table Exercises
This is the safest method to perform a sit-up without straining your back.
Gravity aids in straightening your spine to prevent the harmful load placed on your back during classical sit-ups.
To perform a proper sit-up, simply put your hands behind your head or on your chest, then sit up, all the way to your knees. You might need to put your hands behind your knees to assist yourself into a full sitting position.
This is a great exercise to engage your abdominal muscles and strengthen your core without any additional stress on your back.
Inverted squats are an effective way to strengthen your legs while using an inversion table. When doing them inverted, your whole core and posterior chain are getting a super-workout at the same time. To do the squat, simply start in the inverted position, stabilize your legs and in a controlled movement, bend your knees to pull yourself up. After 3 seconds, lower your body and repeat.
Lumbar Zone Stretch
Start by arching your lower back and keep it for at least 5 seconds. Repeat this for at least 6 times for maximum stretch. This exercise helps in decompressing your lower back.
What to Look for in an Inversion Table
Before buying the best inversion table that will suit your current and future needs, you will need to know what exactly to look for.
There are two basic models of inversion tables:
Regular inversion tables require some effort in order to change the angles of the table. The motorized models will require no effort but come at a more expensive price tag.
Other things to look for:
Higher prices don’t always equal better flexibility. Look for a table that will let your back move and perform exercises without the chance of bumping your back on it.
The backboard is the main support for your body while you are upside down. Among the best inversion tables, a soft padded backboard will usually provide the best comfort and durability.
Speaking of comfort, try checking the following features before deciding on a model:
- Material: If possible, try running your hands on the backrest, frame, and ankle cushions to get a feel of the material used. If it’s possible to test the inversion table, hop on it for a few minutes. Check the quality and the feel of the parts that will strap your body while using it.
- Stability: This should probably be your first concern. If it doesn’t stay in one place during a test run, don’t buy it. Inversion tables with rubber floor stabilizers provide the best kind of grip.
- Ease of Use: The best inversion tables are the ones that require only two or three adjustments before riding. The user selects the height, adjusts the central bar and that should be it.
While you are upside down, your ankles are going to be restrained. These restraints must be comfortable while at the same time holding your legs in position. There are two types of restraints: a bar restraint and an adjustable strap. Bars let you anchor your ankles while straps help hold you in place.
Always pick a metal frame, for both safety and durability. Although there have been some tables made from plastic, the best inversion tables should have a metal frame support to avoid any chance of injury.
Weight capacity should be specified by the manufacturer. If you are close to the capacity threshold, make sure to double-check the sturdiness of the ankle restraints. If they do not feel very solid, try looking for another model.
An important factor to consider is how much free space you have in your home. Look for inversion tables that fold up for easy storage and also make sure you know the measurement dimensions of the product. An inversion table is a bit bulky but a good one should be easily stored taking up minimal space.
Top 5 best inversion tables
Innova ITX9600 Heavy Duty Inversion Therapy Table
For an inversion table that costs less than $100, the Innova ITX9600 ticks all the essential boxes from having a weight capacity up to 300 lbs. and being made of heavy gauge steel. The back rest has adequate length and width but still feels sturdy and stable.
There’s no ankle strap on this heavy duty inversion table – it has a secure pin system instead. Now, of course, this is not a fully equipped table and not the best inversion table of all time, but if you’re looking to do some basic inversion therapy and maybe a couple of crunches, then the Innova ITX9600 is the best bang for your buck.
Probably the most popular inversion table in the market, mostly due to the many certifications acquired from Occupational Health and Safety agencies including the US Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA). The Teeter EP-560 inversion table can be described as safe, comfortable, and heavy duty. It has a light bed with a durable vinyl-headrest and an Ergo-Embrace ankle locking system is to provide maximum peace of mind when upside down and is capable of reducing any discomfort by shifting your body weight around your ankles. The tether strap can be attuned to 60 degrees only but many consumers would feel more secure having the tether on even in full inversion, so it’s all up to your preferences. This table is super easy to fold but takes a lot of space to store, which is probably the only drawback we could find.
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IRONMAN Fitness Gravity 4000
If the Teeter EP-560 was the most popular inversion table, the IRONMAN Fitness Gravity 4000 is the best-selling model for the past few years. All you need to do is check how many positive customer reviews are left on different platforms to understand how much a product can improve someone’s life. Built form tubular steel, it has a higher weight capacity than most other tables (around 350 lbs.). Comfort wise, there’s a solid vinyl backrest along with padded memory foam and even the ankle locking system has molded cushions to reduce any discomfort. The best-selling point of this table is the full adjustability of the inversion angles. Three holes are present in each of the pivot arms that will allow up to 180 degrees inversion.
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Exerpeutic Inversion Table – 5503
One of the best inversion tables for first-timers, the Exerpeutic 5503 model is simple, versatile, and gets the job done. The burgundy colored backrest provides it with an aesthetic look and a comfortable experience. This is one of the most compact tables, that can easily fit anywhere in your home. But even with a low price and a fold-up construction, the Exerpeutic team didn’t compromise on safety or sturdiness. Of course, this won’t have a lot of fancy accessories, but if you’re looking to get rid of your back pain and experiment with some inversion therapy for the first time, then go ahead and order this model.
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Fitness Reality 690XL
This is a new model that hit the market and we got the chance to experiment with it a few times. The 690XL is a modern looking inversion table and very adjustable. The steel frame is very strong and a removable lumbar pillow was a nice change from different models. Security is top notch with a convenient pull pin release and ankle restraints that are made of two ankle cushions and two foam rollers to stabilize you in place. An adjustable tether strap is also there to invert your body to various angles up to all the way to full vertical and the best part is, you can easily return to your upright position using the full loop handles. So say goodbye to back pain and enjoy this affordable inversion table.
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There’s no doubt that back pain is a major part of many people’s lives. In fact, back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed work. It is the second most common reason for visits to the doctor’s office as well.
Before stressing out about constant back pain, try an inversion table. Maybe your friend has one you can test. Get inverted and see how your back responds. I hope the information above helps you find the best inversion table for your needs. 🙂