Looking for an Inversion Table? Read this first!

Inversion Table

Looking for an inversion table? You should know the truth about this therapy before you invest.  An inversion table could help you avoid a costly and potentially dangerous surgery, but you should evaluate the risks and benefits of inversion tables first.

Benefits of An Inversion Table

Many conditions are the result of too much pressure on our joints.  Knee arthritis, arthritis in the low back, hip degenerative joint disease, and degenerative disc disease are all because we had too much weight bearing down for too long.

An injury, bad genetics, and poor nutrition are examples that could accelerate the conditions mentioned above.  Whatever the reason, you are stuck with it now and you want to know if an inversion table could help.

Inversion Table Therapy

Photo used under Creative Commons from voxluna

An inversion table takes the pressure off of our weight bearing joints and even distracts the joints to create negative pressure.

This negative pressure brings new fluids and nutrients into the joints.  The nutrients can then help to heal the discs and joints that are overly worn.

While an inversion table will never fix one of the weight bearing problems mentioned above, it can help you manage the pain.  This can also help your muscles relax when they are in spasm.

Risks Associated with Inversion Tables

There are a few reasons that you would not want to use an inversion table.   Most of them are due to an increased amount of pressure in the head that could lead to a stroke, blindness, or injury from a dislocated joint.

  • High Blood Pressure
  • Anti Coagulant Therapy
  • Previous Stroke
  • Knee or hip replacements
  • Glaucoma and other Pressure related eye conditions
  • Osteoporosis/Osteopenia
  • Middle Ear Infection
  • Spinal Surgeries

This is certainly not an exhaustive list as each patient is unique.  Check with a chiropractor or your primary care physician before beginning inversion table therapy.

What if I have a contraindication?

If there is some reason you are worried about using an inversion table, you should visit a chiropractor or your primary care doctor and ask them if they would approve such a self treatment.

Chiropractors frequently use treatments very similar to an inversion table.  These treatments have fewer contraindications because you are not turned upside down.  Visit a few chiropractic websites or call around and ask whether they perform flexion distraction technique or spinal decompression.

Chiropractic Techniques Similar to Inversion Tables

Flexion Distraction and decompression work in the same manner as an inversion table, but you are lying flat on the table.  The doctor will strap a part of you to the table and the table will stretch you apart.

One added benefit of flexion distraction is that the doctor can use the table distract you and also perform flexion, lateral bending, and figure eights.

Decompression and flexion distraction can also “pull” harder than gravity in an inversion table, possibly giving you more benefit.


While inversion tables are generally safe to use, you should check with your doctor first.  Most doctors that have already seen you as a patient would be happy to help you decide.

Don’t forget that you aren’t necessarily flipped completely upside down.  You can invert by only 15 or 20 degrees and feel a lot of benefit.

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