Inversion tables can rehydrate and stretch the spine gently, as well as provide a platform for a number of exercises. If you're new to inversion, we have more information and a comparison below.
Inversion Therapy is the natural anti-gravity decompression back pain relief method.
Inversion therapy, also known as anti-gravity therapy, is a drug-free and natural way to increase circulation, relieve back pain and reduce tension and stress. Inversion has been used for thousands of years to help remove toxins, increase oxygen to cells and the brain, reduce stress and anxiety, increase energy, improve lymphatic drainage and as an effective treatment for a list of spine and back conditions.
When inverted, the body and spine decompresses, providing less stress on joints, bones and muscles. Inversion can provide a "perfect" stretch and help to align the weight bearing skeleton. Many physical therapists, doctors and sports trainers are starting to use inversion to help prevent compression fatigue joint injuries. The US Army Physical Fitness School is expanding its use of inversion as well.
Some potential benefits of inversion therapy
Disc rehydration - damaged discs don't have a direct blood supply so they can heal very slowly. Decompression through inversion can take pressure off the disc so it widens and hydrates, speeding healing.
Nerve pressure reduction - Inversion can help increase intervertebral separation, opening up passageways and reducing pain caused by pinched nerves. Less pressure equals less pain.
Realignment - Hundreds of muscles and ligaments stabilize the spine and hold it in compression. If the back is out of alignment thanks to bad posture, lots of sitting or rotational movements, the support holds the body in that misalignment. Decompression helps realign the skeleton and promote better posture.
Muscle relaxation - Inversion can help speed lymph flow and relax muscles. Physiotherapist LG Nosse did a study that showed EMG activity declined by over 35% within ten seconds of becoming inverted.
Stimulated circulation - aids the heart in moving blood from your lower body to the upper body.
Relief from varicose veins - by moving the blood and putting the legs over the heart, varicose veins can be reduced.
Lower heart rate - caused by the rhythmic rocking of the inversion table.
More oxygen - helps move more oxygen to the brain which can stimulate you mentally.
Improved skin and hair - surface blood supply are stimulated.
Inversion therapy is also great for improving your overall fitness, reducing the effects of aging caused by gravity, strengthening ligaments, improving flexibility and shock absorption, encouraging better posture and for preventative maintenance.
Which inversion table do I want?
There are a lot of options available, so we'll quickly run through what you can expect from a Teeter Inversion Table.
EP-560: Great for anyone who wants a durable, reliable table and price is an issue. Still UL certified, with fewer features, it's a premium table with room for optional addons.
EP-560 Sport: It has everything the EP-560 has, as well as the following: Ergo-Embrace for double the support area, and Gravity Boots. Better for those who want to add more exercises to their inversion routine.
EP-960: It has everything the old standard EP-550 did, but much more, including EZ-Reach Ankle System, for less bending and more support, Ergo-Embrace, EZ-Angle Tether, Flex Technology (the bed flexes with your movements), and Traction Handles. This makes it easier to use for someone with back problems who needs to reduce bending. The Flex bed can also accomodate a variety of accessories. It also has a ComforTrak bed with can be used with several accessories. In addition, it has Stretch Max Handles. Also ideal for those with back pain.
DEX II: This one is different from the others in that you bend at the hip instead of hang from your ankles. This opens up other possibilities. Not for those who want full inversion, but great for those who want hip inversion and the variety of additional exercises the machine can offer.
EZ-Up Inversion and Chin Up System: This is not an inversion table and is great for those who want to invert and exercise but don't want a table. It attaches securely to a solid door frame and allows for inversion, inverted situps, pullups, heavy bag workouts and more. The most cost effective option that takes up the least amount of room. Not for those who would have great trouble getting their gravity boots up onto the bar.