Do Inversion Tables Work?

Julie Brennan

Below, I talk about the pros and cons of using an inversion table and hanging upside down for therapy. Plus, I provide answers to 5 common questions when it comes down to, “Do inversion tables work?”.

Many people wonder if inversion tables actually relieve lower back pain, neck pain, sciatica, etc.. In short, back pain can result from an injury, poor posture, overuse, strain, bulging discs and more. Therefore, the treatment will vary from person to person.

Having said that, I’ve listed 5 things to consider when deciding whether or not to try an inversion table.

5 Answers on Whether Inversion Tables Work:

1. Combining Therapies Usually Works Better

First, many people report that using inversion therapy works best when combined with core-strengthening exercises. Strengthening your core can also help prevent future strain and injuries.

Some inversion tables come with guides or DVDs that explain core exercises that you can actually do on your table, like crunches. Taking a pilates class can also help make your core stronger, as will positioning yourself in the “plank” position for 30-60 seconds at a time.

2. Inverting May Provide Relief… But Only Temporarily

Second, some people say that they only experience temporary relief. On the other hand, others say that regular use several times a week helps alleviate back pain significantly.

Over time, poor posture, strenuous exercise and gravity can add pressure on our spine and discs – it makes sense that hanging upside down would stretch out our spine and therefore provide some type of relief.

From my own experience, I know that inverting partially for 10 minutes at a time would stretch my back out enough to get the pain to subside for several hours. Over time, I didn’t need to use my inversion table as often. In fact, I’ve heard from others that they have found relief – and they have never actually inverted completely upside down.

3. It Can Take Time to Relieve Pain When Using Inversion Therapy

For most people, inversion does not provide instant relief. It can take a few weeks or a couple of months, and of course, some people don’t see any improvement at all. Therefore, if you do try inversion therapy, use it regularly over a period of time and track your results.

4. Cause and Location of Pain May Matter

Overall, I hear more reports of inversion therapy working for people with lower back pain than for those with upper back pain. That said, someone did mention that it relieved the stress in his neck. Movement and gentle stretching while inverted has shown in many cases to be beneficial to the therapy.

5. Inversion Health Benefits May Actually be Due to Detoxification

According to The Energy Center, “The main benefits are realized by increased circulation and waste elimination to injured discs. In the opinion of many medical professionals, several sessions of intermittent traction are the best way to help the body dissolve a bulged disc.”