Inversion Table for Back Pain Relief

I am one of many that can claim they have a bad back. I have found something that helps it, an inversion table for back pain relief.

I talk about my back problems, my first hand experience with an inversion table and the cost effective inversion table I now own. I wrote an update after 2.5 years of owning this which you can read here.

Read on to find out if an inversion table might be a good solution for you.

inversion table for back pain relief

My Bad Back History

If I think about it, I think the major cause for my back problems was when I was young I jumped off a tree onto a trampoline onto my knees. This jarred my back and I just walked it off.

Over the years, I have “put my back out” a handful of times.

  • Once, from trying to move a van that because of driver incompetence had wedged itself into a storage rack at the place I worked.
  • Once I was getting up from the couch and I threw a playing card onto the table.
  • Lifting something too heavy.

The Last Instance it was Terrible

Two years ago when I hurt my back once again, initially it was my leg that hurt the most and a trip to the Doctor informed me it was a pulled hamstring. They gave me some painkillers and referred to the physio.

He explained what I had done and a lot of stretches, pulling and pushing of my legs and a go on some machine that did something to the muscles in my back.

After a few visits to the physio, it just wasn’t getting any better, and I just stopped going.

I got some serious pain around this occasion and couldn’t go to work. Physically I could barely move and mentally I couldn’t concentrate on anything. I spent a lot of time on the lounge floor rolling around trying to get comfortable while being in a drug induced haze. The back pain was not good at all.

The Diagnosis and Treatment

My flatmate suggested seeing her osteopath as he was apparently “good” and, as with any suggestion from people you know, I am always a little skeptical.

It turns out he was pretty good. He enjoys stating that I am in a bad way often and he explained what was going on and what he thought had happened to cause my back pain.

More prodding, twisting, stretching, and bending, and I sort of felt better after these visits. I had a lot of stretches to do at home, and one of the best ways to relieve the back pain was to get someone to hold my feet and pull on them.

I also went and saw another person who our neighbor recommended. He was a one legged man in this tiny room. His whole thing was cold therapy, shocking the muscle area with ice packs.

The osteopath liked heat packs, so I was approaching this problem from both ends of the temperature spectrum.

After more visits to the Osteopath and less mobility after suffering more pain from nothing more than getting up out of a chair, he booked me in for an MRI to find out what was going on.

To paraphrase what he told me, “the goo in the vertebrae was poking out into my sciatic nerve”, causing the back and leg discomfort.

He also stated that it appeared I had a high tolerance to pain, as other patients had lesser appearing injuries but were in more pain than myself. Not sure if that was a help or not knowing that.

It Slowly Got Better

My back got better. I had to be careful what I did and think about if I could lift something and how I lifted things.

Lots of people gave advice and opinions on the whole thing, some people are in the camp of surgery being the best thing that ever happened to them and you should get it, while others stated that surgery was the worst thing that had ever happened to them and to stay away from it.

Then I Tried an Inversion Table

My back hadn’t given me any major problems for a while. There was the odd niggle and dull pain, but nothing that was bothering me. If I sneezed or coughed hard, there was a small shooting pain into my lower back.

I went to the Fieldays at Mystery Creek (the largest agricultural show in the Southern Hemisphere) and on that day I had a slight ache in my back, but it wasn’t anything bad as I maneuvered my way through the crowds, looking at different stalls and products.

I happened across a stand with three inversion tables set up with a man in one of them. I assumed he was a customer as they were offering 10 minutes for $10. It turned out he was the owner (or distributor) of the inversion table company and after some convincing from him and my flatmate; I got in place on one of these inversion tables.

He explained the benefits, and how you could use a inversion table to help with back pain relief. How he used to have a bad back and dealt with back pain in the past, mirroring my experiences and how surgery hadn’t worked for him. His sales pitch continued as he made me invert on the table.

How an Inversion Table Works

It is a flat table which pivots in the centre of an A frame. It locks your feet in place and you lay back and depending on how far you have it set, you can go from laying flat to being upside down completely, all while being held by your feet.

You adjust the length of the bottom part to give you the correct pivot point. Allowing you to easily move between being upright and inverted. Once set up properly, the ease of use is great.

Inversion Table Side Movement Image

Benefits of an Inversion Table

  • Reduced back stress by relieving pressure on vertebrae discs & ligaments.
  • Reduced fatigue, stress & improved relaxation of your body.
  • Increased circulation of blood to help relieve stiff muscles.
  • Reduced compression fatigue.
  • Increased body flexibility to improve athletic performance.
  • Relatively easy to use

My First Experience on an Inversion Table

After my 10 mins on this inversion table, I carefully came upright and left the area. He stated I should be careful as I may still be sore.

To be honest, I was in more pain than when I went to the stand and being the nice person I am, I said I felt fine and carried on my way.

After about 30 seconds, it hit me. I instantly became pain free. I could walk freely and I felt amazing, something I hadn’t felt for ages and something I couldn’t compare with the pain because I hadn’t had the pain-free feeling in what seemed like ever.

It lasted about half an hour, then I went back to feeling normal. Back in pain.

Some Inversion Tables are Really Expensive


But there was a downside, the cost. For the inversion table I tried, they were after $1200. I know it made my back feel better, and anything that can do it is well worth the money.

But I thought to myself there had to be other options. I had to find a inversion table for back pain relief.

A Cost Effective Inversion Table

After searching the internet for inversion tables, I came across the cheapest ones I could find in New Zealand on the website

They have 3 different models with the cheapest and most popular model being the $199 (at the time of my purchase) version, which is also the only version that is also foldable. Which takes up a little less space if I need it to.

After much thought and comparison between the tables, I went with the $199 version. Honestly, they are such a simple idea and apart from looking better I don’t know what all the extra money gets you, especially ones that cost over a $1000.

Inversion Table Front Image
The inversion table I bought

My Experience with my Inversion Table

As expected, you have to put the inversion table together once it turns up, and the instructions, like most things you have to put together, aren’t the clearest.

No1 Fitness in their wisdom includes a link to a YouTube video on putting it together and includes a DVD on how best to operate it.

The main thing is to make sure you adjust the length just right, so when you are on it, it balances just right. This is all covered in the DVD which came with this particular inversion table.

I use the table at least once a day and will get up to using it twice a day; I am working on increasing the amount I use it, and increasing the inversion. I currently go backwards to around I guess a 50 – 60 degree inversion, and will work up to be totally inverted.

I feel it helps decompress and stretch the spine thanks to gravity. Something that I can’t easily do any other way. Being able to hang and use gravity has made my back pain has gone away. If I sneeze or cough, there is no pain. The inversion table for back pain relief is a great idea in my opinion.

My Thoughts on the Inversion Table

It is early days, but I am happy with the purchase of this inversion table, it gives me relief from pain caused by a bad back. I wrote this hoping this can help other people with back problems.

It does provide you great support, has the safety of the ankle holders and the strap to help keep the angle of inversion at one you are comfortable with.

Check Before Using

You would want to check with a doctor if you suffer from low or high blood pressure, just in case your condition could affect you in some way.

I personally thing it’s quite a safe to use piece of equipment. One that will help stretch your spine. I found it was good helping with my sciatica, didn’t seem to put any extra pressure on any joints.

Use the Inversion Table

Using it just a little bit each day, even if not fully inverted. I feel it will help with your physical health a lot.

If all of this is sounding good I do suggest you find one and use an inversion table yourself before purchasing. It also pays to do your own research on what other models feature, how much weight they can hold etc.

It is a cost effective solution that can help over time, bringing a solution to a problem that can be a real pain for a lot of people.

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  1. Your 2015 Blog sounds great and especially your pain and reasons for buying an Inversion table which ‘mirror’ our experiences except that we are looking to purchase hence our Search!
    However this is dated 2015 and we would like to have an update please on your ‘progress’ and continuing use and benefits as at 2018…..
    Thank you.

    1. Hi Julie, not a hundred percent sure what the other comment related to, probably something to do with the commenting system I’m guessing. Time sure does fly by, I will do an update on the inversion table for you in the next couple of days, of if you need any answers quicker please send me an email via the contact page.

  2. Hi there,
    Would you still recommend this brand over the teeter? Desperate for some neck/lower back relief.

    1. I haven’t tried the teeter brand so can’t comment on that. But what I will say is the the mechanism of an inversion table is very simple. It just has to pivot, and lock your feet into place. The one I got does that fine, and was a really good price. And I’m happy with the purchase.

    2. Hey Taryn, I bought a no name Inversion table when I lived in Aus, because I had lower back pains. The pain was gone after using 2-3 mins everyday for two months. Then I sold it. Its been 7 years now, back is still good, but Im gonna buy another one because of the other health benifits I got. If you look at the designs teeter has leg clamps that look like cuffs, while other brands have rollers. I had the roller type, they took some getting use too.

      1. Hi Paul, thanks for the comment, good point about the rollers, they might not be the best option for everyone.

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