What are people's experience with Inversion tables?

Posted by jeffkboyce @jeffkboyce, Mar 17, 2021

I purchased a Teeter device and it seems to assist. The theory is a gentle stretch which can open up the foraminal areas of the spine and relieve pressure on the nerve roots that are pinched.

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@jeffkboyce

I know that teeter definitely suggests to not invert with high blood pressure. You could try zero gravity or a really gentle setting and have someone check your pressure while you are on the table. It naturally raises blood pressure and everything rushes to your head. So if you already are high talk to your doctor. I decided to just throw mine away – I am sitting on the couch literally right now day 2 post op of bilateral hernia surgery from the thing. Not saying inversion is bad but unfortunately some of us just can’t invert.

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Hi, @amandaburnett. So sorry I couldn't get back before now. So much to do!! Anyway, you had hernia surgery because of difficulties from what?? The inversion table?? I hope not and I hope everything is working out well. I had hernia surgery inguinal and unfortunately I turn at night and I felt the thing ripping like the second night after that, and I learned from that to get slippery type sheets which I am still using. Although I felt it ripping inside (doctor didn't warn me…sadly enough), I am pretty sure it eventually healed up. Because I'm not currently having any problems that I know about in that area. I hope all is well with you.

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@cindiwass

Hi, @amandaburnett. So sorry I couldn't get back before now. So much to do!! Anyway, you had hernia surgery because of difficulties from what?? The inversion table?? I hope not and I hope everything is working out well. I had hernia surgery inguinal and unfortunately I turn at night and I felt the thing ripping like the second night after that, and I learned from that to get slippery type sheets which I am still using. Although I felt it ripping inside (doctor didn't warn me…sadly enough), I am pretty sure it eventually healed up. Because I'm not currently having any problems that I know about in that area. I hope all is well with you.

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Hi yes one hernia for sure occurred after getting off the table. I felt the tear which was then confirmed with an ultrasound. I had them both repaired last Friday. It’s likely it was this and a combination of other things – again it’s likely just my anatomy as many many people benefit from inversion. So glad you are enjoying it and doing well.

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I have a degenerative back with both leg and back pain, can a inversion table provide relief?

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@spadgera I am responding to you here, so you can read about other members experience with inversion tables in this existing discussion. At the top, you can click on the first page, last, etc and change the order from oldest to newest, or newest to oldest to read the comments.

One suggestion I have is to get a medical opinion about using an inversion table if you have any blood pressure issues that would come into play by being upside down. For example, a physical therapist that I know recommends that people who might have a blood vessel malformation in the brain where increased blood pressure could put them at risk of a stroke, should not use an inversion table. This type of malformation is known as an AVM or arterio venous malformation where an artery with higher blood pressure dumps directly into lower pressure veins without the vessels branching out into the capilaries that would diffuse the pressure first. Often this is tangled clump of blood vessels and can be a risk and site for a stroke to happen. Keeping blood pressure under control is also very important for heart and kidney health. The kidneys rely on blood pressure for filtration of the blood in very small capilaries called a glomerulus, and too much pressure there can damage and destroy them.

Here is more information about AVM:
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/brain-avm/symptoms-causes/syc-20350260

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@spadgera

I have a degenerative back with both leg and back pain, can a inversion table provide relief?

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@spadgera Welcome to Connect. Have you consulted a spine specialist about your pain? The best thing to do would be to ask your doctor if an inversion table could help or if there could be any risks associated with it. It can't fix a problem that needs surgical correction, but being upside down may help temporarily take off some of the pressure caused by gravity in being upright.

I've also responded in this discussion where you can connect with others about inversion tables. This was my comment there.
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/comment/740044/
Has your spine been evaluated by a specialist?

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@jenniferhunter

@spadgera Welcome to Connect. Have you consulted a spine specialist about your pain? The best thing to do would be to ask your doctor if an inversion table could help or if there could be any risks associated with it. It can't fix a problem that needs surgical correction, but being upside down may help temporarily take off some of the pressure caused by gravity in being upright.

I've also responded in this discussion where you can connect with others about inversion tables. This was my comment there.
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/comment/740044/
Has your spine been evaluated by a specialist?

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Yes I have been evaluated by a specialist and he has referred me to a pain specialist which I will get to see next month. I have gotten some relief from the inversion table but the pain is still there.

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@jenniferhunter

@spadgera I am responding to you here, so you can read about other members experience with inversion tables in this existing discussion. At the top, you can click on the first page, last, etc and change the order from oldest to newest, or newest to oldest to read the comments.

One suggestion I have is to get a medical opinion about using an inversion table if you have any blood pressure issues that would come into play by being upside down. For example, a physical therapist that I know recommends that people who might have a blood vessel malformation in the brain where increased blood pressure could put them at risk of a stroke, should not use an inversion table. This type of malformation is known as an AVM or arterio venous malformation where an artery with higher blood pressure dumps directly into lower pressure veins without the vessels branching out into the capilaries that would diffuse the pressure first. Often this is tangled clump of blood vessels and can be a risk and site for a stroke to happen. Keeping blood pressure under control is also very important for heart and kidney health. The kidneys rely on blood pressure for filtration of the blood in very small capilaries called a glomerulus, and too much pressure there can damage and destroy them.

Here is more information about AVM:
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/brain-avm/symptoms-causes/syc-20350260

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I am 85 years old and have been using my inversion table on and off for 5 years with no problems. However, I do have blood pressure and take medication.

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I use an inversion table and I have a routine that I use. It takes 5 to 10 minutes, I hang straight for about 4 minutes then a rotate from side to side making complete turns for a 60 count. I also hold a twisted position for a 60 count, both left and right. It is a full workout. I am 85 years old male and I walk 3 miles each day. My back pain has improved but it has not gone away completely. I have been doing this for 3 weeks. I am scheduled to see a pain specials next month.

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Maybe I'm totally missing something here but I've seen the Teeter commercials and, as someone with a compromised lower back, wonder if stretching the back that much, only to have it rebound to where one started out, is a good idea? The company owner in the commercials always mentions that one 'loses' that height gained from inversion. Thus recommends frequent sessions. Were it likely to help the spine maintain the gained length, that would be interesting. And maybe it's better for people with no back issues?

But conceptually, there is 'space opened up by inversion but that same space closes up. Isn't there a chance that, for example, some nerve(s) have the opportunity to become hypetextended during the inversion session and, later, have to refit in a smaller area?
[Lest this sound odd, I suffered pain/numbness/tingling from nerve hypertextension in an arm from something similar. It was not fun and took years to self-resolve. So I'm a little wary of nerve stability.]

I used an inversion thing (called an Orthopod if I recall correctly) in P/T therapy but the stretch was from the waist, not ankles, and it seemed to help. I contemplated buying one but my P/T said I'd get better results just stretching lower back by lying on progressively taller folded towels over a period of time. Or lying on an ironing board with one end propped against sofa seat or something at an approximate 35-45° angle. That seemed to help and, when I remember to the other stretches she taught me, they do too.

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