Updated: June 4, 2015
Inversion Table ReviewsInversion Table Buying Guide - Are Teeter Inversion Tables the best?
For those who are not familiar with it, inversion therapy involves hanging upside down to use your body weight and the force of gravity as traction to release pressure and stress on your spinal cord. It's most often used to treat back pain, and some who do it swear by it, though it is not generally formally prescribed in the medical community. How does inversion therapy work? What is an inversion table? (to see one in action you can scroll down to the YouTube clip below..). An inversion table is simply a pivoting, padded board (known as the bed). When upright, you strap your ankles in at the bottom, then lie back on the board and pivot it backwards as your head rotates down and your feet go up, leaving you, well, inverted! So there you are, hanging by your toes, upside down. The gravity that normally compresses your spine and tries to pull you to the ground is now stretching your spine and trying to pull your head towards the ground. We've all heard how you end up 1/2 inch shorter or something by the end of the day as gravity does its work on you -- inversion is kind of the opposite of this effect. This decompression is supposed to alleviate strain and pressure on the vertebrae and discs in your spine, allowing the disc to absorb moisture and expand and minimize the squeezing and tension on nerves that connect there. Some of the leading manufactures of inversion tables include Teeter, Ironman, Paradigm, and Stamina.
Do inversion tables work? We've heard dozens of positive reviews from sufferers of back pain who swear that using an inversion table just 10 minutes a few times a week makes a huge difference, relieving pain from the back and neck. In fact on Amazon, almost 90% of users of some inversion tables give them 5 stars, which is almost unheard of for most products. In this guide we will take a look at some of the best-selling inversion tables and other inversion products, see how much they cost, and where the best places are to buy inversion tables. You can browse the up-to-date list of best-selling inversion tables here.
Best Inversion Table - Teeter Inversion Table (Teeter Hang Up)Before getting started, be sure to read any warnings that come with your inversion table. In general, if you have problems with high or low blood pressure or heart disease, you may want to check with your doctor before getting involved in inversion therapy. Same goes for pregnant women and sufferers of glaucoma or other eye diseases. When you begin, be sure to have another person around to help you if you need it, and start at a gentle decline angle like 15-30 degrees before going straight to 90 degrees. Several brands of inversion tables have suffered from recalls in recent years due to safety issues (people have been known to fall out of these things and hurt their necks and backs - we had a family friend 20 years ago who did just this) -- so make sure you go with a well-known manufacturer with a good reputation. One of the most popular brands of inversion products is Teeter, named after its founder Roger Teeter, who has been making inversion tables and other products for more than 20 years. They are also known for their quality products, even though they sometimes cost more than competitors.
Teeter F5000 Inversion Table = Teeter EP-550 Inversion Table
- Their main model is the Teeter Hang Up F5000/EP-550 (RECOMMENDED), which sells for $299. It comes with a 5 year warranty and has been winning over fans for many years. Technically, the "F" models were discontinued in 2008, but you will still see them listed and sold under the old name. The Teeter F5000 is now called the EP-550. The new design features an adjustable head pilow on a new, flexible, plastic bed surface that twists and moves with you, rather than the old-style, rigid, padded beds. It folds up so you can easily store the Teeter in a closet or even behind a door when not in use. The ankle straps are made of foam and they are curved to fit snugly and comfortable on your ankles. Most importantly, the EP-550 (F5000) offers a very stable base, precision balancing, and rubber hand grips for moving yourself up and down -- this is a sturdy, well-tested device. When I'm trusting my back and neck to a piece of equipment while hanging upside down, I want to know I can count on it.
- The Teeter F7000 was another older model with EZ-Stretch Traction Handles and EZ Angle Tether Strap ($349) though it is in the process of being discontinued (you can get the F5000 with those same features now).
- The Teeter F9000 came with an easy reach handle for those who cannot bend down comfortably to their ankles ($449) -- it too has been officially discontinued as of 2009 and is replaced by the new design Teeter EP-950 Inversion Table. The EP-950 has a heavier, sturdier frame that can support up to 300lbs, and it has the same flex plastic bed design as the F5000/EP-550. It has a ratchet ankle lock system that lets you get your feet in and out without having to stretch all the way to your toes. It also comes with a tether strap that lets you pre-set exact rotation angles - 20,40, or 60 degrees. It costs $100 more than the F5000, but if you want or need these extra, it is worth it.
- If you want to spend almost $1000 extra for a motorized model, then check out the Hang Ups Power II Inversion Table ($1200).
You can watch a Teeter promotional video below showing how the Teeters are built and tested.
Some other popular inversion tables include the Ironman Gravity models and the Stamina Gravity Inversion Tables. Both offer quality inversion tables at competitive prices (from $199 to $350 or so) and they get good consumer reviews. So our first choice is the Teeters, but if you found one from Ironman or Stamina that you like, it's still a safe buy.
Benefits of Inversion Tables and Inversion EquipmentSo we talked above about how inversion tables are meant to decompress your spine. The list of other benefits claimed from using an inversion table also include:
- Reducing neck and back pains
- Allows you to work core muscles
- Cleaning of the lymphatic system
- General stress release and relaxation
- Improved circulation aided by gravity
- Lessen the effects of depression
- Increases flexibility and strengthens ligaments