Do Inversion Tables Work For Herniated Discs? (And Other Health Benefits)

by maru | Last Updated: February 14, 2018

For anyone who has herniated discs, you know what it’s like to live with almost constant, radiating pain. Even simple everyday tasks become difficult and painful. Tasks as simple as pushing open or close a heavy drawer or lifting a cute toddler are suddenly no-no’s. Sitting, standing, or even lying down too long all become a pain, literally.

And since nobody wants to do surgery unless as a last resort, it’s important to find alternative means that are safe and non-invasive. I can name a few like getting a great massage, the use of TENS, and in our discussion today, the use of an inverted table.

Although an inversion table can be an expensive investment, the benefits far outweigh any risks. Alleviated back pain, improved circulation, and joint pain relief. Sounds good? Then read on.

This article answers many of the most common questions on the topic. We hope you find it helpful.

Inversion Table History

The inversion table is by no means a new invention. Inversion therapy has been around for thousands of years.

In 3,000 B.C., drawings were discovered depicting ancient inverted yoga poses that were believed to help re-balance the body, increase circulation, stimulate the brain, and relieve pressure on the joints. In 400 B.C., Hippocrates suspended a patient upside down from a ladder using a series of ropes and pulleys to use gravity to help alleviate pain.

hippocrates inversion

Via teeter

In the 1960s, Dr. Robert Martin introduced the idea of inversion tables and inversion therapy to the mainstream population. This idea caught on and quickly gained popularity. It suffered some turbulence at the start of the early 1990s, but it quickly regained popularity with the introduction of the “Teeter” inversion table during 2008.

Teeter EP-560 Ltd. Inversion Table for Back Pain, FDA-Registered

1. What is an inversion table?

An inversion table is one of the most popular ways to do inversion therapy. You start by standing against the inversion table and strapping your ankles to the table. Once you’re strapped in, you can tilt the inversion table, so you’re lying horizontally at zero degrees – or even further. Some people like to hang upside down at ninety degrees.

2. How much does an inversion table cost?

There is a wide price range for inversion tables, and it depends on what you want to be able to do with it. If you plan to use it just to hang upside down, they can start at just over $100. If you want an inversion table that you can exercise on and do crunches or ab workouts, they can cost upwards of $400 per table.

See Also: The Best Inversion Tables on the Market

3. How long should you hang per inversion session? Is it safe?

If you plan to hang at the full ninety degrees, you should start out between 1 to 2 minutes until you get comfortable with hanging there. You can slowly work up to 3 to 5 minutes per session, but it’s important to listen to what your body is telling you and adjust accordingly.

It’s safe for most people, but hanging upside down will send a lot of blood to your head, so consult your doctor if you have heart problems, high blood pressure, and the like.

4. How do inversion tables work for herniated discs?

As you rock back and forth or hang inverted with your inversion table, it’ll provide your spine with full traction. As you stand and go about your day, gravity compresses your spine, and this can result in pinched nerves, sciatic nerve pain, and herniated disc pain. The inversion table uses your own body’s mass to gently stretch your spine and reduce the pressure on your discs.

Innova Inversion Table with Adjustable Headrest, Reversible Ankle Holders, and 300 lbs Weight...

5. What are the other benefits of using an inversion table?

Before you shop for one though, make sure to read up on the contraindications. Read our complete inversion table FAQ HERE.

Is an Inversion Table for Herniated Disc Worth It?

People have been using inversion therapy for thousands of years to help with common problems like back pain, sciatic nerve pain, circulatory system issues, and herniated discs.

We believe that history has proven that inversion therapy works and that inversion tables are an excellent tool to help alleviate pain and discomfort when it’s used correctly.