Inversion Table vs Spinal Decompression Therapy

Patients are always asking me about the effectiveness of inversion tables and if they help with lower back pain. In this quick video, I’ll help answer this question and give some pros and cons of inversion tables and compare it to a treatment you might find will give you better results. Stay tuned!

Hey everyone, Dr. Rowe here at SpineCare in St. Joseph, MI. Inversion tables are pretty easy to buy, you can get them online at Amazon or at a large retailer for a few hundred dollars. A lot of people use them for lower back pain relief, pinched nerves, sciatica, or just keeping the back maintained. So what do they do?

They function by using gravity and body weight to help stretch and lengthen the spinal column, decreasing overall pressure in the spinal discs. Less pressure in the discs can mean less pain. It may also aid in helping to increase flexibility and joint movement.

So this would be good with someone with early stages of spinal disc or joint degeneration. From what patients tell me, inversion tables can help with minor low back issues such as tight muscles and minor back aches and pains.

Usually, it helps if you’ve overdone it and need a good stretch in the back to relieve tightness. A big drawback I hear is that you’re going to be in an inverted state. So, think hanging upside down for several minutes and you’re usually hanging from your ankles. If you have any vascular or blood pressure issues, vertigo, or just easily disorientated… you might want to consider this before buying.

Also, take note that inversion therapy will make you feel worse if you have significant muscle guarding in the low back. Muscle guarding is the body’s defense mechanism when you get a back injury. The body will try to lock down the area by tightening surrounding muscles to help prevent further injury. Inversion may increase muscle guarding since the body may treat it as an added stress, causing a delay in the healing process.

Like any form of therapy, some patients are going to have great results… some not so great. So give it a try and if it works, keep doing it. If not, make sure to get one with a money-back guarantee (if you’re not happy with it). So what if you have something more serious than minor low back aches and pains? Can inversion therapy help with major issues like a lumbar disc herniation? Well, the jury’s still out.

What I can say is while it will help decrease disc pressure, it is by no means the best form of treatment for disc herniation or pinched nerves. When it comes to these type of conditions, you need something that will help lower disc pressure much greater than just using gravity and body weight. In fact, you need much more.

This is where spinal decompression therapy comes in. Research has shown that non-surgical spinal decompression can create a negative pressure within the disc causing a vacuum effect. This vacuum effect can suck the disc material back inside, relieving pressure on a pinched nerve.

Spinal decompression is so effective that it has a reported measured success rate of over 90% treating low back pain and sciatica. That’s pretty good! If you’re interested in learning more, please check out our webpage. In short, inversion tables are good for minor issues like aches and pains.

If you have something more severe like a disc herniation or sciatica, go with a treatment that is most effective. Your back is worth more than a half-measure. Give spinal decompression a try, it might be the pain relief answer you’re looking for. Thanks for watching! Please leave any comments or questions below and I’ll try to get back to you as soon as I can.


As found on Youtube