Do Inversion Tables Really Work? What the Experts Say

Inversion therapy: Is it a miracle cure for back pain or just a fad? The real answer is somewhere in the middle. Science, research, and growing anecdotal evidence shows that using an inversion table at the very least relieves short-term back pain, so why is there so much negativity and disinformation around the web? Do inversion tables really work? The answer is YES!

​You’ve probably found this article because you’re like the thousands of others who’ve tried everything to cure their back pain with little to show for it. The last thing you want is an invasive surgery, and you definitely don’t want to risk addiction to opiates, so your doctor may have recommended inversion therapy as a non-surgical alternative.

Man in Inclined Position

The problem is that most people, including many in the medical field, don’t understand inverting or its benefits. This leads many to think it’s just a “gimmick” or even dangerous. That is far from the truth. Inversion therapy really works if you do it right.

Here’s what we know about inversion and how it helps cure back pain.

Inversion Therapy - Ancient Art Meets Modern Medicine

Inversion therapy might be a new term to you, and many people in the medical community think it’s just a new fad, but it actually dates back to Ancient Greece. Hippocrates, the Father of Modern Medicine, recommended hanging people upside down from ladders to stretch out the spine. He might have been a bit off on his technique but his theory was definitely correct!

Basically, inversion therapy is a technique that involves suspending your body upside down and using gravity to slowly stretch your spine, making more room for your discs, ligaments, and nerves. When you’re standing, gravity compresses your spine, causing discomfort and chronic pain. Inversion reverses this effect and helps realign the spine, improve joint health, and even improve core strength.

What Does Medical Science Say About Inversion Therapy?

Before we get to the scientific verdict on inversion therapy, we’d like to cover some falsehoods that are regularly circulated around the medical world and the internet. There is a lot of misinformation and a clear misunderstanding when it comes to inversion tables.

  • Inversion tables are NOT dangerous: Sure, there is a right way and wrong way to use them, but as long as you follow proper procedures, you will be fine.
  • Inversion therapy is only unhealthy if you are unhealthy: Some say that inversion therapy is unhealthy and causes certain health conditions. This is not true. Inverting is only unhealthy if you have certain pre-existing conditions or are obese.
  • Inversion therapy is effective in the short term at the very least: While more studies must be done to truly understand the long-term effects of inverting, evidence has proven that at the very least, inversion therapy is an effective short-term pain relief method.

Here are a few things you need to know about inversion therapy and its effectiveness:

Is Inversion Therapy Effective in the Short Term?

The short answer is yes.

The long answer is YES, ABSOLUTELY. No scientific study is needed to back up the claims of tens of thousands of patients around the world. When inverted, the pressure is taken off of your spine and joints, providing pain relief and a sense of relaxation.

When your spine is stretched out, all of that extra space relieves the discomfort and places your spine back in its proper position. Of course, just one session won’t fix everything. You need to slowly train your back to find its “new normal,” which takes a good deal of time.

Is Inversion Therapy Effective in the Long Term?

As far as inverting being a long-term solution to chronic back issues, the jury is still out on whether or not it can cure spinal issues.

However, this is mostly due to a misunderstanding of therapy itself. Inversion is not meant to be a “magic bullet” cure. We don’t expect you to magically fix your spine using an inversion table alone.

In reality, inversion must be part of a holistic approach to solving back and spinal issues. For example, if you regularly invert but still have poor posture, suffer from anxiety, and never exercise, you won’t ever get rid of your back pain.

The tens of thousands of people who have found success with inversion have done so because they’ve made inversion a small part, albeit a pivotal one, of a greater therapeutic vision.

In the long-term, inversion can help improve your health, relieve your pain, and clear your mind, but you must put in the effort in all facets of your life. Think of it like weight loss or muscle building supplements: they won’t give you big muscles if you don’t lift weights.

What do Scientific Studies Tell us About Inversion?

The results of scientific studies are mixed. Some show a clear correlation between better spinal health and using an inversion table while others show only short-term relief or no benefits at all.

This is because what works for some people might not work with others. There are some patients who say they can’t believe they waited this long to try an inversion table while others claim they felt no difference. Some users get rid of their back pain for good in a few months while others move on to surgery or painkillers.

What we do know is that there is a growing pool of medical evidence showing that inversion is successful at the very least in reducing pain, and that is a huge benefit to people wishing to avoid prescription medicine or expensive massage treatments.

Some claim inversion therapy has major benefits and others claim it’s just a gimmick. The issue is that they’re looking at it the wrong way. Inverting was never meant to be a catch-all solution. When used as part of a holistic health approach, it at the very least can help relieve your pain and at its best help cure your chronic issues.

The answer to the question “does inversion therapy really work” is certainly a YES...so long as you do it the right way!

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