There’s been a lot of buzz surrounding inversion tables recently and their supposed benefits in reducing back pain. And while the scientific evidence behind inversion table therapy is well-established, the vast array of inversion tables for sale can make it hard for someone to select the right one.
As a health enthusiast, a former back pain sufferer, and extensive inversion therapy user, I decided to put together this article on how to select the best inversion tables. In this article, I will discuss what to look for in an inversion table, how to avoid the low-quality ones, and where to get the best warranties and deals. I also offer up my own thoughts on what the best inversion table is for the money (or you can skip to my Teeter Hang Ups Ep-560 review here).
A Primer on Inversion Tables: What They Need To Do
When selecting the right inversion table, it is important that you know what you’re looking for right off the bat. In essence, an inversion table is a flat surface that can incline at various angles to allow you to stretch out your back, improve circulation, and alleviate pressure from the spine.
As long as your inversion table is able to angle itself to variety of angles up to 90 degrees (it is adjustable), you have satisfied the first criteria in picking the best inversion table. However, there are more things to consider than just being able to angle the surface at a variety of angles. You must also consider, safety, features, qualities, and warranties.
Inversion Table Safety: Safety Comes First!
If you’re going to be angling your body at all sorts of new angles you need to be sure the device your lying on is stable and secure. This should be a no-brainer for some people, but surprisingly many people just assume an inversion table is safe.
I have heard a couple of surprising stories of inversion tables breaking under pressure, or getting loose over time. This usually only happens to the super cheap ones (i.e. less than $100) but make sure you don’t compromise safety just to get a good deal – its not worth it!
So how can you be sure a particular inversion table is safe?
First of all, I would check to make sure that the primary housing for the table is made out of steel or some other similarly durable material. This will ensure that the table doesn’t bend over time and that you’re always on a solid foundation.
The next thing I would look for are secure locking clamps for your ankles. You will need these if you plan on inverting past 20 degrees as they will help ensure you are securely fastened to the table. Plus, they will also allow you to do more effective exercises that target specific areas of your back.
Finally, (and this is important) watch out for any reputable safety certifications. One of the highest safety standards is given out by UL, which is an independent engineering group that tests consumer products. Passing this level of certification means that the table has no previous safety issues and will maintain its functionality if used properly.
To my knowledge, only the Teeter Hang Ups brand inversion tables have achieved UL certification (I’m sure there will be others in the near future though).
The Right Inversion Table Features
Of course, an inversion table can do more than just tilt your body at odd angles. They can also do a number of things that can greatly benefit your back and ensure you get the best possible results from inversion therapy.
One of things of the best features you can find for an inversion able is a lumbar bridge. This is a little add-on that many tables come with these days that gives your lower back a little bit of an extra stretch. It is basically an arched shaped bridge that you line up with the small of your back for added decompression and spinal alignment. They can typically be adjusted for either subtle or dramatic arch functions depending on the type of stretch you want. People suffering from lower back pain will greatly benefit from the addition of a lumbar bridge.
Other features that are common on inversion tables are acupressure nodes, traction pads, and vibration cushions. While none of these are imperative to get the most out of your inversion table they are nice additions to have.
Warranties, Guarantees, and Reputation: Final Considerations
Finally, you’ll want to pick up an inversion table from a reputable company that has great customer service and all the necessary warranties. If the company you’re buying from doesn’t offer a warranty, then I would probably avoid buying from them. Warranties are a good measure of how much a company is confident in their product. If an inversion table has a warranty of one year or less, than the company is likely not that confident their product will stand the test of time.
I would look for a 2 year warranty at least – if not 5 or 10 years. That way if anything does go wrong with your inversion table, you can exchange it or get it fixed for no extra charge.
Also, some companies offer trial offers to allow you to test out their product before committing to buy it. If you’re knew to inversion therapy than these are the types of offers you’ll want to take advantage of, as they will allow you to test out an inversion therapy without risking money on it and finding out later you don’t like it.
Best Inversion Table For the Money: The Teeter Hang Ups Ep-560
In order to make your purchasing decision easier, I thought I would include my recommendation on what the best inversion table for the money is. In my opinion, the Teeter Hang Ups EP-560 achieves the right balance between cost and quality. It fulfills all the above criteria (including a lumbar bridge and acupressure nodes) and is backed by a rock solid five year warranty. It is the inversion table that I personally use, and the one that I can confidently vouch for.
It’s well worth its price tag of $300 (especially when you consider the cost of physiotherapy or massage therapy) and will give you many years of use. Plus right now the company is offering a special 30 day trial to test out their inversion table to see it is right for you. Remember my recommendation to take advantage of any trial offers? Well now is your chance, as this is a limited time offer.
The company also offers free shipping.