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AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 51,489
edited 05/13/2014 - 4:26 AM in Alternative Treatments
I am thinking about getting an inversion table. I have had 1 set (so far) of cortisone injections in the lumbar region, and cervical fusion C5-6 4/07.

Does anyone know which ones are best or what works for them?

I am willing to try it if it helps keep me off the pain meds.

Thanks!! :)

Read about other patient experiences with inversion tables


  • Hi--I have used an inversion table. My problems are L3 thru S1 ddd, stenosis, severe muscle spasms and minor leg pain. Anyhow, you need to know that when you see people in the ads hanging completely upside down, that you don't start out using it like that because you have to work your way up to that point by gradually inverting, just past parallel, otherwise it would be too much blood rushing to your head. But, even being slightly inverted, you really feel the effects pulling on your spine.

    I had no positive response to inversion whatsoever. Even if it does open up your disc space, it is only temporary. This is because after a short period of going back to being on your feet, obviously gravity just puts the disc spaces back to where they were anyhow.

    So, I know results vary for everyone, and I've talked to people that say it helps, but the same people are complaining that their back hurts when I talk to them. I think to myself then, "how much is inversion actually doing for them".

    I wouldn't spend the money if I were you. I already did, and have it for sale on craigslist.

  • A friend of mine, her father was in a car accident, 3 surgeries, lower spinal (all 3); I don't know the details but I know he has at least one cage. Anyhow, he has a table and SWEARS by it. He is very active, in great shape, swims, bikes(stationary), and eats healthy like you wouldnt believe. But his pain takes him DOWN. Absolutely horrid. In his case, the table really, really, saved him. Or at least, it saved him from a life of excruciating pain or delerium from too much medicine. I do know that he uses it for at least 2 or 3 hours per day, every day, but I don't know what intervals, such as 30 minutes, 45, 1 hour x 3, not sure, but point being, he bought it for 500 dollars and said had he known what it would do for him, he would have pain 50,000. Give it a try.

    I don't know where you are at, but there's a back/ortho supplier near me where you can go TRY these and many other things, just to see how they are, how well they are built, etc; there are definitely different models.

    About the blood thing, when you were a kid, did you ever climb a tree or jungle gym, bars, whatever, and hang upside down? Didn't kill you did it? It's not the blood rushing to your head, it's a culmination of many, many things, that requires us to go slow and 'adapt' to the use of these tools. He described it that way as well. I was told he did not get results at first, but after using it for long periods of time (he will actually fall asleep on the thing) as opposed to 10 or 20 minutes here and there, when he leaves for a business trip he can't leave for more than a week at a time, or his back WILL start returning back to the compressed state, and his pain becomes unbearable again. He'll come home and hang from it for a couple hours, eat, lay down, and he's all smiles and super intelligent and funny. I guess I got a really good vibe from him when we talked about it; I don't have room for one in my current living space or it would be here tomorrow.

    Always use under a doctors orders and directions, but it seems that long periods of use daily are the only way to go if you want to reverse some of the compression. It makes sense really.. If its a choice between 3 hours a day on the table and a fairly active regular day, or 24 hours a day on my back, with bathroom trips only, or hobbling around in terrible pain spaced out on meds, well, thats an easy choice.

    Good luck and keep an open mind! I am, personally, such an anti-alternative therapy person, so consider this an odd endorsement from me. The main reason he did it too, besides so he could live a happy life with his beautiful wife, was that he is such a health nut he refused meds, and insisted there was a way, and that's how he found it.

    I'm rambling and should be sleeping; goodnight!
  • I have used an inversion machine and I have one that I bought on ebay.

    My experience was that I had two 2mm protrusions at c5-6 and c6-7. I was put on one machine at 15lbs for 20 mins three times a week for two months during my physical therapy sessions. Then two months later I did it again for 40lbs for 15 mins at a chiropractors office. All this was from Sept 07- Feb 08. I got another MRI in April and now I have one 2mm protrusion at c5-6 and a minimal bulge at c6-7 and minimal bulge at c7-t1. I don't know where the other bulge came from but I've also seen two neuro surgeons and they say the protrusions where large bulges.

    The whole matter of fact is that my c6-7 got better. And significantly. I have read that inversion tables are good for people who have small herniations/protrusions and bulges. The thing that you must know is that inversion tables will train your muscles and ligaments to make your back straight which is really bad. You are going to have to roll up a towel and place at the curves of your back after you do the treatments. There are also other devices you can buy to help give the curve back in your back. Look on ebay I also bought two cervical inversion tables well one table and one portable neck stretcher. I paid $350 for the table and about $15.00 for the portable one.
    Saunders home traction is what the table is called. They also have for the lumbar.
  • Is the the table better then the posture pump? I want one i tried one at the store.
  • I bought an inversion table when I first started having right hip pain in 2001. I think it is wonderful. I do believe that I would have had this surgery several years ago if I had not used it. My neurosurgeon even told me to keep using it to help decompress the nerve until my surgery day. I am only one week post op, but one of the questions I have for my follow up will be when can I resume using the inversion table.
  • I found one at Costco for about $200- so not all of them are $500, so there are options- make sure to research before you buy one. I have never used one but am definitely considering it.
  • BotzBotz Central FloridaPosts: 223
    Just purchased a gravity inversion system two days ago. I have been on it about 4 times so far. I have worked up to about 15 min almost vertical. I have not had any problems with blood rushing to my head or any dizziness. For me feels good to strech out. It's too early to tell if it is really helping but this morning I am not in the usual pain that I typically wake up to.
    I found this in last Sunday's k-mart ad. Check it online, it was only $119. I figured that at that price I had nothing to lose.
    I'll keep you posted on how it works for me.

  • Thanks for the information. I hope this inversion table does wonders for you! If everything the "Teeter" guy said is true, I may have to save up for one myself!

  • My doctor ordered a traction for my back and I am ab
    le to use anytime I need to. It gives temporary relief but it helps definately. I have had this over three months and I come home from work directly and lay on it. You might check into this. I had decompression for about 8 months and it hurt yes but it was a good hurt. Problem was it was never available when I was in pain and it cost over 3000 for the treatments.

    The cost is about 700 but it is portable. My insurance and doctor are working on having the approved at 90%. With God's intervention it will be paid for.

    I thought of conversion tables but my nuerosurgeon said no...it would create to much pressure on my eyes and I could end up straining if not damaging the nerves.

    Hope this helps. Better get back to work. I am so blessed I see my doctor today I feel so much better but need a therapist to work on my spasms. I got desperate and paid someone who does reflexology and had them give me an hour massage. One week of no spasms or at least minimum. :)
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