Do inversion tables work ?

Do inversion tables work? 

Yes, inversion tables do actually work and as a matter of fact, inversion therapy is increasingly becoming popular as a treatment option for back problems. Research conducted by New Castle University showed that 75% of people who suffer from back pain do actually avoid invasive treatments, including surgery.


Inversion therapy is not actually a recent discovery; it was actually used by Hippocrates, the father of medicine, many centuries ago. He used to hang his patients upside down on ladders as a treatment option. Today, chiropractors and physical therapists use inversion tables to treat people who suffer from back pain and other spine-related problems. You can also buy one for yourself and use it in your home.

How does an inversion table work? 

In order to understand how an inversion table works, you need to have some basic knowledge of your spine. The spine is made of separate bones known as vertebrae. In between the vertebrae are discs which are filled with fluid and nerves. The role of the discs is to provide padding to help prevent vertebrae from grinding together. With time, exercise, poor posture, as well as gravity cause the spine to curve in an unnatural way, thus putting pressure on the discs. This inevitably leads to pain.

An inversion table works in the following ways: 

-Reversing the direction of gravity 

Hanging upside down using an inversion table helps reverse the direction in which gravity pulls your body. It helps stretch your spine in the opposite direction, thus helping relieve pressure, leading to pain relief.

-Using the Accordion Effect 

It is also possible for fluids to build up in the discs of your spine, leading to discomfort and inflammation. You can use your inversion table while on a horizontal position to make slow, rocking movements, just like the ones you make while on a teeter-totter. This rocking movement is associated with an accordion effect on your spine, milking the build-up fluid out of the discs. This in turn relieves pressure off your spine.

-Reversing problems related to spine 

Apart from reversing the effects of gravity on your spine, traction therapy using an inversion table can also help reverse the effects of ageing as well as many other ailments, including scoliosis, a condition that causes the spine to curve more than is normally the case. Other conditions which can be treated with spinal traction using an inversion table include pain in the legs and hip as a result of pinched nerves in the lower back, as well as sciatica. Another condition that can be treated using spinal traction is lordosis. This is a condition in which the spine develops a curve that faces the opposite direction when compared to normal curves.


An inversion table is not suitable for everybody. Hanging upside down increases blood flow to the head, causing more pressure on the eyes and head. This means that people with glaucoma or retinal detachment, or those suffering from high blood pressure or circulatory issues should not use an inversion table.