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Inversion table for the spine: the benefits and contraindications of the simulator


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The inversion table is mainly intended for the relief of back pain. The table is designed to create using gravity a certain tensile force in the spine and pelvis, which helps to relieve tension in tight joints, intervertebral discs and nerves. Usually inversion therapy involves lying on the table at a certain angle, but not vertically upside down. Although the effectiveness of the inversion table in the treatment of back pain has not been sufficiently studied, there is some evidence that it allows at least short-term improvements. However, inversion therapy affects the blood flow (in particular, increases blood flow to the head), so patients with hypertension, glaucoma and heart disease should be careful.

What is an inversion table and what is it for

The table is a stable structure made of metal or plastic in the form of a flat bench (table top) with leg clamps and two handles, there are both mechanical and electromagnetic simulators. The essence of the table is to change the angle of the body position, up to the vertical position (upside down). With a change in body position in space, the spine lengthens due to stretching of the intervertebral discs. The inversion therapy method provides for getting rid of pinching of nerve endings, treatment of vertebral diseases (protrusions, hernias, pains associated with displacement of the vertebrae and changes in posture).

When training on a gravitational table, it is important not only to hang upside down at a convenient angle, but also to perform various techniques, including slight tilting and twisting to stretch not only the vertebrae, but also the muscles.

Before considering the benefits and harms of an inversion table, we will study a little the effect of traction on the spine and their feasibility.

  1. What happens with prolonged stretching? The intervertebral discs are tensile, while the risk of injury to the capsule of the intervertebral joints increases. That is, stretching the spine, trying to alleviate the syndromes of certain diseases, you can get new problems.
  2. Does traction solve spinal problems? Consider the example of a rubber tape. Stretch the rubber on the sides by force - it will lengthen, weakening the impact - the tape will return to its original position. The same thing with the spine, the problem does not go away after returning to its natural position, if the disk in any department protruded before, it will remain that way, if the muscle was pinched (or nerve endings), it will remain in the same place and pinched again. Thus, temporary relief of symptoms is not a solution.
  3. Does the inversion table solve the problem? By stretching and simultaneously strengthening the muscles that hold the spine (stabilizers), a therapeutic effect can be achieved. If the muscles are weak, they will not be able to keep the vertebrae in a stable position after stretching, and their strengthening will serve as a kind of corset to maintain the normal location of the vertebrae between the joints, reducing negative factors.

Cons of classes on the inversion table

  • It is not the only way to solve problems associated with diseases of the spine.
  • It gives only a temporary effect that does not persist without exercise.
  • Allows you to perform a limited number of exercises that do not fully affect all important muscle stabilizers.
  • It can aggravate the problem; if the simulator is not used correctly, there is a risk of new injuries.
  • It has a large list of limitations and contraindications.

Contraindications to classes on the inversion table

  • Glaucoma and other eye problems, in which an increase in eye pressure is contraindicated when tilted upside down.
  • Diseases of the cardiovascular system: hypertension, arrhythmia, vascular aneurysms.
  • Ventral hernia and any exacerbation of chronic diseases of the internal organs and spine.
  • Prostheses.
  • Pregnancy.

How to use an inversion table for the back

After consulting a doctor, you should proceed to training carefully, gradually increasing the slope from the minimum.

  • Training duration at first it should be 2 minutes, gradually increasing to 10 minutes.
  • You should train no more often than every other day.

How to choose a simulator

  • Pay attention to the materials of construction. Metal exercise machines are more practical and safe.
  • Ensure that the fastenings and positions are securely locked
  • Choose a table taking into account the load that it can withstand and the growth for which the simulator is designed (length of the board).

What is an inversion table?

This is a simulator that helps reduce back pain. To understand its principle of action, it is important to recall the structural features of the lumbar column. The intervertebral discs do not have their own blood vessels, therefore, nutrients are delivered to them from neighboring tissues, for example, ligaments. In the daytime (when a person is moving or sitting), the intervertebral fissures are closed, due to which the delivery of valuable substances is disrupted. This interferes with tissue repair.

During sleep, the distance between the vertebral discs increases, which contributes to the unhindered delivery of nutrients. Since these structures resemble a sponge in structure, they begin to absorb moisture intensively and “swell”. This explains the phenomenon of why in the morning hours each person has more growth than in the late evening. An inversion table for the spine is very useful. Such a simulator helps to further increase the distance between the disks, which increases the flow of nutrients and accelerates the process of tissue repair.

2. DFC inversion table

The brand of home fitness equipment, including inversion tables, offering a huge selection of fitness equipment of various characteristics and a wide range of prices. Trainers with a folding design can withstand the user's weight from 110 to 150 kg, depending on the model and cost, it is adjustable in several positions: 40, 60, 90, 180%. There is a model with a massager and a remote control (price about 24,000 rubles). Prices for all models range from 10,400 to 50,000 rubles.

3. Inversion table Z-UP

More expensive nonsense, representing a wide range of professional high-quality electric inversion tables. The simulators withstand a load weight of 120 to 136 kg. Foldable design, simulators are powered by electricity and are controlled by just two buttons. In the event of a power outage, the table returns to its original position automatically. The cost of products ranging from 100,000 to 200,000 rubles.


Summing up, we can say if there are problems with the spine, the inversion table cannot completely eliminate the problem or cure the hernia. In some cases, it will positively affect the reduction of pinching, reduces pain symptoms. But with a competent approach to the health of the spine, rehabilitation exercises, dosing traction, the right set of exercises, including hyperextension, are needed. The inversion table itself will not strengthen the muscles of the lower back, so a set of measures and a diverse approach to the problem are needed. Chiropractors will confirm that chiropractic practices without strengthening spinal stabilizers will not produce a long-term therapeutic effect.

Indications for training on the simulator

Inversion table is indicated for many diseases of the musculoskeletal system: hernias of the intervertebral discs, osteochondrosis, scoliosis and other pathologies of the spinal column.

Besides, simulator exercises are indicated as therapy in the following conditions:

  • Varicose veins,
  • muscle fatigue
  • reduced skeletal mobility,
  • weak ligaments in the joints,
  • poor blood circulation
  • lymph congestion,
  • psychological stress, stress.

The list of indications is constantly growing. However, doctors insist that the inversion table is most effective with timely preventive use. When the disease has already manifested, it is used as an adjunct to the main therapy to relieve symptoms.

Classes on the inversion simulator

Before you begin the exercises, customize the simulator.

To do this, follow these steps::

  1. Adjust the height of the simulatoradjusting it to fit your height. To do this, loosen the safety screw. Next, pull out the latch with one hand, and with the other move the main axis to a mark that is 1-2 centimeters higher than your height. After that, insert the lock and tighten the screw.
  2. Adjust the position of the platform for legs so that they are well fixed, but there is no discomfort.
  3. Stand with your back to the table, legs on either side of the platform. With your lower body leaning against the countertop, put your legs between the clamps and stand on the platform. Press the ankles firmly against the clips on the back. Pull the latch handle toward your feet until it stops and make sure that it is firmly in place. To avoid injury, do not rest your back on the table until you are sure that your legs are securely locked.

When the device is fully and correctly configured, start the exercises.

Inversion table exercises

There are about twenty exercises that are allowed to be performed on the inversion table even untrained person. Consider the basic and most effective of them. These exercises are indicated for almost any disease of the back.

Slowly raise your arms above your head until the table is horizontal.. Hang like that for a few minutes. Then return to the original vertical position, lowering your hands down. When the restrictive belt is unfastened, a complete inversion is possible. In this case, you will hang upside down without leaning on the back. When returning to the starting position, do not raise your head or try to raise your torso.

Important! When using inversion to ease pain, do not stretch your muscles for too long. Otherwise, provoke an even greater spasm.


Slowly, without sudden movements, raise your hands and fold them on your chest. If the treadmill is adjusted correctly, the table will rise slightly from the floor and stop.

Most tables have 3-4 rotation settings: From the fastest to the lowest. The table rotates due to the movement of the hands. For beginners, the minimum speed is always set. Therefore, depending on weight and personal preferences, the speed can be gradually increased.

Important! Every time before starting classes, check all the simulator settings. You can lie on the table for no more than 10-15 minutes a day, gradually increasing the degree of inclination of the tabletop to the upside down position.

How to choose an inversion table

To buy the most effective inversion table, consider a number of factors.

We give general recommendations for choosing a simulator:

  1. Material. Choose a device made of strong and durable materials. Wear parts must be metal. Check that the equipment handles are made of non-slip materials.
  2. Regulation. The table should have a function of adjustment for human growth.
  3. Construction Category and Weight. Exercise machines are stationary and portable. The less they weigh, the more convenient it is to move them around the apartment. This is a significant plus when there is little free space. But such a table loses stability. Choose the best solid stationary inversion table. It is designed for intensive loads and is designed for a longer service life. Moreover, such tables have additional options, which means that you can perform more exercises.
  4. Clamps. They should be made of quality materials and be convenient to use. It is important. Too narrow or tight cuffs will hurt and cause a lot of inconvenience.
  5. Nature of management. An inverted spinal table with manual mechanical control is relatively cheaper, but with an electronic one more convenient. But here everyone already chooses their means.

Small reviews of the most popular models

There are a huge number of models of inversion tables. They differ in size, maximum user load, efficiency, quantity and type of permissible exercises and cost. Almost all modern models are adjusted for the growth of the patient.

The most popular models of inversion tables:

  1. Body Sculpture Fitness Equipment BI-2100 E. Equipment weight - 27 kg. Dimensions: 125 × 71.5 × 156 cm. Designed for a maximum weight of 100 kg. Exercises are available where an adjustable head up is used. Average cost: 11 thousand rubles.
  2. DFC XJ-I-06CL simulator. Equipment weight - 27 kg. Dimensions: 146 × 78 × 159 cm. Designed for a maximum weight of 150 kg. A special limiter makes it possible to set different tilt angles for classes. Average cost: 16 thousand rubles.
  3. Trainer Hang UPS EP-960. Equipment weight - 30 kg. Dimensions: 211 × 69 × 150 cm. Designed for a maximum weight of 136 kg. The Ratchet Ankle Lock System is an ideal ankle fixation system for those who find it difficult to bend down to fix their ankles. The molded plastic construction is suitable for longer use compared to wear-resistant nylon or vinyl. Average cost: 34 thousand rubles.

To choose a good simulator, it is also useful to study the reviews of each manufacturer.

How to do it yourself

For people with an engineering mindset who love to work with their hands, it will not be difficult to make an inversion table on their own. BUT our instruction and drawing will help in this.

So, To make a homemade inversion simulator, you will need the following tools and materials:

  • pliers,
  • 3-4 durable elastic bands of 30-40 cm,
  • screwdrivers of different sizes
  • a wide section of dense fabric for bedding under the back,
  • several wide and long boards,
  • metal rods to create supports,
  • bolts, nails, screws, depending on the choice of table model.

Instruction manual:

  1. To make a countertop, find a 3 cm thick chipboard. This size is suitable for a table with dimensions of 1.5 × 2 m. If there is no such chipboard thickness, glue two boards with a thickness of 1.6-1.8 cm. Cut out two sheets of the indicated sizes for this. Now with a wood screw (20 mm), drill the bottom sheet along the edge and in the middle. Lubricate both surfaces of the sheets with glue, then fold them and pull them together using self-tapping screws.
  2. After that, paint the chipboard, even if it is laminated or sanded.
  3. For stability, set the legs along its edges. Try to get them as close to the edges as possible. For a large table in the center, install an additional fifth leg.

The simulator design is simple. The main thing is to choose high-quality materials and properly fix all the details.

Attention! Table legs can be made independently from metal rods, but it is better to purchase ready-made ones at any hardware store.

Alexey K., 29 years old: “I am 29 years old, with a history of hernia of the vertebrae of the back, obtained in 2013 while lifting heavy weights in the gym. To get rid of chronic pain, I went to chiropractors and regularly took anti-inflammatory and analgesics, but the improvement did not come about. After six months of such torment, I learned about the existence of an inversion table. Already during the first lesson on the inversion table I felt a strong surge of strength. The spine was stretched, as if I was very, very stretched after sleep. Immediately after training, I was able to straighten my back for the first time in a long time. ".

Konstantin B., 48 years old: “The inversion therapy method is based on overcoming gravity. I liked the idea of ​​keeping my body upside down, especially since I had already heard a lot of good reviews about the inversion table. Personally, I do not treat my sore back regularly, but intermittently (about one lesson per week). But even this is enough to practically not feel the manifestations of osteochondrosis of the lumbar spine, which I, by the way, have been suffering for twenty years ”.

Evgeny N., 45 years old: “In my life there was a big trouble a car accident, which entailed a compression fracture of the upper spine and, as a result, paralysis of the right arm and chronic headaches. Together with the doctor, we created an individual training program for me, and I really liked the first lesson! But not immediately began to hang upside down, but increased the amplitude of the tilt gradually. Of course, I didn’t start feeling a paralyzed arm right away, about six months after the start of treatment. ”.

Anna K., 52 years old: “The inversion simulator is a real miracle! After stretching my spine, I feel like I’m reborn! But I’m already 50 years old! Previously, with debilitating pain in the lower back, I could not even sleep normally at night. And now I’m not just sleeping and walking normally, but I even run in the mornings and regularly swim in the pool. And all the friends ask who I fell in love with, because, according to them, I was noticeably younger. Now I do not need regular inversion therapy, but I still continue to hang upside down so that the discomfort does not return. ”.

Reviews of doctors about the inversion table are also extremely positive. Experts say that this simulator is a great way to prevent musculoskeletal system pathologies for people who lead an inactive lifestyle or, conversely, engage in intense physical exertion.

Inversion table - indications and contraindications

This simulator for the back of the spine is recommended for people leading a sedentary lifestyle. In addition, it can be used by athletes. The list of indications for classes on the inversion table is huge. However, we must not forget that this simulator has contraindications for use, therefore, before proceeding with therapy, it is necessary to consult a doctor.

Inversion table - contraindications

Although the list of useful properties is considerable, the simulator for stretching the spine has its own prohibitions.

It is contraindicated in the following cases:

  1. Pathologies of a neurological nature, which are accompanied by dizziness, increased feeling of fatigue, cramps, tingling, impaired cognitive abilities.
  2. Reflux disease, impaired kidney or gall bladder and other digestive tract dysfunctions.
  3. Retinal detachment, glaucoma, chronic sinusitis and other diseases of the eyes, nose, ears and balance organs.
  4. Osteoporosis, dislocation and trauma of the skeleton and bones.
  5. Hypertension, taking anticoagulants, circulatory disorders.
  6. Conditions in which strong physical activity is prohibited (obesity, pregnancy, recent surgery).

In addition, the simulator for the spine has age restrictions. They do not apply to adults, but to children and adolescents. The simulator for stretching the spine is contraindicated for persons under the age of 15 years. However, these are general recommendations: each specific case is considered by the doctor individually. If a specialist makes a positive decision, classes on the simulator should be conducted strictly under his supervision.

Inversion table - benefit or harm

This simulator has many advantages. At the same time, it also has drawbacks. Before registering an inversion table - its benefits and harms are evaluated.

The advantages of such a simulator include its following features:

  1. Muscle pain is reduced. This is achieved by naturally stretching the spine when the head is lower than the legs. If a person is in this position, the force of gravity acts in the opposite direction and the distance between the disks increases. As a result, pressure on nerve endings is minimized and pain caused by pinching of nerve fibers is reduced. It is proved that after 10 seconds of training on an inversion simulator, pain decreases by 30-35%.
  2. Flexibility is increasing. When a person is in a position upside down, muscles are stretched. As a result, the distance between the discs increases, blood circulation in adjacent tissues improves, which helps rejuvenate the joints and the whole body.
  3. Posture correction is carried out. With inversion therapy, the displaced vertebrae “set” naturally. Regular exercises on such a simulator correct posture.
  4. Accelerated blood and lymph flow. Thanks to this, the body is more intensively saturated with oxygen and valuable substances, and is freed from toxins, waste and other litter. Moreover, inversion eliminates congestion in the hips, therefore, serves to prevent the development of cellulite and helps in the fight against it.
  5. The supply of blood to the brain increases. Thanks to the “tide”, this organ is saturated with oxygen, which ultimately improves its work.

Provided that the simulator is used correctly and all specialist instructions are followed, no harm will occur. However, if a patient engaged in an inversion table suddenly notes a worsening condition, he needs to inform the doctor as soon as possible. The doctor will carefully listen to the complaints, examine the person and send him for an additional examination. After studying the results, the doctor will decide on the appropriateness of subsequent classes on the simulator.

How to use an inversion table?

In order for the lessons to benefit, it is important to properly assemble the device and skillfully practice it. The simulator for stretching the spine should be adjusted to the weight and height of the person who will use it. Otherwise, the inversion device will not work correctly, which will increase the risk of injury during training.

It is important to consider the following recommendations:

  1. When using the simulator for the first time at home, the lesson should be carried out under the supervision of a specialist. It will help to correctly adjust the mass-dimensional parameters of the table and will insure in case of an unforeseen situation.
  2. Before using the simulator, you need to wear special sports shoes.
  3. Do not exercise immediately after eating!
  4. The inversion simulator table must be checked before use. All adjustable parts and pins must be securely fastened.
  5. Before doing the exercises, it is important to check if the seat belts are locked.

Inversion table - assembly and configuration

Each purchase model comes with an accompanying instruction. It describes in detail how to assemble a folding inversion table yourself and what to look for at the same time.

The sequence of actions is often as follows:

  1. Assembly of the A-shaped support is in progress.
  2. They are mounted on the structure and the handles are fixed.
  3. Assembly and fastening of the pads.
  4. Freely adjustable brackets are installed.
  5. The backrest is being installed.
  6. Ankle support is installed and adjusted.
  7. The installation of foam rollers, steps and the bracket that regulates the height.
  8. Protective plastic clips are installed.

DIY inversion table

If desired, this simulator can be done independently. It is important to consider what dimensions the inversion table will have, drawings are developed taking into account these parameters. A product is made of durable wood and metal rods (they make the structure support from them).

An inversion table for the spine with your own hands involves the use of such tools and fasteners:

  • pliers
  • screwdrivers (need different sizes)
  • screws and bolts,
  • durable rubber bands (each approximately 40 cm long).